Who is the real me? How do I look in the eyes of God? What can be done about it?
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
There was a group called Staind that sung a song called outside the chorus went “But I'm on the outside/ I'm looking in/ I can see through you/ See your true colors/Cause inside you're ugly/ You're ugly like me/ I can see through you/ See to the real you.” These lyrics really touched me as a young man because now as a believer in Jesus Christ I can honestly say that this is the way God see’s all mankind. God understands that apart from Jesus Christ we are ugly. Many people often go on a quest to discover their true self only to discover that their true self is nothing what they expected. Many people lie to themselves and believe that their true self is wonderful. They masquerade the dark deeds of the heart with righteous acts and works. They become humanitarians and devote themselves to helping others and keeping a proper diet but at the end of the day we are all still sinners. We trust our own selves too much and if we just understood the word of God we would understand that we deceive ourselves. Many people are on a quest for self salvation. We believe that there is a certain level of righteousness we can obtain that will ultimately set us free and save us. Romans 3:10 says “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” People aren’t good enough to please God because we have sinned and sin has a price to pay. Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” As people we believe in or own power and ability more than we should. For example, the rich young ruler in Luke 18:18-27 came to Jesus and asked him this “And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” This young man had everything rich, young, and powerful yet he knew inside he was not saved. He asked Jesus how do I get saved and Jesus gives him 5 out of 10 commandments. Immediately the question should arise why did Jesus only give him half of the commandments? Simple, Jesus gave him the commandments that relate to his relationship with other people. Do not commit adultery, do not murder, and don’t lie, don’t steal, and obey your parents. The young ruler’s response was I have done all of these things from a child up. Bingo! Jesus didn’t argue with him about his ability to keep these commandments but he posed another commandment to him which were the commandments that relate to man’s relationship with God. This young man was covetous and had put an idol before God. See the reality is we can be good people and treat everyone well but what about God. Have we desired things more than we desire God and have we put things before him? When I hear the doctrine of we must save ourselves or enlighten yourself to be saved I cringe because I understand that man is replacing the sacrifice of God (which is his son Jesus Christ) with his own personal achievements and that is very prideful. God says of our righteousness in Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthyrags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” We make mistakes we misspell words, we score less than 100% on test, and we sin so therefore we can’t be good enough to save ourselves. 1 John 1:7-9 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Many people reject Jesus Christ and are offended by the cross because it makes a statement. The cross says your sins have a cost but I’ll pay for it and there is nothing required of you to do but believe. The problem mankind has is that it tells them an important truth that they can’t do anything to save themselves and that salvation requires minimal effort on their part. God teaches us that he loved us enough that he gave son for us. Religion teaches that God may have given his son for us but we need to also do a lot of good deeds so that we can get in. Can you see the difference? Mankind always has a way of exalting itself. Our good deeds mean nothing outside of Christ. We as believers do good because of our faith in Jesus Christ not because we want to be saved. We do well because we love Jesus. Our good deeds are counted as righteousness because it is God doing them through us and we are imitating him. It’s not about us it has always been about him. Who is my true self my true self is wicked and my heart is deceitful along with everyone else in this world but I have been born again and now Jesus Christ has become my righteousness and therefore the Kingdom of heaven has been made a permanent home for me in the life to come. Will you receive Jesus Christ today and walk away from self and receive his sacrifice as your salvation?
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.-Matthew 16:24-25
Our true self is "lost sheep" - "We all like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way."(Isaiah 53:6) But the Lord promised - "I live in a high and lofty place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit..." (Isaiah 57:15)
The key: repentance (360 degrees turn away from sin) and rest (trust in God). Your article is needed by many today.