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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Adrian Rogers » Adrian Rogers - The Crucifixion of King Self

Adrian Rogers - The Crucifixion of King Self

Adrian Rogers - The Crucifixion of King Self
TOPICS: Selfishness

Be finding, if you would, Philippians chapter 2. I want to talk to you today on this subject, "The Crucifixion of King Self". There is a cruel despot that wants to rule over your life and keep you in bondage. He is, beyond the shadow of doubt, your worst enemy. And if you want to see more about him, go look in the mirror. His name is Self, King Self. His throne is the human heart. His kingdom consists of three people: I, myself, and me. He comes from a dynasty. It began with Adam and it continues on down to this present age. Self wants to rule in your heart.

Now let me tell you something. When Self is on the throne, Christ is on the cross. When Christ is on the throne, Self is on the cross. There needs to be a crucifixion of King Self. Now his majesty, King Self, was born a king. He came into this world wanting to rule, wanting self-attention. He cried when he was yet a baby and wanted to be served. Like it or not, we're all by nature self-centered. Now you may think that your problem in life is your weakness. Your problem in life is not your weakness; your problem in life is the strength of King Self, who is ruling over you if you've not yet put King Self to death. Now, with all of this in mind, I'm here to tell you that we need a complete change of thinking. What we need is a mind transplant. Not a brain transplant. That's not possible, but a mind transplant is.

Let's look in Philippians chapter 2 verses 1 through 11, "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, any comfort of love, any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels of mercies, fulfill ye my joy that ye may be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind". Underscore that, "of one mind," everybody having one mind. Wouldn't that be unusual for everybody here in this building to have one mind? "Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind," underscore that again, "in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things," that is, with King Self ruling, "but every man also on the things of others".

Now, watch this, "Let this mind," there it is again, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that, at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, things in earth, things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father".

Now, I've said in order to deal with King Self, what we need, really, is a new mind. We have to have the mind of the Lord Jesus. Not a new brain. If you do what I tell you to do, and what God's Word urges us to do today, it's not going to increase your IQ, but, oh, my brother, my sister, it will change your life. Now, what is the mind of Christ? What is the mind of Christ as over against the machinations and the despotic rule of King Self? I want to tell you three things about the mind of Christ. I'll spend more time on the first one and less time on the second two, but, first of all, the mind of Christ is a selfless mind, a selfless mind.

Look again in Philippians 2 verse 4 to 6, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others". Underscore the word others. "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him," listen to this, "the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of man". Now, the purpose of life is this: it is not about you; it is about God, and God wants to use you to be a blessing. Now, a purpose-centered, a purpose-driven life is not a self-centered life. Most of us, by nature, are self-centered. Most Americans are self-centered, and on top of that, they're proud of it. As a matter of fact, they value self-centeredness. And, it's good to have a good self-image. You need a good self-image, but churches today are not talking about having a good self-image. Many churches today really are talking about self-centeredness. Theology has migrated into me-ology. It's all about me.

Now, again, I want to say there's nothing wrong with having a good self-image. As a matter of fact, I hope you do have a good self-image. Having a good self-image and being self-centered are two different things. A wise man has said, "There is nothing so empty as a self-centered life, and there's nothing so full as a life centered in the Lord Jesus Christ". Now, Madison Avenue and those who market know the power of self-centeredness tell us, "You owe it to yourself". "You deserve a break today". "Have it your way".

Now, friend, that'll sell hamburgers. The booksellers know it. You go into the bookstore today and, and look at books in this genre, and you're going to find out that all of these books are talking about success, self-esteem, realize your potential, be the best, be fulfilled. The social engineers know it, and that's the reason we have the problem of abortion. They speak of what? A woman's right to choose. Now, they never finish the sentence; to choose what? To choose to kill a baby. Now people say, "Well, we're not going to have this baby". You already have this baby. Your choice is whether you're going to have a dead one or a live one. That's hard, but it's true. What is most abortion today rooted in in America? King Self, Queen Self on the throne. Why do we have the divorce epidemic in America today? I'll tell you why.

