Get Over Yourself

Dispute of Jesus and the Pharisees over tribut...

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Mark 2
15While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the “sinners” and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and ’sinners’?”17On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

I once posted a blog posting titled “Not for the Healthy” and I listed this passage along with some others. I wrote this post because I had this discussion with someone who had taken the doctrine of election to a point of no return. The person spoke as if we should be selective in who we preach the Gospel to. It was as if we could know whom God has chosen. But as I thought about the Pharisees that Jesus was making this statement to, plus the surroundings of these sinners a light came on. The light was like that of a kitchen light revealing the deeds of roaches. The light that came on for me was scary and haunting as the Holy Spirit illuminated the scriptures. In order for me to turn this light on for you I will have to list a few scriptures first. Please read them slowly. At the end I will summarize it all and you will see the harshness of the truth of God as it relates to our gift of salvation

Romans 1:18-20 and 28-32

18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Romans 2:1-11

1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?

5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God “will give to each person according to what he has done.”[a] 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism.

Romans 3:9-12

9What shall we conclude then? Are we any better[b]? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;

11there is no one who understands,

no one who seeks God.

12All have turned away,

they have together become worthless;

there is no one who does good,

not even one.”[c]

Romans 5:12-13

12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.

I know that the above scripture is a lot to take in but once you do can you see it? We have all sinned and there is no good in us at all. We are born sinners and do not seek after God even though He has revealed Himself to us. Instead we form gods that look like us who do not judge us or condemn us to justice being served. With that type of foundation, were is our righteousness? Where are our standards of goodness if we never respected them nor acknowledged them. Some will say but I know some “good” people who don’t believe in GOD. My question to you is who’s standard of “good” are you going by? Your’s? or a holy and righteous God? See, we forget that God looks at the heart not the deeds or actions. But then you say, why do Christians say do good deeds? True Christians do good not for salvation but because they love God. If you love your mother don’t you show her your love? It is this idea of us being “good” that can lead a person astray. When a person who feels that they are good become a Christian, more than likely they have a tendency to feel that they have some extra goodness or righteousness. They feel that they made the right choice and chose Christ. Their salvation then becomes centered around their decision. As life goes on and they run into trials and tribulations, they find it hard to overcome. It is hard for them to gather the strength to climb the mountain because they still depend on themselves and their abilities. This is nothing that I am making up, it is based on my very own experiences as a young foolish Christian. This is the life of a powerless, hopeless and helpless Christian running off a empty tank of gas. This is a Christian who has blind faith hoping on his faith in his choice and his righteousness. He is hoping that his goodness and good behavior has in some way caused God to add something to his holiness account. During trials, this type of young Christian has faith that God will deliver him because God owes him. He feels that he has earned his blessing because of his acts of goodness. These acts are done out of a heart of covetousness, idolatry, pride, greed, and lust. In other words his heart is self righteous and self centered.

No Boasting

John 6:35-45

35Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

41At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

43″Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44″No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.'[d] Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.

Ephesians 2:1-10

1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Deuteronomy 7:6-10

6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. 7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. 10 But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.

Deuteronomy 8:1-3 and 11-18

1 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers. 2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

Romans 3:22-28

22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

27Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. 28For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.

Romans 9:14-21

14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,

and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”[f] 16It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”[g] 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ “[h] 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

Romans 12:2-4

2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,

I never realized until 10 years ago that my self righteousness robs God. My self reliance robs God more than the tithes ministers ask for so you can be blessed. Self reliance/self righteousness steals God’s glory and it defecates His glorious grace. To God, our standards of goodness are as filthy rags…
Yet, there are super Christians who brag and boast. They urge others to be like them so they can be bless just like they are. Never do they say be Christ like, which incidentally what it means to be Christian. Romans 8:28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[j] who[k] have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

God chose us and not based on anything that we have done. It was by His grace that He chose to save me from His justice as well as any other Christian out there. So if it is God who saves and it is God’s free gift of salvation, then it is God who preserves His elect. John 6:39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. It is why He has given us God the Holy Spirit, that He will been with us as Jesus was with the disciples. The Holy Spirit is our advocate, our defense, and our comforter. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit, the renewing of our minds and the regeneration of our hearts do we fight against sin. If we hope to overcome sin on our own, we will lose every time.

12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Titus 3:4-6
4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,

So can the Word of God be any clearer? So why do we boast? We only rob God of His glory and ourselves of God’s love and the help of the Holy Spirit.
So as we look at the scripture from Mark 2:15-17, we come to this conclusion. If you feel that you are basically good, righteous, not that bad, not bad as them, not like the others, have a good heart, socially conscience and all the other labels our culture creates for those that are healthy…. Christ didn’t come and die for you. Christ didn’t come to reconcile you back to God. Christ didn’t come revealing the Father through Himself for you. Christ didn’t hang on the cross for you. Christ wasn’t obedience unto death for you because you think that you are good. The cross of calvary is crazy talk to a self-righteous man. A good person cannot understand why they need a Savior. To accept and submit to the Gospel is to submit to the truth of your absolute sinfulness. Your absolute weakness and inadequacy to redeem yourself. To accept the Gospel is to put to death yourself and your self reliance.

Luke 9:23-26

23Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? 26If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

To bear your cross is to submit to Christ and be publicly known as His follower. To bear it is to be identified with Him and by Him. It says that you are not ashamed of the Gospel, just as it is. You accept it and believe on Christ for your salvation. To be a Christian is not a private matter, it is a personal confession and a publicly affirmation of the truth of God. A true Christian does not run for the cross that has given him life. Nor does he down play Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit that has driven him to the foot of the cross. A Christian doesn’t seek to separate his earthly life from his relationship with Jesus. If you want biblical backing for what I said just read Luke 9:23-26 all over again…

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[c]

20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”[d]

So in closing… get over yourself please before you destroy your soul. I had to, it was a hard thing to do. To come to grips with the truth of God in regards to the state of my soul before I was called out by God. When you understand this and come to terms with the grace of God a new world opens up to you. To be born again takes on a totally new meaning. Your faith, your suffering, your victories and your failures have life and joy. Because when you realize that it was nothing that you did or could do that would have saved you; salvation and the assurance of it is now solid. Not only is your assurance of salvation solid but how you endure and go through trials and tribulations. When you realize that you can’t earn salvation nor can you earn blessings; a yoke is lifted off of you. Your fleshy desire to try an manipulate God is gone and you will have liberty in Christ. Because for the first time in your life Christ is the author and finisher of your faith. So we began to cast off the things that are of this world because they now hinder (Hebrews 12:1-12) us from living out or working out our salvation. Like I said, we work not to be saved but because we are saved (Philippians 2:11-13, Titus 3:1-8, Ephesians 2:9-11, Ephesians 4:11-13, James 2:14-26). But in our working let us not boast as we are only doing what is required of by the Father in heaven (Luke 17:5-10). Know that God chose you, you didn’t chose God because not only that you couldn’t but you wouldn’t as scriptures says. Your season of brokenness is not about the devil and you doing things right; its about God removing your self reliance because you are dependent upon yourself. We are blessed because we bear fruit for God’s glory. When you do that with the little you have God gives more. We can’t bear fruit without Christ working in us and through us. So again on our own we would not bear righteous fruit. On our own we would not glorify God. On our own we are nothing….

God bless you & may the Holy Spirit lead you

Rev. W. R. Martin Jr.
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