Sunday, June 13, 2010

What is Sin - Part 7 : Making Yourself Look Good

WHAT IS SIN?
Part 7 - Making Yourself Look Good
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


INTRODUCTION

We have talked about pride, judging, murder, anger, resentment and lying...today, we are going to look at making yourself look good.

Now I am not talking about doing your hair, wearing makeup or brushing your teeth.

But I am talking about your service to the Lord.

You call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ, a servant of the Most High.

But are you seeking praise for Him...or yourself?

Matthew 5:13-14
13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
 14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”

How does salt (follower) lose its saltiness (the Word)?   When it is watered down.

When God is watered down, (His Word) in your life, that Word is USELESS.

You are the light of the world!  Not hidden, but on a hill to draw others to “the city”.

What city?  The KINGDOM of GOD...

Matthew 5:16
“... Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

We are called to draw others to God, not ourselves...
John 1:4
“In him was life, and that life was the light of men.”

You see, all that is good, our light, is Jesus...and what the Lord does, even though it was through you, He MUST receive ALL the GLORY!

When you pick a beautiful and perfect apple from the tree, do you say, “Wow, that branch is an awesome branch, what a great apple it made?”

No. The tree made the apple, not the branch...if you cut off that branch, it would wither and die, you could not take it home to produce more fruit, but the tree would continue to create fruit on other branches.

John 15:5-6
 5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”

Jesus is the Vine and we are but a branch...

John 15:1-4
 “1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

Jesus says, “Remain in me...then you can bear fruit.  If you do not remain in me, you will wither, and be thrown into the fire and burned...”

For those who believe once saved, always saved...listen to Jesus here!

He is speaking to one who WAS in Him producing fruit, but he did NOT REMAIN IN HIM, and was cast into the fire.

One of the ways we do not remain in Jesus, is by taking credit for His fruit produced in our lives.

I have a question for you today...
Are you stealing the Lords credit?   Have you, the branch, left the vine to seek your own glory?

Seeking one’s own glory, to make oneself “look good”, is a form of pride, better defined as conceit, or narcissism.

A narcissist has a love or admiration of himself.  Narcissism is a psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem. 

It is a mental disorder characterized by extreme self-absorption, an exaggerated sense of self-importance, and a need for attention and admiration from others.

Why is this a sin?  Because by definition, narcissism is the EXACT OPPOSITE of modesty, sacrifice and unselfishness, which are character traits of God’s children.

Are you preoccupied with yourself?

Does the world seem to revolve around you?

Do you lack empathy for others?  “Don’t come to me for pity...”, “I don’t feel sorry for them...”, “They got what they deserve...”

What a sad case it is, what if Jesus treated you the way you treat others?

Because, the way you treat others, IS the way you treat Jesus.  Jesus Himself said so...”What you do to the least of these, you are doing to me...”

He also said, “Come close to me and I will come close to you...”   Are coming closer to Christ, or moving further away when you act this way?

Has your self-absorption led to an exaggerated sense of self-importance?  Thinking often times that you are better than others.

Do you seek attention and admiration from others?


If so, you are sinning by making yourself look good, and stealing the credit that belongs to Jesus Christ alone!

SCRIPTURE READING

1 Corinthians 3:10-15
10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss...



I.                   THE FOUNDATION IS CHRIST...AND NO OTHER
a.      We build upon Christ our rock, the only foundation
                                                             i.      not on man
                                                          ii.      not on “the church”
                                                       iii.      not on ourselves

b.     All other foundations are sand, and will not withstand the storms
                                                             i.      Matthew 7:24-27 24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

c.      Everything we do, must be IN HIS NAME!
                                                             i.      to bring Him glory
1.      Romans 11:36 “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.”

2.      Ephesians 3:21 “to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”


3.      Hebrews 13:21 “equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

                                                          ii.      to bring Him praise
1.      Acts 12:23 “Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down”

2.      Revelation 19:5 “Then a voice came from the throne, saying: "Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!"

                                                       iii.      to bring Him honor
1.      1 Timothy 6:15 “God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.”

2.      Revelation 5:13 “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!"

Who is the only one that should receive the praise, the honor and the glory?

The Lamb who sits upon the throne!


II.               WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE LOOK GOOD?
a.      Matthew 6:1-41"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
 2"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

                                                             i.      When you give...in who’s name are you truly giving?
1.      Are your acts of righteousness for the Lord, or to bring you praise and glory?
2.      Who is it you are truly trying to magnify and exalt?

b.     Matthew 6:5-8 5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
                                                             i.      When you pray...for whom do you pray?
1.      Are you praying to the Lord, or so you will get praise and honor from others for being so “holy”
2.      When you speak to the Lord, do you use many words to sound more holy?  Or babblings (unknown tongues) to impress listeners?
3.      Who is it you are drawing people to?  The Lord or yourself?

c.      Matthew 6:16-18 16"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
                                                             i.      When you fast...who are you fasting for?
1.      Are you fasting for the Lord...or so others will see your “dedication”?









III.            JUDGMENT IS AT HAND, AND ALREADY HERE
a.      1 Corinthians 3:10-15 “I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”


CONCLUSION

If you belong to the Lord, you will be called and present at the first resurrection, and stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ at the First Judgment.

Revelation 22:11-13
11Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy."
 12"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

2 John 1:8-9
8Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.”

2 Corinthians 5:10
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

What are you doing in your body these days?

When you appear before Jesus Christ and His Judgment Seat, will you receive many treasures that He has reserved for you in haven, or will all you worked for in your life be burned up because you did things for selfish reasons or wrong motivations?

Are you building upon Christ, or yourself?

Are you preoccupied with yourself all the time?

Does the world seem to revolve around you?

Do you lack empathy for others?

Do you seek attention and admiration from others?

If you said yes to any of these...your are a branch that has separated from the Vine.

Apart from Christ, you will perish and all you lay claim to will be destroyed in the fire, including yourself if you do not return to Christ, and make Him your foundation again.

You MUST repent of your self-seeking, self-praising narcissistic behavior, and return to TRUE humility, which never seeks any attention for themselves, but points everything towards Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:1
 1"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

Matthew 6:19a, 20a, 21a
 19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth...

 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven...

21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

What are the treasures on earth?  Acts of righteousness before men to receive praise...

How do we build our treasures in heaven?  Giving the Lamb upon the Throne all praise, honor and glory, that only He is worthy of!