Today’s message summary of July 8, 2018 from Pastor Gus Brown:
When you measure yourself against Jesus Christ, you realize that there is much to consider about who you really are.
Who are you? What should you be? The measure of who you are against Jesus Christ begins with His Word and its application to your life.
Are you where you would like to be, or is there room for improvement? (I’m sure that the answer is “yes.”)
The only one that can do the most effective self-evaluation of you is you. Others may have an opinion of you, but that doesn’t mean that they have the entire story as to who you are.
Why are you to examine yourself?
Let us examine and probe our ways, and turn back to the Lord.
Look at all of the things that you do, and honestly determine if they are things that are rooted in the spirit of God, or if they are worldly things. If they are not of the Lord, then they are not pleasing to Him, and you are to seek after Him to live according to His will.
2 Corinthians 13:5
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you? –unless you fail the test.
2 Timothy 1:11-12
For this gospel I was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher, and that is why I suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.
Paul took a look at himself because of the suffering that was taking place in his life. He was suffering because of his role of service as an apostle and a teacher. His life for Christ brought about his suffering. He wanted to understand why he was going through it all. After he looked into this, he was convinced that Jesus was guiding and directing his life as he was learning more about Christ. He knew that his life was in God’s hands.
If you never take a good look at yourself, you will never desire to do any better than what you are doing now.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.”
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.
You have to determine where you are on your personal growth chart.
Your self-evaluation will determine whether or not you, as a believer, is continuing to live according to the flesh.
Are you a Christian who is living in carnality? (Carnality is living in such a way where you know what you are doing is wrong and choose not to correct it.)
Are you a Christian desiring to live out your Christian life as a baby in Christ? There has to be an ongoing desire to grow up and mature in your faith.
Are you maturing and growing in your Christian life? If not, there need to be some changes. Please note that Satan does not want you to experience growth. You have to go after it.
“As for the seed that fell among thorns, these are the ones who, when they have heard, go on their way and are choked with worries, riches, and pleasures of life, and produce no mature fruit.
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God’s wrath is coming upon the disobedient, and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. But now, put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices
Learn to keep yourself under the sound of the Word. (This is a conscious effort to go to hear the Word as often as possible–radio, television, podcasts, etc.) You have to get to a place where you want to hear more and more of God’s Word.
So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.
If you are not examining yourself, how well could you really examine others? Where are you in Christ?
The flesh profits nothing.
The Spirit is the one who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
It appeals to the sensual nature of people. It is not a part of God’s influence, and it opposes God.
As for the seed that fell among thorns, these are the ones who, when they have heard, go on their way and are choked with worries, riches, and pleasures of life, and produce no mature fruit.
What the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it.
The mind of a carnal Christian is not on godly things. He has godly knowledge but chooses not to use it. Ultimately, he lives according to the flesh.
1 Corinthians 3:1-3
For my part, brothers and sisters, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, since you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready, because you are still worldly. For since there is envy and strife among you, are you not worldly and behaving like mere humans?
A baby in Christ refuses to grow. It is a choice to remain as a baby. You want adulthood but would rather remain as a child.
1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things.
Peter tells us to add to your faith. It is something that you have to do. God cannot do it for you. Only you can do it.
2 Peter 1:5-10
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. Therefore, brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble.
The mature believers can best communicate the message about Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:6
We do, however, speak a wisdom among the mature, but not a wisdom of this age, or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. Therefore, let all of us who are mature think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this also to you. In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained.
Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.
2 Peter 3:18
Therefore, dear friends, since you know this in advance, be on your guard, so that you are not led away by the error of lawless people and fall from your own stable position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.