The number one reason is a man, a woman says, "I owe it to myself to be happy". May I say, you owe it to yourself to keep your holy vows before a righteous and a holy God, that's what you owe! You owe something to your children. But we are a self-centered society. And even the church today is trying to make God in man's image. And, as I say, churches have become a self-service cafeteria line. Now, the purpose of the purpose-driven life is not to find our freedom, but to find our Master. And when we find our Master, when we are abandoned to Him, for the very first time we will find our freedom, for as we read in John 8:36, "If the Son shall make you free, you'll be free indeed". Now, the passage that I read to you was taken from the book of Philippians that was written to the church at Philippi, a very wonderful church, but there was some division in the church. And so, Paul is writing to these people to be likeminded.

Look if you will in Philippians 2 verses 2 and 3, "Fulfill ye my joy that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory". Now, God have mercy on us when we're not of one mind. God have mercy upon us when a church is filled with strife and vainglory. What causes strife is vainglory. What is another word for vainglory? Pride. And pride causes strife, and strife causes division, and what Paul wanted was a unified church. Now, what was the reason for the division? Pride, vainglory; King Self is on the throne. Now, what is the answer to this? Look at it again, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory," verse 3, "but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man on the things of others".

Now let me say again when I'm talking about King Self, I'm talking about an old, sinful predisposition to sin and selfishness and pride. I'm not talking about a good self-image. Humility is not thinking bad of yourself. You are the righteousness of God in Christ. God made you. God loved you. You are somebody in the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, we're to be like Christ. Was Christ humble? Indeed, He was, the very Lord of glory, but was He clothed with humility? He was. Sometimes when you want a good time of meditation, take your Bible and turn to John chapter 13 and read slowly how Jesus is washing His disciples' feet. Here He is, the Lord of glory. The Bible says in John 13 verse 3, "And Jesus, knowing that He had come from God, knowing that He is going to God, knowing that the Father had committed all things into His hands".

Is that a good self-image? You better believe it. He's come from God, going to God, and all things are in His hands. The Bible says in John 13 verse 4, "Then He laid aside His garments, took a robe, girded Himself, and washed His disciples' feet". Knowing He's come from God, going to God, all things are in His hands, He is washing His disciples' feet. I'll tell you there's one thing you'll never do, and, friend, that is to look down on somebody while you're washing their feet. It's impossible. It's impossible. Here He is, washing the smelly, dirty feet of fishermen! The Lord of glory! That is humility. Not thinking lowly of yourself. Knowing who you are, and yet thinking of other people. It is a selfless life. Not King Self on the throne. Now the key word is others.

Look at it if you will here in verse 4. Look at it clearly, Philippians 2 and verse 4, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others". William Booth founded the Salvation Army. He was getting up in age, and he was a little feeble. They were having a grand convention. They said it would be wonderful if William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, could come. He couldn't come. They said, "Well, send us a letter". He wasn't able to do that. "Send us a telegram". He sent a one-word telegram. Do you know what was on it? One word, "Others". Others. That's what it's all about! Others! It's not about you; it's about God, and, therefore, through God it is about other people.

Have you ever thought about the "one another" commands in the Bible? Let me give you some. I'm going to go through them real quickly; I want you to jot them down. Talking about how we're to deal with others. For example, we are to love one another. These are what we would call reciprocal commands, the "one another" commands. Listen to this, John 13 verse 34. Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another". This not a suggestion; it is a command. It is the last command that Jesus Christ gave before His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. Friend, you don't need a bumper sticker, or a fish on your car, or a cross around your neck, or a lapel pin to show that you're a Christian.

