Travis Case, Pastor/Teacher Northgate Baptist Church F.E.A.S.T Ministries
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:" (Prov. 17:22)
"... the joy of the LORD is your strength." (Neh. 8:10)
A. In previous messages we have shown that Love:
1. Is Longsuffering and Kind.
2. Does Not Envy and is Not Jealous.
3. Is Not Proud, Arrogant or Self-Sufficent.
4. Does Not behave itself in a Rude, Inappropriate, manner.
B. We shall now see that Love is Not Selfish and does Not Demand It's Own Way.
I. True Christian Love Is The Very Opposite of A Godless Selfish Spirit.
A. When man Sinned in the Garden of Eden, he fell under the Power and Government of Self-Love.
1. As God created man, he was Exalted, Noble and Generous.
2. Now, he is Debased, Contemptible, and Self-Centered.
B. Immediately after man had sinned, his Mind Shrank from its Original Greatness and Expandedness --- to Exceeding Smallness.
1. He Shrank into a little dimension of Selfishness, to the Exclusion of Everything and Everybody else.
2. Man Forsook God and retired within himself, becoming completely Governed By Narrow And Selfish Principles And Feeling.
3. Self-Love became Absolute Master of his soul.
C. However, God Is Merciful and put into action His Work of Redemption.
1. The Gospel of His Son brings man out of his Confinement back to the Noble and Divine principles with which he was created.
2. It is through the Cross of Christ that this is accomplished and we are brought into a Union With Christ --- whereby we Participate In His Very Nature.
2 Cor. 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
1 John 3:2, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." --- V. 9, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."
2 Peter 1:4, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
II. True Christian Love IsNot Contrary To All Self-Love.
A. It is Not something Contrary to Christianity that a man should Love Himself.
1. If Christianity did destroy man's Love For Himself and his Desire For Peace and Happiness --- it would Destroy The Very Spirit of Humanity which God created.
2. It would make Redundant the announcement of the Gospel as "Peace on earth and good-will toward man." (Luke 2:14).
3. Why Would God Promised peace and good-will toward man if it was a Sin For Him To Enjoy Them?
4. If man does not love himself, How Could He Find Happiness From Godís Blessings upon him?
5. That Which Man Does Not Love (self), He Cannot Find Any Happiness In --- you can only find happiness in that which you love.
B. God has made our Self-Love the Rule and Measure by which we are to Love Others.
1. Matt.. 19:19, "... Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
2. It is Not said "More" than thyself, but "As" thyself.
3. If we are to Love God First and then our Neighbor Next To God --- We must also Love Ourselves Next To God.
C. Through out the Scriptures God Motivates us with Promises and Threatenings to Love Our Self.
1. What Power would there be in God Threatening Judgment upon us for our disobedience if we did Not Love Ourselves Enough To Want To Escape Godís judgments?
2. What Motivations would there be in Godís Promises of Blessings if we do Not Love Ourselves Enough To Even Desire Godís Blessings?
3. "Self-Hatred" Is A Hatred of What God Created.
D. Thus, we see that "Sinful Self-Love" does Not consist in our Love For Our Own Happiness.
1. The Change that takes place when a man is Converted and Sanctified does Not Diminish His Love For Happiness.
2. However, it does Regulate the Courses and Objects that it may Use To Obtain This Happiness.
3. If our Love For Happiness is Diminished by our Salvation then Happiness Itself will also be Diminished.
E. Again --- when God brings a soul out of a Miserable Condition into a Happy State, at the point of Conversion --- He Does Not Diminish His Love For Happiness.
1. When a Christian Grows In Grace, he is made still More Happy.
2. His Love For Happiness Does Not Grow Less As His Happiness Itself Increases .
III. True Christian LoveIs Contrary To All Inordinate Self-Love.
A. Inordinate Self-Love Consist of Two Things:
1. It has become Too Great (Excessive) Comparatively.
2. The Source of its happiness is Confined To Self.
B. First, If A Man Loves Himself Too Much In Proportion To His Love For Others --- It May Be Inordinate Self-Love.
1. However, this may Only Be Proportionate because of a Deficient in his Love For Others rather than too much love for himself.
a. Man Cannot Love Himself Too Much If There Is A Proportionate Love for God and his Fellowman.
b. It is not that he loves himself too much --- it is that He Loves God And His Fellowman Too Little.
