In Love with Self, Not God

Ephesians 4:17-19 ESV

“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.”

They Call it Love

Many people today are confusing lust with love. They call it love when it is actually lust. For it has nothing actually to do with loving anyone, and it is totally based in self and in the flesh and in what the flesh desires, and in what makes the flesh feel good. It is being called love when how someone looks or feels or smells makes the flesh of another feel good. But that is all centered on how one person makes another feel, not on loving others.

Many people are building relationships with others totally on how that other person makes them feel emotionally and/or physically and then they want to continue to feel that emotion. So if that emotion dies out in one relationship they will try to find it in another, and if that one fails to satisfy that feeling, they will go to another. Or some people are going to pornography or to sexually charged and/or romantic movies to feed their lust for that feeling.

Especially if they are feeling down emotionally and/or depressed or if they are feeling lonely they will feed their flesh to make it feel better. They may fantasize about past relationships or about someone present in their lives, or they may have an extra-marital affair, or view pornography, or do something sexual to gain attention for themselves. Or they may self-gratify, which is having sex with oneself. But it is all about feeding one’s own flesh.

But they are the immature, the foolish, the self-indulgent, the addicted who are totally just thinking about themselves and what they want regardless of what that does to others or to their spouses or even to their children. And so they do foolish things and cruel and hateful things to others just to feed their own flesh and to protect their own addiction so that they can continue to feed their own flesh unhindered. This is called slavery (addiction) to sin.

For their own flesh has become their god which they worship and bow down to. They are devoted to gratifying their bodily appetites and they freely indulge in sensual pleasures. This can involve outrageous conduct and indecent behaviors, even in public, and it can lead to acts of violence and abuse against others, particularly against the weak and the vulnerable. And this is completely selfish without thought for how this will harm others.

You Must Not or No Longer

If we are truly in Christ, by God-given faith in Jesus Christ, this is to not be the way that we live, living for the sensual pleasures of our flesh to please ourselves even at the expense of others. If this is how we once lived, we are to no longer live that way. Living for sin and for sensual pleasures, especially to the harm of others, is to have no part in the life of a true follower of Jesus Christ. For, if that is how we live, we will not inherit eternal life with God.

For the grace of God instructs us that we must say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and that we must live self-controlled (not out-of-control), upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return. If we want to come after Jesus, we are to deny self, take up our cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) Jesus, for if we hold on to living to sin and to self we will not have eternal life with God (see Luke 9:23-26).

For, you cannot walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh and according to the Spirit at the same time. The two are opposed to each other. So, you can’t honestly claim faith in Jesus Christ and the hope of eternal life with God if you are still addicted to living in sin and for the sinful pleasures of the flesh without regard for God or for his commands or for who you are hurting in the process by your prideful and rebellious spirit (Gal 5:16-21).

Ephesians 4:20-24 ESV

“But that is not the way you learned Christ! — assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

And here we have the other part of the problem. We have teachers of the Scriptures and preachers and authors of books telling prospective believers in Jesus, and those professing faith in Jesus Christ, that all they have to do is believe (undefined) in Jesus and their sins are forgiven them and they now have heaven guaranteed them when they die regardless of how they live their lives on this earth. So they are giving people carte blanche to sin.

Some of them are taking it so far as to tell them that God no longer requires repentance (the forsaking of and dying to sin), obedience to his commands (New Covenant), and submitting to him as Lord of our lives. For they teach that Jesus does it all and that we do nothing other than “believe” which is not really explained other than as a mere acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, of his forgiveness of our sins, and of his promise of eternal life.

But Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven (Matt 7:21-23). And the apostles taught the same thing that we must turn from our sins and we must walk in obedience to our Lord and to his commands (New Covenant) or we don’t have salvation from sin and the hope of heaven when we die.

[Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:28-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Rev 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23]

So, if you are being told that a casual acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice for your sins secures you heaven when you die regardless of how you live while you are still on this earth, then you are being lied to. That is not how you should have learned Christ and should have been taught the gospel of our salvation. You should have been taught the truth that is in Christ Jesus and not the lies, but sadly the lies are what are permeating the church today.

For the truth in Jesus is that we are to put off our old self, which belongs to our former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. For this is the essence of the gospel message that Jesus and his apostles taught, that we must die with Christ to our old lives of sin, be born again of the Spirit of God, and now walk in holiness and in righteousness in the power of God living within us.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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