Jesus said in John 13 verse 35, "By this shall all men know that you're My disciples if you have love one for another". That's the mark of a Christian! It's not optional, but it's not automatic. If it were automatic, He would not have given the command. You must choose to love one another. We're to love one another. Do you love? Number two, we're to receive one another. Put this verse down, Romans 15 verse 7, "Wherefore receive ye one another". Why? "As Christ also received us, to the glory of God". When you come to church, do you receive everybody? We're to receive them. You know, this church at Philippi was an unusual church. If you see how the church got started, do you know who made up the church at Philippi? The intellectual apostle Paul had about the equivalency of a triple Ph.D., a brilliant man.

Look in Acts chapter 16 and read verses 11 through 34. There was also a jailer and his household that had been converted. There was also a demon-possessed girl who had been saved and was a part of the church. And there was also, in this church there at Philippi, a lady whose name was Lydia. She was a traveling saleslady. And together they became the nucleus of this church. You could not get a group with much more disparity than this group, and yet they all had the same mind. Now, even when people don't understand all of the faith, when people are weak in their theology, that doesn't mean they're to be excluded. That means they're to be included all the more. Romans 14 verse 1 says this, "Him that is weak in the faith, receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations". That is, don't argue with him about the difference between Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum. Receive him! Receive him. The paraphrase Living Bible gives it something like this, "Receive a brother into the church, even if he scarcely believes Christ can save him".

Now, we're not here to cause people to jump through all these kind of hoops before they can come into the fellowship. Who needs the fellowship but babies in Christ? We are to receive one another. And why do we receive them? We receive them because Christ has received them. And I want to tell you there is plenty of room in the family for these. Now, that doesn't mean we're to receive heretics. It doesn't mean that we're to receive willful sinners. The Bible says in Second John verse 10, "If any come unto you and bring not the doctrine of Christ, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God's speed".

Friend, you can have a soft heart; you don't have to have a soft head. But we are to receive people. Not only are we to love one another, receive one another, listen to this, we are to greet one another. When we have this little time of fellowship and we greet one another, do you do that? Or do you just kind of stand there like this? Well, if you're a new Christian, we're going to give you a chance to grow. But if you're an older Christian and you haven't learned how to receive one another, you're missing a blessing, and others are missing a blessing. Listen to First Corinthians 16 verse 20, "All the brethren greet you, greet one another with a holy kiss".

Now, when I tell you to shake hands, you ought to be glad that I don't tell you to kiss. The Bible says we're to, "Greet one another with a holy kiss". Well, have you ever been kissed in church? I have plenty of times. If you go to the Middle East today, they'll still kiss you. I took my father overseas, and I introduced him to a friend in the Middle East, and he kissed my father on both cheeks. My father, who'd never been overseas before and didn't know a lot about Bible customs, backed off. He said, "Well, that's the first time that's ever been done". But he was kissed on this cheek and kissed on that cheek. That was a custom, a custom in Bible times.

Well, you say, "Pastor Rogers, are we to be biblical, therefore. We're to kiss one another"? No, you're missing the point. The Bible says in Romans 13 verse 7, "Render custom unto whom custom is due". What is our custom today? To shake hands. It's the same thing. Ask what this means today. How does this apply to us today? It means that we are to receive one another. We'll find some way to demonstrate our love and our welcome. It should be personal. It's not just simply singing a welcome song. The radio can't do it. Television can't do it. The pastor cannot do it from the pulpit. You must do it! Not only personal, it is to be impartial! A great church is a church where everybody is somebody and where Jesus Christ is Lord. It is to be thoughtful.

Now, friend, be careful. Our challenge as a church is to stay small as we grow. We're to keep our church, not program-centered; I thank God for our programs, but people-centered and relational-centered. And we're to create a climate for growth. Listen, evangelism is as much caught as it is taught. Loving churches grow and growing churches love. Sometimes people say, "Well, I don't believe in a big church. I want a little church that's friendly. Big churches are not friendly". Well, now, let me ask you a question: how do you think they got big, by being unfriendly? Think about it. No! In a big family there's plenty of love. But we need to be thoughtful and wise. It's a myth that large churches are cold. But, friend, they've taken surveys to see what makes a church grow. Do you know what it is?

