Selfish “Christianity” 48

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 selfish heart has self as its own god and is in the service of self. The devil promised the original couple that they would be like God or as God and that is what enticed them. We can also see from Psalm 51 and II Samuel 12:9-10 that when David sinned in the matter with Bathsheba and Uriah her husband that this was his sin. David’s sin was not so much in what he did with Bathsheba and to Uriah, but in what he did to God. This is not always what man is conscious of, and in fact it is rare for something to know that sin is directly against God, but that is the very essence of sin. The essence of sin is that in some way it is against God, yet that is precisely what a selfish heart is and what comes from a selfish heart. A selfish heart desires to be as God and as such what it does it does against the living and true God whether it is conscious of that or not.

II Samuel 12:9 ‘Why have you despised the word of the LORD by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon. 10 ‘Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’

Psa 51:3 For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. 4 Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge.

The passage in II Samuel (just above) shows us God’s view of things as He spoke through Nathan the prophet. The words of God to David were that David had despised God in doing what he did. It was David who planned the execution of Uriah, though indeed he was miles and miles away and Uriah was killed in battle. Nevertheless, the Lord said it was David who killed Uriah with the sword of the sons of Ammon. It was David who committed adultery with Bathsheba. The words of God were brought to David and his sins of adultery and murder were declared to be specifically against God.

Psalm 51 shows us David’s confession. In confessing his sin he said that his sin was against God and God only. It is when we begin to understand the nature of sin that we start to understand the grievous nature of sin as being against God. This is precisely what a selfish heart is. The selfish heart is directly opposed to God in terms of who He is and in terms of His doing all for Himself. Bathsheba was God’s and not David’s. Uriah belonged to God and not to David, even though he was king. David belonged to God and not to David. King David sinned when he thought he could take the place of God and take Bathsheba to himself and take the life of Uriah. David played God in a very real sense in this whole sordid matter. David’s selfish heart desired Bathsheba over God and he took her. David’s selfish heart desired the life of Uriah for his own purposes and he took that. David’s selfish heart desired to have things for self rather than do all for the honor and glory of God. His selfish heart played God, his selfish heart ignored the Word of God, his selfish heart justified his sin, and in all that David opposed God and played God.

While it may be easy to see the sin of David, it may not be so easy to see our own. While we may not commit adultery and have the power to use the military to execute people in battle, we can see how David did so. It may also be that we have justified our sin as David did and that is why we cannot see it. When we justify our sin by coming up with reasons and excuses for it, that is simply our selfish hearts playing God. The living God never makes excuses for sin and we have no right to do so. We are never given the right to do anything but do all we do to the glory of God. We should see David’s confession as a pattern for us rather than shake our heads at him. All of our sin is a despising the Word of God. All of our sin is a despising of God Himself as well. A selfish heart is in direct opposition to God playing God and making decisions to do things that God has forbidden. A selfish heart loves self when we are told to love God with all of our being. A selfish heart seeks self when we are to seek his glory. How awful is the sin of a selfish heart! Have you really and truly been broken by God for your own selfish heart?

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