Morning Messages

THE SELFISHNESS of SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS

The Holy Spirit’s definition of the title is this. You don’t want it, but you don’t want anyone else to have it either. The it is salvation through Jesus Christ alone.

The Pharisees in Jesus’ day had this title down to a science. They rejected Jesus and everything He taught, and sought to teach others to do the same. For three years they opposed and hated Jesus and His message of salvation. They held to their religious views and rejected anything they thought interfered with their positions as Israel’s spiritual gurus. For years they controlled the people by placing heavy legalistic rules and laws on them. Burdening them with laws they themselves weren’t able to keep. Then Jesus shows up with a message of love and forgiveness, a breath of fresh air for a lost and broken people.

Religion is the most selfish demonstration of self righteousness. Why else do we have so many different kinds, when there’s need for but One? That’s what started the plotting to get rid of Jesus back then, the religious leaders said all the people were flocking to Him. They were losing their significance, their authority over what they assumed was exclusively theirs. But they failed to understand that there are only two kingdoms: The Kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. There’s One God and One Mediator between God and man. His Name is Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5. Of Jesus Christ and His finished work of reconciling us back to God, John the apostle wrote this.

“Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices shouting in heaven: “The kingdoms of this world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.” Revelation‬ ‭11:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Everything through Jesus is about making one body of believers. Everything through religion is about power. But the greatest demonstration of power is restraint-Which Jesus showed us every day of His earthly life. He showed restraint when Pilate told Him he had the power to release Him or crucify Him. John 19:10. The verses below show us what His restraint produced for us.

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” Ephesians‬ ‭2:14-16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Have you ever wondered why some religions are so threatened by Jesus’ followers?  Why we’re among the most persecuted religious group worldwide? Notice I didn’t say Christians, because every religion considers themselves to be Christians today. So why do you suppose that is? My guess is that it’s the only faith that actually boasts a leader who died and rose from the dead, and the only faith that actually transforms lives by faith in one Name alone, Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t come to overthrow a government or religious groups, He came to redeem mankind by offering up His own life, no other religion has done that. He also came teaching an upside down message of love. Not love for only those who follow Him or love us back, but for everyone. 

The selfish and self righteous crowd, hated that approach. Love and Grace over law was unacceptable. Servanthood over being served was not the way to go of those seeking rank and recognition. Doing things out of order, like healing on the sabbath was frowned upon. Bondage over freedom was the  more acceptable religious thing to do. Just think about it. Which other religion offers freedom as a choice? Grace over works? Love over an eye for an eye? Even if they promote themselves as a religion of love and peace, there are more rules and laws that you’d lose track trying to keep them all. 

The confidence we have in Christ, the freedom and love knowing Him brings to a life cannot be earned. Moreover, we couldn’t afford the cost of one drop of His blood. As believers in Jesus Christ, we don’t think we’re saved -we know. We’ve freely received His grace and mercy and we have an obligation to give it away as well. We don’t think Jesus is the only way, we know it! If every religion is willing to die for what they believe, then we should too.

We’re not self righteous, we’re not selfish, we’re not arrogant, we’re confident, and convinced that Jesus Christ is the only path to God.

The selfishness of self righteousness is an affront to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It offers no hope at all. Jesus told that group that they go through a lot of trouble to make one convert, but ended up making them worse.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” Matthew‬ ‭23:15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

That’s what self righteousness produces. Anything that begins with “self” should be avoided at all costs. It pretends to have your best interest at heart, but it really doesn’t. Look closely and you’ll see a well laid trap. As long as you go along, and  follow the rules you’ll be alright. Re-read the gospels, highlighting every time you see selfishness and self righteousness. You’ll be amazed. But it’s nicely packaged to look like caring. How did you get healed? Who did it? Who told you to? What did He say? If He were one of us He would’ve or wouldn’t have. If it’s promoting self, run. If it’s promoting man, run. If it’s lifting up God without Jesus, run. Jesus said these words.

“Jesus said to him, “I Am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” John‬ ‭14:6-7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“I and My Father are One.” John‬ ‭10:30‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Any religion that denies what you just read, is built on man’s selfish desires to promote himself above the One True and living God and His only Son Jesus. Jesus never demanded or forced anyone to believe in Him. He simply lived and taught a lesson of love and forgiveness, but mostly He lived it. That’s what we’re called to do as well. There’s no greater message than our lives. We should never have an air of selfishness or self righteousness in our witnessing for Christ. We have no need to. The message of the cross is enough.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John‬ ‭3:16-19‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Anyone 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. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them.” 2 John‬ ‭1:9-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Written by permission of the Holy Spirit 

W. Tennant 

It’s time to pray🙏

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