Over the past several years, I’ve noticed this growing trend of self-love. This concept is a long-celebrated idea in the culture, but it’s now even a celebrated idea in the church. Most of these sermons use passages of scripture that are taken out of context and are applied far beyond their intended purpose; Satan is good at his job because in order to create a counterfeit doctrine, it has to look like a real doctrine. But the bottom line is this: Self-love is simply a sanitized version of selfishness. So today, we’re going to view the bankruptcy of the self-love doctrine and expose its lies.
Key Takeaways From This Episode
- First, it is important to know that the Bible never mentions the idea of self-love or self-care. It mentions self-denial, suffering, hospitality, loving others, thinking of others greater than yourself, preferring others above yourself, self-sacrifice, and selflessness.
- Now Jesus isn’t calling us to self-hate, He’s calling us to self-denial.
- What that means is the first and initial act of Christianity is the opposite of self-love and self-preservation. Actually, if you love yourself, you can’t accept Christ; Self-love is the prevention of the recognition that you need Christ. If you’re worth loving without Christ, why do you need Christ?
- We need to remember that “saved by grace” means that God didn’t have to save you. We don’t deserve salvation. We deserve hell. That’s what makes the Gospel so incredible; We’re not lovable, yet Christ loved us.
- We have too high a view of ourselves; We often think, “You know, I’m pretty lovable.” Or “I was worth dying for.” Or “I don’t sin that much.” Now, if we’re going to be logical, just, and fair, the reality is that we’re not worth dying for. We’re an enemy of God.
- In Christ, we are redeemed. In Christ, our bodies become the temple of the Holy Spirit. In Christ, we are saved. But because we did not save ourselves, we are not to love ourselves, we are to love Christ.
- So how do we truly love Christ? We do as He says and pick up our cross (a flesh-killing device) and carry it with us daily. Kill off your selfish, fleshly desires.
- The cross is an altar, not a massage table, and ultimately, Christ made the cross a necessary part of Christian life and no person can avoid it, even Christ.
- The self-love doctrine sets Christians up for failure and unmet expectations because following Jesus is about self-denial.
- Now, does self-denial mean that we deny caring for ourselves at all? No, there is wisdom in the Scriptures about enjoying the fruits of your labor. There is wisdom on resting weekly for Sabbath. There is wisdom for enjoying your children and spouse and friendships.
- We know that we are God’s children and that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are chosen and highly favored. We are made in God’s image. So please don’t confuse self-denial with self-hate or self-deprecation.
- If you have a harmful and depressed view of yourself you have an incorrect understanding of who you are in Christ. When you recognize who you are in Christ, you will see yourself as He sees you and you will see others how He sees them. You will not think too highly of yourself but you will not think evil of yourself either.
- We don’t need to worry about loving ourselves, because we have a God who loves us and dwells in us. We simply need to be faithful and stay in a devotional relationship with Christ and His love for us will overflow in us and through us.
- 1 John 4:8 says, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
- Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
- Luke 14:25-27 “Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, if anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”
- Matthew 16:24-25 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
- Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- Galatians 5:16-21 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
- Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
- Ephesians 5:28-29 “So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.”
- 2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
- 1 John 3:1 says, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”
- Allie Stuckey- The Myth of Self-Love
- J.C. Ryle Prepared to Stand Alone and Holiness
- Banner of Truth Discount Code: realchristianity
After watching or listening to this episode, what is your opinion? Do you have any questions or comments? Maybe you have something to add to the discussion? If so, let us know in the comments below.