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Self esteem or Christ esteem?

If the crucifixion is not included in our presentation when preaching on salvation, then we are not explaining we are as sinners and why Jesus died. People cannot know the essential reason why they need a savior or even how to be saved from their sins. How can one repent of sin when they are not taught what sin is or how they have been affected by it? If we neglect the subject of sin how does a belief in Jesus help. The very reason He came was to rescue us from the common disease that all humanity shares in - sin.

The modern gospel, which is not the good news is used to boost man’s selfish condition to a better state, it is like spiritual humanism. We have replaced the cross with making people feel good about themselves, or self improvement tips which have nothing to do with growing spiritually. Anyone can have positive thinking, Christian or not, but only Christ commands us to carry the cross; to die to self so we can do God’s will. Today it is about finding and fulfilling our own dreams, your wants and desires. We have these before we followed Christ and we can carry them over after

The new liberal gospel gives one confidence of their self, it endorses what they are already doing. The ancient gospel was about God forgiving our sins; the “new gospel” is ALL about us - our wants, our desires, and our dreams being met.  The ancient gospel was about our need as sinful men to receive a righteousness that is not our own; the “new gospel” is about self - improvement.  The very thing Jesus said we must lose to have the spiritual life is what many preachers offer as the spiritual life. We receive the life more abundantly as we grow in knowing the person the gospel focuses on. We are not to depend on our power, strength to carry us, but His. This means we must lose our self-reliance. Self must be crucified to live a spiritual life.

The modern gospel has no self-sacrifice, no surrender of self to find the will of God. Instead, self and its desires are focused upon, enhanced. This is why this new gospel attracts so many people, and the ancient gospel repels those who are perishing. It sounds like foolishness to those who cannot surrender and exercise faith.

Mark 2:17 “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” You must see that your human condition is being bankrupt, without hope. We all share in this. One can have an abundance of material blessings and be bankrupt in their spirituality. The only church that Jesus said was rich materially was poor, blind, and naked in her spirituality - Laodicea. He’s knocking on their door today.

Until we are willing to admit we are not as good as we think we are and see ourselves as God does, in a damaged condition because of sin, we can’t apply the cured. Sin cannot be minimized; God became a man and died a most violent death on the cross to heal us. Christianity’s focus is about the Lord not about us. But to focus on the Lord we must die to self so He can He change us to be more in His likeness. If we die to our self, we are given the power to live unto Godliness. The more we become God reliant the less of ourselves, our old nature will come out and be displayed. That is what being filled with the Spirit is about.

Since we are already complete in Christ, the answer is not that we need more of the Lord, He needs more of us. Our part is to surrender to Him. For this to be accomplished, we need to focus less on our self, our desires that lead us away from doing His will. The simplicity of a relationship with Jesus has been muddied by so many false promises. Our desire to have more of Him is realized when we give Him more of us, by surrendering our life into His hands, this is how we are filled with the Spirit and He has control in our lives.

Jesus said, “Assuredly I say to you unless you are converted and become like little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus is telling us to be God-dependant, like a child is with his parents, absolutely dependent on them for everything. This dependence admits that we are weak in ourselves, we cannot solve our problems -- we are dependent on the strength of Christ. As our self dies daily, the life of Christ takes over and rules over our fallen nature. We begin to become spiritually minded in a world of darkness. We see things differently. We are in the world but not of it. And we affect the world, the people around us as we shine the light that Christ has given to us freely

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