Number one, number one, it is friendliness, the key factor. We are to receive one another. We're to do it personally. Everybody who comes in needs a touch. They need a handshake. They need a smile. They need a look, a word! Love! We need to tell your face about it. I led a man to Christ in another church. He said, "I came to your church. I wanted to criticize," but he said, "I watched people walking out of the service, one service before I went into the next". He said, "Every one of them had a smile on their face. They looked like they'd been chewing lotus leaves". That's what the man said to me. Whatever chewing a lotus leaf will do for you. I've never chewed one. But he said, "I saw the radiance of Jesus Christ on the face of these people".

Listen, learn to laugh, learn to smile. It's more important to influence people than it is to impress people. I have learned from my study of crowd psychology and what people say that people make up their mind the first 12 minutes they come to a church building whether they like it or not. I mean, after then, you've lost your opportunity. The first 12 minutes! Now, what you're going to do? You ushers. How many ushers? Lift your hand. Now, listen, I want to tell you something. An usher may be more important than these dudes sitting on the platform. Who is more important to you when you go out to the airport, the president of the airlines or the person at the ticket counter? The person at the ticket counter, not the president of the airlines. You may not ever even meet the president of the airlines. Chances are you will not. But you'll deal with that person at the ticket counter, right? You walk in this church. These ushers.

Now, if an usher looks like he's been weaned on a dill pickle, that may be the very first impression that you're going to get of this church. You sit by some person who claims to be a member of this church and treats you coldly and indifferently. Friend, I want to tell you, we need to receive one another. People want to be wanted. They want to be welcome. But they don't want to be watched. They don't want to be stuck out. And we need to practice non-judgmental love. That doesn't mean we accept or approve the wrong things they do. In John chapter 4 verses 1 through 25, Jesus did not accept or approve what the woman at the well did. This woman had been married five times and was living with a man that wasn't her husband. But Jesus loved her and Jesus ministered to her and cared for her. Church, this is a needy world. And our ministry is to others. We're to receive one another.

Number two: we're to care for one another. First Corinthians 12 verse 25, "That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one for another". You're to care for me. I am to care for you. There's no room in a church for arrogance. There's no room in a church for envy. There's no room in a church for rivalry. There's no room in a church for selfsufficiency or disunity. God put you here not to be served, but to serve! To minister to others. And we're to endure one another. You say, "Well, you don't know some of the members of this church like I do. If you knew them, you'd feel about them like I feel about them".

Well, now, listen, Ephesians chapter 4 verse 2, the Bible says, "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another". Forbearing. Well, let me just change that to enduring one another. Now, we're not all lovely. If you don't believe it, go look in the mirror. I used to think that a perfect church was a church where everybody was a mature, Spirit-filled believer. That's not a perfect church. That's a failing church. A perfect church is where there are baby Christians. Would you say that r a perfect family is a family where they are all parents and grandparents and no babies coming in? No. If at all possible, we're made to reproduce and to keep our family going that there might be a godly seed. And so, some of you this morning are baby Christians and you have to endure certain things with babies. You've had any around your house you know what I'm talking about.

Now, we're also to forgive one another. Ephesians 4 verse 32, "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you". How many of you've been forgiven? Now, what right do you have, therefore, not to forgive one another? God has quickly, willingly, gladly, gracefully forgiven us. We're to forgive one another quickly and genuinely and completely. Now, that's what a Christ-centered life is like, the mind of Christ. It is of others. Now, what is, what is King Self like? What are the marks of a selfish life? I want to mention some, and I want you to jot them down. Here's the profile of King Self, this king who is your worst enemy, who rules over the kingdom of selfishness. King Self has self-will. Remember Lucifer said, "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God".