2. Before The Fall, man loved himself and his happiness, as much as he did after the fall.
a. However, before the fall, Divine Love had the Throne of his heart --- by which it Regulated and Directed self-love.
b. Since The Fall, Divine Love is no long on the throne and therefore does Not Regulate or Direct his self-love.
c. Therefore it is Easy For Self-Love To Become Inordinate in what Influences it and how it is Governed.
3. In many respects Wicked Men Do Not Love Themselves Enough --- Not nearly as much as the Godly do.
a. The have No Regard For Their Eternal Welfare And Happiness.
b. It may even be said that they Hate Themselves and are bent on Self-Destruction.
C. Second, Self-Love May Be Inordinate If It Is Placed In Things, Which Are Confined To Himself To The Exclusion of Others --- Selfishness.
1. The sin is not so much in the Degree of his Self-Love as it is in the Channel in which it flows.
a. He is Limiting or Confining his happiness to things which Benefit Him And Him Alone.
b. This is the type of Self-Love that the Scriptures Condemns:
Phil. 2:21, "For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christís."
2 Tim. 3:2, "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,"
The Phrase Used In This Verse Is Very Confining. It Means, "Limited To Self Alone, And Excluding All Others."
2. True Christian Love will find Happiness in Helping and Promoting Others.
He not only is seeking his own happiness but is willing to Take Others Alone With Him.
3. A man may long for and Seek His Own Happiness and yet At The Same Tim Love God.
a. If the happiness he longs for comes from Enjoying God, Beholding Godís Glory, and Holding Communion With God --- He is not only loving himself, He Is Loving God.
b. He is truly Placing His Happiness In God.
IV. True Christian Love Is Contrary To A Selfish Spirit.
A. True Christian Love Will Cause Us To Seek To Please And Glorify God.
1. Christianity requires that we should make God our Top Priority.
Gal. 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
Phil. 1:21, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
Or, Are We Like --- Phili. 2:21, "For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christís."
2. We should live so as to Please God.
Eph. 6:6, "Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;"
1 Cor. 10:31, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
3. This is a Spirit which is the Opposite of Self-Seeking.
B. True Christian Love Will Have A Spirit To Seek The Good of Our Fellowmen.
1. Love leads us to seek not only our own things, but the Things of Others.
In many cases, Love will cause us to Forego or Part With our own things For The Sake of Others.
2. We should be willing to Totally and Freely Renounce our own Temporal Interest for honor, glory and advancement of the Kingdom of God.
Paul --- Acts 21:13, "Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus."
3. We should also be willing to Renounce our Own Private Interest for the Good of Our Neighbors.
1 John 3:16, "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."
4. Phil. 2:4, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."
We should seek the Spiritual Good of Others --- their Happiness --- their Salvation.
5. 1 Cor. 10:24, "Let no man seek his own, but every man anotherís wealth."
a. We should seek Their Pleasure --- Their Profit ...
b. Why? --- 1 Cor. 10:33, "Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved."
c. Rom. 15:2, "Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification."
C. True Christian Love Manifest A Sympathizing And Merciful Spirit.
1. It Esteems The Circumstances of Those In Need As Their Own.
a. A Selfish Spirit will make Much of the Afflictions that He Himself is under as if his sufferings were Greater Than Those of Anybody Else.
b. A Selfish person is Not Apt To Discern the wants or Needs of Others --- he overlooks them.
2. True Christian Love Will Notice the afflictions of others and be Filled With Concern as though he Himself were under such difficulties.
a. He is Ready To Help them --- he Delights in Supplying their needs.
b. Col. 3:12, "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;"
3. True Christian Love is a Liberal Spirit.
Heb. 13:16, "But to do good and to communicate (share with) forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased."
Gal. 6:10, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
D. True Christian Love Causes A Person To Be PublicĖSpirited.
1. A Man of Love does not have Narrow and Private views --- He is greatly Interested and Concerned for the Good of His Community.
