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From Apprising Ministries

http://apprising.org/2008/08/12/the-real-truth-about-your-true-self/

Excerpt:

The Way To Life Is Death…To Self

So there’s the sad situation of your evil “true self,” and mine. This would be a tragic story indeed if this is where our loving and merciful Creator left it…but He didn’t. God came into the world in Christ and lived the life of perfection required to be in His awesome presence. What you need to understand here is that the Lord isn’t some kind of cosmic meanie demanding perfection just for the sake of perfection. No, the LORD God Almighty literally cannot have evil in His presence so our Creator Christ Jesus Himself paid the unspeakably awful price on the Cross for those who will believe and thus become God’s children (see–John 1:12).

This is written to exhort you that rather than looking around in Christian bookstores for silly little self-help books that will only tell you want you want to hear, open up the Word of God and read what it says about the true nature of mankind. Because the only way you will ever come to know the absolute Truth about the only God (see–John 5:44) is to go the way of the Cross. And what happened when someone went to the cross? Did they go discover their “true self”? Or maybe this precious gift of being themselves while nailed to the cross would then lead them on the “sacred call to self-discovery”? No, they went there to die and by so doing they ceased being themselves. And the Master already said to you – “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24).

There are at least two things that now come emerging here. The Christian Church in America isn’t producing “seeds” because it simply refuses to go to the Cross and die. And unless we tell people the real truth about our evil “true self,” which I have just shared with you here from the Bible, they will never be driven by the Spirit of God to that Cross and cry out:

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

(Romans 7:24-25)

And the real truth is that telling people what they want to hear is killing them…forever…

Link also HERE

Back in the 70’s I was fully immersed in the self-help decade. I had drifted from the Lord and was seeking to improve my sin-riddled life. (without repentance)  I read Erich Fromm’s “The Art of Loving”, and “I’M OK–YOU”RE OK”  by Thomas Harris. I relied on “strokes” for my mental well-being…but my life spiraled downward into an extremely destructive path.

The teaching of Jesus is so radically different than the teachings of the world or of philosophers.

 ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he’s the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.'”

Please read ” The Starting Principle of Discipleship” by John MacArthur.

Here are a few excerpts.

“This is pure gold, biblical gold. Maybe better, this is a diamond of truth, clear and brilliant. The subject is following Jesus, verse 23, “If anyone wishes to come after Me.” This is a text about how to come after Jesus, how to follow Jesus, how to become a Christian, how to be saved, how to be redeemed and born again. That’s what it’s about, it is critical teaching.”

“So, in the new gospel if you want to be saved, you cannot believe yourself to be an unworthy sinner. How twisted is that? How contrary to the truth is that? But it is that man-centered, self-esteemed gospel that was picked up by the number one disciple of Robert Schuller, Bill Hibles[?] and translated into the seeker-friendly movement which has hijacked evangelicalism. It’s a kind of quasi-Christian narcissism, self-love which is characteristic of false teachers, according to 2 Timothy 3, where it says, “Dangerous seasons will come, for men will be lovers of self.” And Christianity has become a “get what you want,” rather than a “give” movement. The divine intention for the gospel has been prostituted. The glory of God has been replaced by the satisfaction of man. Abandoning your life to the honor of Christ has been replaced by Christ honoring you. It’s all twisted and the real gospel is no longer in vogue.”

“So you want to come after Jesus, do you? So you want to follow Jesus, do you? It will just cost you absolutely everything. Oh the Lord might not take your life, He might not take all your money, He might not take your family or your spouse, He might not take your job, but you need to be willing if that’s what He wants. You need to be desperate enough to embrace Christ no matter what the price.”

Full sermon HERE

The Offence of the Cross (1932)
by T. Austin-Sparks

 

It is a perfectly obvious fact that wherever the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ has been most faithfully preached and presented – while bringing hope and new life to many – it has almost invariably been the cause of trouble.

Wherever it has gone it has aroused antagonism. As it was a stumbling-block to the Jews and an absurdity to the Greeks in the first days, so, ever since, it has been unacceptable, not only to the men of the world as such, but to the religious communities also. This we unhesitatingly affirm to be as true today as ever, in spite of the fact that it is the most popular symbol in the world. There is hardly a city in Christendom where the architecture, galleries of art, collections of literature and conservatoires of music and religious institutions do not declare to the world a certain regard and honour for this sacred sign.

This may be a tribute to something deeper but it is that deeper thing which is absolutely unacceptable to the greater part of Christendom and the world.

It is found necessary even in certain phases of some missionary enterprise today to eliminate from the text-books and hymn books the mention of the Cross lest it offend.

Much of the preaching and teaching in the Christian Church is either confined to the “Historic Jesus”, which presents a Crossless Christ, or gives a very modified meaning to His death. And yet it is surely necessary to get rid of the Bible before we can get rid of the fact that it unites in all its parts to declare that the Cross is God’s Way of salvation, God’s sufficient and God’s only way.

Read full article HERE

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