Five times in that passage in Isaiah chapter 14, he says, "I will, I will, I will, I will, I will, I will". That was his mark. What did Jesus say? "Not My will, but Thy will". There're two ways of living. The mind of Self, I will; the mind of Christ, Thy will. Satan said, "I will ascend". Jesus said, "I will descend". He stepped out of Heaven and came to this earth. King Self is self-willed. Now, you want to be like Jesus? Listen to John chapter 5 verse 30. Jesus said, "I seek not My own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me". And would you say, "O God, I want Your will. I want Your will". King Self is self-willed. King Self is self-seeking. Self lives for its own pleasure, pride, and glory. What did Jesus say in John chapter 8 verse 50, "I seek not My own glory". "I seek not My own glory".

I can remember playing sports when if you did something good, you just kind of bowed your head and you didn't strut. It all started with "The Mouth of the South," Mohammed Ali, who was then Cassius Clay. And now, it's the big thing in sports to strut your own glory. And sometimes that happens in churches. I know church members who can strut sitting down. Jesus said, "I seek not Mine own glory".

King Self is not only self-seeking, he's self-assertive. His three favorite words are: I, me, and my. And he'll turn every conversation to himself. In the South Pacific there's a bird called the Me-me bird. They call it the me-me bird because if you listen to the song of the me-me bird, he just has two words in his vocabulary: me-me, me-me, me-me. I've never seen one with feathers, but I've met a lot of them. I mean, when you talk to these people, it won't be long till they'll be "ME-deep" in conversation. You tell them about your surgery; they'll tell you their surgery. You tell them a joke; they'll tell you a better joke, they think. They turn everything to themselves. They are self-assertive, wrapped up in themselves. They are self-indulgent. King Self indulges himself. He's motivated by selfish desire and not by principle. There's no room for denial in King Self. King Self eats and drinks because he wants to eat and drink.

There was a headhunter for organizations, trying to find true leaders. He said, "How do you determine a true leader? How do you find a man who's going to excel"? Said, "Not by giving him responsibilities," listen to this, "but giving him privileges". He said, "You can get a man to do his responsibilities if you pay him enough, but if you want to see what a man really is, don't give him responsibilities; give him privileges and see how he uses those privileges". A man who will not grow, who's self-centered, will use those privileges for himself. But a man who is a true leader will use his privileges to develop other people. Now, many of us have privilege in the Lord Jesus Christ, but what do we do? We take these privileges and we become self-indulgent. King Self is full of self-pity. He's always licking his wounds, complaining, moaning, groaning. You don't dare ask him how he feels because you'll get an organ recital.

Now, I'm not talking about people who are truly hurting, but I'm talking about those who are constantly feeling sorry for themselves, exaggerating their sorrows. King Self is self-conscious. He's easily wounded. He enjoys a pout. True love is not easily provoked. King Self is self-deprecating. Have you ever heard a person say, "Well, I just know I'm no good. I'm just not much". That's not humility. As a matter of fact, it's one of the worse forms of pride. And these people always saying, "I'm so humble". You watch them. One man said, "Well, at least I'm not proud". A friend said, "Well, why should you be? You have nothing to be proud of". He said, "Oh, yeah! I've got as much to be proud of as you do".

You see how, you see how subtle this thing of pride is. Self-deprecation. Self-exaltation. Again, not people who put themselves down, but who put themselves up. They claim to be self-made men and then they worship their creator. Self-justification. Self, King Self is never wrong. He can give you a good reason for every neglect or every failure. King Self always wants to exact his rights and revenge the wrongs against him, and an apology will stick in his throat. He can't get it out. Self-confidence.

You say, "Well, Pastor, that's one thing we need to develop is self-confidence". No! It's one of the worst things around. Who was filled with self-confidence? Peter, when Peter said to Jesus, "I'll go with You to prison and to death". That was self-confidence that failed him. Something that may sound like self-confidence is not self-confidence. The apostle Paul said in Philippians 4 verse 13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". That's Christconfidence.