2. God Commanded The Jews that were carried away Captive to Babylon, to Seek The Good of That City, though it was not their native homeland.
a. Jer. 29:7, "And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace."
b. True Christian will cause a man to be Willing To Sacrifice For The Sake of His Country and its improvement.
c. The Jews recommended a man to Christ for healing because he Loved Their Nation and had built them a synagogue.
Luke 7:5, "For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue."
3. True Christian Love will also cause Magistrates, in authority, to:
a. Have real Care and Concern for the Public Good the same as a Father of A Family has for his household.
b. Be watchful against Public Dangers.
c. Use his powers for the Promotion of The Public Benefit.
d. Not be governed by Selfish Motives in his administration.
e. Not seek to Enrich Himself through his office or position.
f. Not seek Greatness by advancing himself.
g. Act for the Welfare of All to whom his authority extends.
4. Can we Truly say that the World Is Better For Our Living In It?
V. Evidences That True Christian Love Is The Opposite of A Selfish Spirit.
A. The Nature of Love in General.
1. True Christian Love Seeks and Promotes the Interest and Welfare of Others.
2. Selfishness is a principle that Contracts the heart and Confines it to self.
3. Love Enlarges it, and Extends it to others.
B. The Nature of Love in Peculiarity.
1. True Christian Love is Above The Selfish Principle.
2. All, except True Christian Love has it foundation in Selfishness.
a. Natural Man loves those persons and things that he Can Control For His Own Benefit.
b. Self-Love is the Springboard from which Most Friendships Begin.
(1) We have Received Benefits from others,
(2) They have shown Gratitude or Appreciation for things we have done.
(3) They have Shown Us Kindness.
c. Sometimes we are drawn into friendships because of Qualifications or Talents a person may have --- from which We May Benefit or Profit.
3. Most Natural Love arises from this principle --- What In It For Me?
Matt. 10:39. "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."
4. True Christian Love is Above Self-Love and Supernaturally seeks the welfare and interest of Others.
a. It does spring From Self --- therefore it dos Not Tend To Self.
We love Others as we love our Self.
b. It delights in the Honor and Glory of God, for His own sake, and not merely for the sake of Self.
c. It seeks and delights in the good of men, For Their Own Sake.
d. It even goes out to Our Enemies --- the Unthankful --- the Evil --- even to those who Hate and Injure us.
5. True Christian Love is directly Contrary to the tendency of a Selfish Principle --- It is entirely Above Nature.
C. The Nature of Love in Particular.
1. Those who truly love God, do so in such a way as to Wholly Devote Themselves to God and His services.
2. This is the Sum of The Ten Commandments.
Mark 12:30-31, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."
Lev. 19:18, "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD."
John 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."
John 15:12, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you."
3. Christ even Loved those who were His Enemies.
Rom. 5:8-10, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." --- V. 10, "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,"
If we love others as Christ loved us --- Our love for them will Not Depend Upon Their Love For Us.
D. You Were Not Made For Yourself --- you are neither the Author nor the End of your own being.
1. There Is Another who hath Made you and Preserves you and Provides for you.
2. It is upon Him that We Are Dependent --- He has made us For Himself.
a. 1 Cor. 6:19-20, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Godís."
b. 1 Peter 1:19, "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"
3. As we are not our own --- nothing that we have is own own:
Abilities of mind and body --- Outward Possessions --- Time --- Talents --- Influence --- Comforts .....
1 Cor. 4:7, "For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?"
4. Everything we have is for the Glory of God and the Benefit of Mankind.
E. All Christians are united together in One Body.
1. 1 Cor. 12:13, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."
2. Romans 12:5, "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."
3. Can you imagine the Hand, Foot, Eye, etc. doing only that which is For Its Own Advantage.
F. If we are selfish and make our private interest and Ourselves Our Idol --- God will Leave Us To Ourselves and allow us to promote our own self interest to our hearts content. --- and See Where It Gets Us.
G. If we are Not Selfish and seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness --- He will make Your Interest And Happiness His Own Responsibility.
1. He Is Infinitely More Able to provide for and promote us Than We Ourselves Are.
2. The Resources of the Universe move at His Bidding.
Heb. 1:3, "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;"
1 Cor. 3:21-22, "Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;"
There Is No Second Chance After Death!
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