Summary: Those things which I believe in, things that take precedence over all matters has become for the most part a point of ridicule by those who seem to control what we need to know.
The majority of the sermons of Rev. Raymond Williams comes from the sermon notes he preached from and are not always fluid.
Living for Christ or Living for Self Interest
If anyone wants to do God’s will, he will know about my teaching, whether it is from God or whether I speak from my own authority (self interest). (John 7:17)
Introduction: There isn’t any doubt that not only the youth of the land are “up tight” but the whole of civilized man.
I listen, heavy hearted most of the time, to what is said about what is going on around us, nationally and on world scope. I read almost everything concerning news I can get my hands on, and I realize that the whole scope of civilization is and or has become self-centered.
Those things which I believe in, things that take precedence over all matters has become for the most part a point of ridicule by those who seem to control what we need to know.
Dr. Shott on a preaching mission to a Northern University tells of a conversation with one of the young professors. The professor told Dr. Shott what he thought was wrong with the intellectual side of Christianity. Dr. Shott, a man of truth, did not hesitate to inform this young professor that if he wanted a change of scope within his life, there would have to be a change from self to unself, a commitment, total and complete to Christ.
Here is the reply, “really, I guess I am very reluctant for this decentralization”.
Dr. Shott stated later when telling of this, “Decentralization is a magnificent modern word for conversion. Nothing less than this will be involved if we commit ourselves to Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord”.
Beloved: Decentralization is indeed a wonderful word for our modern times to tell what actually happens in the Christian life.
You see it is a word we are more or less familiar with as it ais applied as a cure for some of the ills of big business and big government. It has much more meaning as a cure for the deep-seated malady of human nature.
I firmly believe that the inherent selfishness of the race of mankind is the biggest contributing factor to man’s alienation from God.
Man enters this world with self at the center, and as long as this is the case, living for self, man lives in sin.
“Sin is my claim to my right for myself” – Oswald Chambers.
“Sin is self-coronation” – Vincent Taylor
Simply stated sin is denying the crown to Jesus Christ and placing it on self.
I know to claim that the Gospel demands “decentralization of self” is to be classed most of the time as a religious radical.
Beloved: I will not deny that it is a radical demand of the gospel and thus it is the main stumbling block and at the same time the source of the liberation for our souls.
The problems with the “Up Tight” in these modern time is not circumstance of conditions around us, it is with that which lives with this mortal body.
The minimum Jesus laid down for His disciples is found in Matthew 16:24: “Jesus then said to his disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to be a follower of mine, he must leave self behind; he must take up his cross and come with me. Whoever cares for his own safety is lost; but if a man will let himself be lost for my sake, he will find his true self’” You see, Jesus knew that unless man is willing to rule himself out as a factor, true discipleship is impossible.
Now, this decentralization of self cannot come about by direct attack upon the citadel of self. It come as self is transferred to the control of Christ. I illustrate from the quote by John Oman’s stating the opposite to Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose,”. “Not till we learn that all things work for evil to those who love themselves and seek their own pleasure and possessions in the world, can we discover that all things work for good to those who love God and seek His purpose in the world.”
You will notice that Jesus said decentralization of self is to be followed by an experience of the cross. This is a deeper, a separate step into the life of the Spirit. Paul in Romans 8:2-8, states that the carnal mind is self out of center, but still corrupt and diseased.
Notice how Paul is so careful to point out that to be “spiritually minded is life and peace.” Thus the corruption and disease is cured.
Beloved: Salvation becomes full when “we walk in the light as God is in the light, and in fellowship with another, and are being cleansed from all sin by the blood of Jesus Christ, Son of God.” I John 1:7. Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.