Now, all I'm trying to say is that the mind of Christ is a selfless mind. Number two; the mind of Christ is a serving mind. A serving mind. Look in Philippians 2 verse 7, speaking of Jesus, "But He made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him," listen, church! "He took upon Him the form of a servant". Do you want to be like Jesus? Do you want the mind of Christ? We have been shaped to serve! God made you to serve! Jesus came as a servant. The apostle Paul, the mighty apostle Paul, greater than anyone in this building, said of himself in First Corinthians chapter 9 verse 19, "For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all". Paul, a free-born Roman citizen, made himself servants to the Greeks and the barbarians, the wise and the foolish. All were precious to him.

Number three. You say why wasn't number one that quick? Number three, the mind of Christ not only is a selfless mind and a serving mind, but the mind of Christ, therefore, is a sacrificial mind. Look in Philippians 2 verse 8. Here's Jesus, who made Himself a servant. Now, watch this, "And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross". Sacrifice. He laid down His life for us. A preacher of yesteryear, Dr. Jowarts, said, "The ministry that costs nothing accomplishes nothing". Now, many of us are wondering what those other people are going to sign up for. But we don't think the message this morning applies to us.

Now let me tell you, the first sacrifice that is to be made is a crucifixion. And the one who is to be crucified is not Jesus: He's been crucified. He was crucified to die for that old man that we are by nature. And, therefore, we are to die with Him. There is to be the crucifixion of King Self. I warn you, Self will plead eloquently for its life. Self would even make Christ King, if Self can make Self prime minister. We do not want to literally die to our Self.

Romans 7 verse 18, "Now, in me, in my flesh, is no good thing". When I say, "Deny Self," I'm not talking about denying yourself things. Simon Peter denied himself things before he denied Simon Peter. He gave up his nets before he gave up himself. Well, you say, "Pastor Rogers, how am I going to crucify myself"? You can't. You can't. You might get one hand nailed up, but you're not going to nail the other one up. No man has ever crucified himself. Good news. You've already been crucified when Jesus died for you. But now what you need to do is to receive it, to recognize it, to act on it. The Bible says in Romans 6 verse 11, "Reckon yourselves, therefore, dead unto sin and alive unto God". You have to deal with King Self; self-will, self-assertion, self-pride, self-arrogance, and say, "It's not about me; it is about God".

Now, what have we learned? Five things. I was planned for God's pleasure. That's worship. Number two: I was formed for God's family. That's fellowship. Number three: I was created to be like Christ. That's discipleship. Number four: I was shaped for serving God. That's ministry. Number five; I was made for a mission. That is evangelism. Oh, friends, brothers, sisters, listen. When we say, "Dear God, it is not about me; it is about You, and, therefore, about others," what do you think's going to happen to the church? What do you think's going to happen in your family? What do you think is finally going to happen in your life? King Self is a cruel master. Don't let him rule. He was crucified with Christ.

Bow your heads in prayer. Heads are bowed and eyes are closed. And if you're not certain that you're saved today, I want to guide you in a prayer. And if you're absolutely certain that you are saved, would you begin to pray for those who may not yet know Jesus Christ. Now, let's pray. If you want to be saved, pray this prayer:

Dear God, I know that You love me, but I'm a sinner and I need to be saved, for my sin has separated me from You, and my sin will be judged unless I get saved, and I'll be separated for all eternity. I need You, God, and I want You. Jesus, You died to save me and You promised to save me if I would trust You. I do trust You, Jesus.

Tell him that right now.

Lord Jesus, I trust You right now, this moment, in this seat, now. By an act of faith, I trust You. I receive You into my life as my Lord and my Savior. Come in. Take control of my life. I yield my life back to You. Begin now to make me what You want me to be. And help me, Jesus, never, ever to be ashamed of You. Give me the courage to make this public. In Your name I pray. Amen.

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