Selfish “Christianity” 44

John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.

Philippians 2:19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.

John 7:7 “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.

John 15:24 “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.

Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

And when, in addition to these measures, the general strain of what is said to sinners is adapted to work upon their selfish feelings and animal passions, as most of what I have heard has been, and some of it extremely well adapted to work up those feelings to a high pitch, it would be strange if some affections were not excited which they might readily mistake for true religion. When God is represented as desiring their salvation, without the least qualification, and that his desire for it is infinitely strong, what impenitent sinner, that has the least seriousness of mind, is not prepared to be pleased? If “sinners love those that love them,” as our Lord assures us, they can love such a being as God is represented to be, without any change of heart. A God of all mercy, is just such a God as sinners desire. Will it be said that his justice is also brought into view, and that the terrors of hell are exhibited? True; but in what light are they exhibited? Is it not commonly in a light to which the selfish heart will as readily accord?

WILLIAM R. WEEKS.

The very heart of Christianity is the life of Christ in the soul of men that He has purchased by His blood. When Christ lives in that soul, His Spirit is united to the soul of the person and so that person loves. A selfish heart, however, has no ability to love God and to truly love fellow human beings. Scripture teaches us that apart from true love (which comes from God) there is nothing we can do that is good, which is clear evidence that a selfish heart (which loves self and all things for self even when doing things for others) is the very opposite of true Christianity. The heart that is at enmity with God cannot at the same time truly love God with a love that God gives that soul. If it is true as Scripture teaches that all spiritual blessings are in Christ, then assuredly a selfish heart that does not love is not blessed of God.

One of the intents of this series of postings on this Blog is to try to show just how opposite of Christianity that a selfish heart is and yet also try to show just how prevalent selfishness is in the professing churches. As you cannot have ice cold boiling water, so you cannot have selfish Christianity. The selfish heart will take on a religious disguise and will give itself to many works for the sake of religion, yet the selfish heart must be born again to be a heart that is delivered from selfishness as its ruling power. The selfish heart can take on a religious disguise and become a minister or a seminary professor and yet do all for the sake of self without the slightest bit of love for the true God. The selfish heart can be deceived into thinking that it is doing all out of love for God and yet it is the god that self has dreamed up out of the heart of self.

The natural man is born dead in sin and by nature a child of wrath. That is a selfish heart and apart from the new birth that actually happens to that person (not just hear about it and believe it as a doctrine) there is no salvation regardless of how religious a person becomes. Jesus said a person must be born from above and He said that to one of the most religious people in that nation. A person can have the best of educations, but that does not mean that the person is born from above. A person can have the best of confessions, but that does not mean that the person is born from above. A person can be a popular minister and be a conservative minister preaching the externals of the truth, but that does not mean that the person is born from above. It is possible to be all of those things and still have a selfish heart that is a stranger to the new birth.

Jesus taught us that the new birth occurs to a person not because of the bloodline or birth status, not because of the will of any person’s flesh, and not because of the will of man. People are born from above because of the will of God (John 1:12-13). If a person cannot be born from above because of the will of the flesh, then the selfish heart cannot be born again because it wills so. The Gospel includes the glorious new birth and this promise of giving people a new heart is a promise to deliver them from the bondage of a selfish heart which is to have the devil as a father. As long as a person has a selfish heart that person will oppose God and His Gospel and will settle for that which is the opposite of God and the truth of who He is. The selfish heart is at enmity and the gospel that is preached in most of the churches today is consistent with the selfish heart and as such is not consistent with the character of God.

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