What Do You Think About Yourself?
This morning we preached on “What do you think about Jesus”. What we think about Jesus matters more to us than anything else in this world. This evening we want to turn our focus on ourselves, and ask our own selves, “what do I think about me?”
Some people have an over inflated opinion of themselves, while some people have an under inflated opinion of themselves. But I would say, that most people in the world as a whole, including believers, think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. This evening we want to consider what lost sinners think of themselves, and then what saved sinners think of ourselves.
1. First, let’s consider what lost sinners think of themselves?
If you are here and lost, what do you think of yourself? Do you think that you are basically a good person? Perhaps you think that you are from a good family, and therefore you are inherently good. Perhaps you think that your nature is basically good? After all, that is what our humanistic society teaches us.
But what does God’s Word say about all men by nature?
1) Our heredity won’t recommend us to God ( Matt. 3:7-10).
Here John the Baptist was talking to those Pharisees who thought they had a pedigree that would surely buy them favor with God. But John said “no sir’ee, it would be easier for God to raise up children out of these stones, than it would be to make children of God out of you.”
2) Our freewill, or the will of others won’t recommend us to God (John 1:11-13).
Beloved, we aren’t born again because of our blood descent. We aren’t born again because of our own freewill. Jesus said “and ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life” (John 5:40). How true that is of the freewill of all men. Man’s freewill “will not come!” We aren’t born again because of the will of others in our behalf. But, we are born again according to the sovereign will and good pleasure of God.
3) Our old nature won’t recommend us to God (Rom. 3:10-18).
Our old nature is unrighteous; it doesn’t seek after God; it does no good at all. It is full of cursing and bitterness, it is bloody and destructive. It knows not the way of peace, and it has no fear of God! And beloved, this is what God said about all of mankind by nature.
4) But “don’t all people have a spark of goodness in them to seek after God”?
All men by nature are spiritually dead in their sins (Eph. 2:1-3). All men by nature follow after this sinful world, and after Satan. All men by nature fulfill the lusts of sin, and are by nature the children of wrath. All men by nature are weak, ungodly sinners, and enemies of God (Rom. 5).
Lost sinner friend, what do you think of yourself? May God help you to see yourself as God sees you this evening. May you see yourself as a vile sinner, in need of God’s mercy and grace. We say this because we love you, and desire to see you saved by God’s grace. But you won’t be saved until you see yourself a sinner, in need of a Saviour.
2. Secondly, what do we as saved sinners think of ourselves?
The truth is, once again, we all are inclined to think to highly of ourselves.
1). The Bible teaches us that we aren’t to think too highly of ourselves (Rom. 12:3).
The old nature that we still have inside us, is still just as proud as it always was. We have to guard against that old pride all the time. It wants to rear its ugly head every time it gets a chance. But the Word of God exhorts us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. That doesn’t mean we have to put ourselves down all the time. But we need to remember, that we are what we are by the grace of God!
We are to esteem others as better than ourselves (Phil. 2:2-5). If we all could truly have this kind of mind, what a blessed and loving, and gracious place our church would be. I believe our church is a loving and gracious place, and this must be the reason why!
So then, let us never think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. This is a warning to believers against getting puffed up in the old flesh. Who is prone to do this? We all are, and so we are all admonished not to think too highly of ourselves.
2). Secondly, we are not to think that we stand in our own strength (1Cor. 10:11-12).
In light of the fact that Israel, God’s chosen nation, continually sinned against God, let us be careful not to think we can stand in our own strength any more than they could.
What a great danger this is beloved, to God’s people! If we are not careful, we will try to live the Christian life in the power of the flesh. If we are not careful, we will forget that we only stand in the grace of God (Rom. 5:2). We cannot stand in the power of the old sinful flesh. And when we fall back into living in the flesh, we are headed for a fall! He that thinks that he stands in the flesh, take heed, because you will fall!
So then, let us never think that we can stand in the strength of our old flesh. This is another warning to believers against getting puffed up in the flesh. Who is prone to doing this? Once again, we all are!
3). Thirdly, we are not to think of ourselves to be something when we are nothing (Gal. 6:2-3)
This is speaking of one who fails to see any flaws in their own moral character. Those who cannot see any flaws or frailties in themselves, are not understanding and compassionate toward others when they falter.
This is a great evil, beloved, when we cannot bend down to help a fallen soldier because of our pride and self-righteousness. We need to be careful! Yes, when we get to thinking that we are something, and that we have no flaws, then we need to see that we are nothing!
We are no good, or use to anyone as long as we elevate ourselves above them. May the Lord bring us down to see that we are no better than anyone else. May the Lord show us once again, that we are nothing apart from His grace! This is another warning to believers against getting puffed up in the flesh. And who is prone to doing this? Once again, we all are!
In conclusion, if you are a lost sinner, may God show you what you are by nature. May you come to think that you are a lowly sinful creature in need of His grace. And as a lowly sinner, may the Lord reveal Jesus to you this evening. May God show you Jesus dying on the cross for your sins. May He show you Jesus buried in the tomb, and rising again from the dead the third day for you!
As saved sinners, may we not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. May we never think we stand, or that we can live the Christian life in our own strength.
And may we never think that we are something, when we are nothing apart from God’s grace. We’re not better than that brother or sister who stumbled and fell. We’re no better by nature than anyone else, sinner or saint! We only are what we are by the grace of God. Paul said in 1Co 15:10:
“But by the grace of God I am what I am…”
May God help us all to remember this truth about ourselves this evening.