DEAD TO SELF

John 3:30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

Galatians 2:20-21 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

1 Corinthians 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

SELF-LOVE has infiltrated the American church and it’s cancer has taken over Christian culture but honestly and boldly I state: it’s not Christian at all.

Matthew 10:37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

 Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

 Luke 9:24-25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?

 Matthew 10:38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

Jesus says clearly that to be His disciple, we must pick up our cross and die to ourselves. Now, this imagery has been majorly watered down with our love for guts, gore, and Hollywood. The CROSS was an instrument of torturous death. This was not a symbol of hope to the people Jesus was talking to. It would have been terrifying to hear Him say to pick up their cross.
We don’t have anything like it now. Our death penalty deaths are the electric chair and more commonly, lethal injection. It’s sterol and quick – private. The cross was a public execution of humility, torture, and trauma. Jesus was severely flogged before carrying and then being nailed to his cross. His skin was ripped open, muscle and raw flesh exposed. It was bloody and gruesome.
There is NOTHING glamorous about the cross. NOTHING. I have grown to find it sickening when churches and Christian companies try to make it lovely and cool.
Sin came into the world and ushered in with it the wages of sin – which is death. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23
Jesus died and on that cross – He bore ALL our sin and shame. He took it all upon Himself and exchanged His righteousness with us.
And now as His disciples, we are called to die to self and be alive in Christ.

You may be thinking: What’s wrong with me? I’m a good person!

I used to think the same thing. I knew I had sin but I thought I was so incredibly worthy. I mean, Jesus went to the cross for me. He obviously wanted me that badly. Sisters, this is such bad theology. WE ARE NOT GOOD.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.

 John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

 Isaiah 64:6 Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Romans 3:10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one.”

 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.

Zone in on that Romans verse. None of us are good. Only God. Jesus says so. We couldn’t save ourselves. The Law couldn’t save us. Only Jesus through His Grace can and has.

So, you’re not good. Does Jesus love you? ABSOLUTELY! He loves you so much but that has nothing to do with YOU. It has everything to do with HIM.

Your next objection may be that Jesus commands us to love ourselves by saying we must love others as we love ourselves.

Well, before you drop your mic and walk away – let’s look at this verse correctly. Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment is…

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a]38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Jesus says there are TWO. Love God and love others. The part about “as yourself” is not a commandment but an observation. We ALL naturally love ourselves and want to be treated well, with respect. Even when I was going through major depression and bulimia – I was incredibly self-focused and was willing to hurt my body in order to achieve an outcome that would “satisfy” ME. We are by nature, lovers of self. This is not a commandment from Jesus.

When Paul is giving signs of the end times: one of the examples he gives is that people will be lovers of themselves. This is not a good thing.

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy… – 2Timothy3

In this video, Pastor Voddie does such an amazing job explaining how we are the issue in the world.

Ladies, we are called to die to self. Not love ourselves.

We must kill sin daily, hourly, by the minute and hide ourselves in Christ.

This will mean looking different than women of the world. We will dress differently, watch different things, listen to different things, respond differently, spend our time doing different things, etc.

We will be called “legalistic” and radical because it seems foolish to those who are not in Christ to follow His ways.

Christianity is not about positive self-help mantras. No. It is about GOD and HIS GLORY. It is about Jesus saving a wretch like me, like you. And us becoming sanctified – Holy by the work of the Holy Spirit. It is us giving up everything and everyone to follow Jesus 1st and bring the GOSPEL to a lost and dying world. Period.