Self – A Study Of

  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. SELF DEFINED: WEBSTER’S COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY
      1. Self as an adjective: The personality of and individual; A being in its relations to its own identity; Personal interest or advantage; Selfishness."
      2. Self as a noun: The prefix to a number of compound words that have reference to:
        1. The person or thing affected, as in self-conscious.
        2. The subject of the action, as self-willed.
        3. The subject to which the action is directed, as self-centered.
        4. The subject independently directing the action, as self-controlled.
    2. LET US TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT WHAT THE BIBLE HAS TO SAY ABOUT A FEW WORDS USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH SELF.

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. SELF-COMPLACENT:
      1. Defined: Satisfied or pleased with one’s character; self-satisfied, or self-contented.
      2. This describes two churches in the New Testament:
        1. Sardis. Revelation 3:1-2 = "And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God."
        2. Laodicea. Revelation 3:14-17 = "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with 
          goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
          "

        Note: This could be said of many Christians, or churches today.

      3. Self-complacency is the direct opposite of Christianity.

      Philippians 2:12 = "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my
      presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation 
      with fear and trembling.
      "

      Philippians 3:13-14 = "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this 
      one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
      "

    2. SELF-CONCEITED:
      1. Defined: An exaggerated estimate Of one’s own abilities or powers; vanity.
      2. Two preachers were talking about another preacher:
        1. One asked, How good is he? Is he as good as you are?
        2. The other replied: No! He is about like you are.
      3. If we could buy some people for what they are worth and sell them for what they think
        they are worth, we would be billionaires.
      4. God hates pride. Proverbs 6:16-19= "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren."
      5. The proud is of the world and not of Christ. I John 2:15-17 = "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
      6. Those that are proud:
        1. Must humble themselves. Luke 14:11 = "For whosoever exalteth himself  shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
        2. Or meet the resistance of the Lord. James 4:6 = "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."
    3. SELF-INDULGENT:
      1. Defined: Giving free reign to one’s own passions, desires, or inclinations.
      2. This was the sin of Demas. 2 Timothy 4:10 = "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia."
      3. This is the type of person that does what he wills and not what the Lord wills. 
        Matthew 6:10
        = "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."
      4. This sinful practice must be fought with self-denial. Matthew 16:24 = "Then said  Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
    4. SELF-RIGHTEOUS:
      1. Defined: Being righteous in one’s own estimation, or eyes.
      2. This was the sin of the praying Pharisee. Luke 18:9-14 = "And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift 
        up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
        "
      3. The self-righteousness of the Pharisees was what prompted them to accuse Jesus of 
        eating with sinners. Matthew 9:10-12 = "And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick."
    5. SELF-WILLED:
      1. Defined: One who is obstinate, stubborn and set on having his, or her, own way, or 
        will, and doing it.
      2. This is one of the negative qualifications of an elder. Titus 1:7 = "For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;"
      3. These individuals are overconfident of their ability. 2 Peter 2:10 = "But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities."
      4. This was the sin of Jonah in presuming to go contrary to the Lord. Jonah 1:3 = "But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD."

      Illustration: Two presumptuous goats met on a narrow bridge, neither would give way to 
      the other. They rammed each other with both falling off and both perishing. 
      Matthew 15:14
      = "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."

    6. SELF-CENTERED:
      1. Defined: One absorbed in himself; One whose every thought and actions are only involving self.
      2. There are some:
        1. Adults that are so self-centered that they cannot appreciate a funeral sermon because they are not the corpse about whom the nice things are being said.
        2. Children that will do and say some wild and outlandish things - Why? They are  not getting enough attention. This even sounds like some adults I know.
      3. The priest and the Levite were too self-centered to help the needy man on the Jericho road. Luke 10:30-37 = "And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of  his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise."

      Comment: Self-centered people are usually unhappy. They cannot enjoy the company and association of others because they only think of self. This is one of the main reasons for marriages falling apart. Happiness comes from thinking of others. So for our good, as well as the good of others, we must not be self-centered. Philippians 2:4 = "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."

    7. SELF-DENYING:
      1. Defined: The denial of oneself; Forbearance from gratifying one’s own desires.
      2. This is prerequisite to following Christ. Matthew 16:24 = "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
      3. We must be willing to give up any and everything that interferes with living a pure and unspotted life. James 1:27 = "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."
      4. Better to give up temporal things than lose one’s soul in hell. Matthew 18:8-9 = "Wherefore 
        if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
        "
    8. SELF-CONTROLLED:
      1. Defined: The control of one’s self.
      2. Solomon wrote: Proverbs 16:32 = "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city."
        1. This was written at a time when an army conquered a city it was the greatest of human accomplishments.
        2. But even at that time men were taught that a greater achievement was the conquest of self.
      3. Peter includes temperance (self-control) as one of the Christian graces. 
        2 Peter 1:5-6
        = "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;"
      4. Comment: A horse, or an automobile, out of control is a dangerous thing; but the most dangerous thing of all is a man out of control. Peter the Great was the maker of modern Russia. But he was subject to outbursts of madness, and in one of them he killed his own son. Toward the end of his reign he said, "I have conquered an empire, but I was not able to conquer myself". He who is not able to control self is 
        not prepared to control others.
    9. SELF-SACRIFICE:
      1. Defined: The sacrifice of one’s self, or interests, for others.
      2. True Christian religion is founded on, and exists on, sacrifices of self.
        1. God Gave his Son. John 3:16 = "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
        2. Jesus Gave himself. John 10:17-18 = "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my lie, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."
        3. We are to be a living sacrifice. Romans 12:1 = "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
      3. The greatest gift possible of man is self. When self is given, all other gifts come easily. 
        2 Corinthians 8:5
        = "And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own
        selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
        "

  3. CONCLUSION:

    1. IF WE MADE A CHECK LIST OF THESE, HOW WOULD YOU RATE IN 
      REGARDS TO YOURSELF?
      1 Are you self-complacent?................................ Should say NO!
      2 Are you self-conceited?................................... Should say NO!
      3 Are you self-indulgent?.................................... Should say NO!
      4 Are you self-righteous?.................................... Should say NO!
      5 Are you self-willed?......................................... Should say NO!
      6 Are you self-centered?..................................... Should say NO!
      7 Are you self-denying?...................................... Should say YES!
      8 Are you self-controlled?................................... Should say YES!
      9 Are you self-sacrificing?................................... Should say YES!
    2. A PERFECT SCORE IS SIX IN THE NEGATIVE AND THREE IN THE POSITIVE.
    3. ARE THERE SOME CHANGES YOU NEED TO WORK ON?
    4. REMEMBER THERE WERE BOTH SOME "THOU SHALTS" AND "THOU SHALT NOTS" EVEN IN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
    5. THERE IS NOT A BETTER TIME TO MEND OUR WAYS THAN NOW!

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