Sin Is Selfishness

October 28, 2015

                                              Sin Is Selfishness

We do well to ask ourselves, what is sin?  The more we analyze the question, the more we come to the conclusion that sin is selfishness.  It is obvious that selfishness is sin, but we can also say that sin is selfishness.  The command of Jesus is that we should love God.   In Mark 12 30 he said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Selfishness is self-love.  The more I love myself, the less love I have for God.  When I knowingly do something that I know isn’t the will of God, I selfishly choose my own will.  To sin is to do my will instead of God’s.  It is to say, “In this matter at least, I’m going to do what is most pleasing to me.” Isn’t that selfishness?

The Bible says in Exodus 20:5 “I the Lord thy God, am a jealous God.” Don’t take that in the wrong way. Some might think that God is being selfish.  He is the Supreme Being and deserves the best.  At the same time, he loves us.  He proved that by being willing to send his only Son to this world to suffer and die for us.  What he asks of us is for our good.  He wants to make us happy.  Luke 6:38 tells us that we can’t out give God.  “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” If we love God the way we should we will have no problem in giving God what he asks of us.

Sometimes God asks us to make a sacrifice.  It isn’t always easy.  There are times when we need to deny ourselves of our fleshly appetites.  Colossians 3:5 says we need to put them to death.  “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” There are other fleshly desires that aren’t sinful, such as hunger, but we need to put limits on them.

Some people reject Christianity because they say it is too judgmental.  They don’t want to be restricted.  They think that if they become a Christian they won’t be able to do what they want to do.  They want to make their own decisions about what is right or wrong.  Most laws aren’t made just to put limitations on us.  They are to protect and promote the peace and well-being of others.  We all share in that.  To disobey the law is selfish.  It is to think about what is to our advantage.  Other laws, and especially God given laws, are for our own well-being.  If God says “Don’t do it,” you can be sure that there is a reason for it.  There is something of selfishness in every sin we knowingly commit.  To tell a lie, for example, is to deliver ourselves from embarrassment or guilt.

Satan was the first sinner.  He sinned even before the creation of man.  Isaiah 14:12-14 shows that he had selfish motives for doing it.  “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!   For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:    I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

Satan came and tempted Adam and Eve.  Selfishness was what motivated them to sin.  They had God’s permission to eat of all the trees in the Garden of Eden except one.  Eve said to herself, “That not right.  I’ll taste of that one too.” Maybe she couldn’t see why there would be anything wrong with eating of that tree.  Satan convinced her that God was unjust in prohibiting her from eating of the tree.  Just because we don’t see why there should be anything wrong with doing something doesn’t justify us in doing it if God has said “Don’t do it.”

The truth is that every time we sin we are guilty of being selfish.  Jesus showed us the way to victor over sin when he was agonizing in the garden of Gethsemane.  In Matthew 26:39 we read that he said to God the Father, “Not as I will but as thou wilt.” Our selfish, stubborn will needs to be surrendered to God’s will.  James 4:7 tells us that’s what we need to do.  “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

The first step in surrendering to God is taken when we come to him in humble repentance for the many sins we have committed.  Then we ask him to forgive us and make us one of his children.  I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” John 1:12 says that we become a child of God when we believe on Jesus.  “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

After we become a child of God the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us. This we learn from Romans 8:11-13.  “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.   Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.   Galatians 5:16 says, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” By the power of the Holy Spirit we can submit our selfish will to God.  It is not a once and for all act.  We will need to do it again and again.  Every time we are faced with a temptation we can resist by saying “no” to the flesh. As we walk in the Spirit we are being transformed.  II Corinthians 3:17-18 says, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.   But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” If we take into consideration the verb tense in the Greek, this verse is saying that “we are being changed.”

Brothers and sisters in Christ, are you being changed? It is a satisfaction to know that we are gaining victory over our selfish nature.  Don’t let your old selfish nature continue to control you.  Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

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