Summary: A. Knowing Yourself B. Diagnosing The Real Problem C. Tracing Your Family Tree D. Understanding Your Roots
III. FOUR WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR SELF-IMAGE.
A. Knowing Yourself.
Many Christians seek pity, understanding, and compassion from the pastor and their fellow church members, but they are not looking for answers.
QUESTION: When can we say to our world that Jesus is the answer to their deepest needs?
ANSWER: When Jesus becomes the answer to the deepest needs and longing of those who claim to be the followers of Jesus.
1. Revelation 3:17. "You say. 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."
God sent His Son into the world as the solution to the human dilemma as He defined the human dilemma, not as we have defined it.
Jesus is the answer, but we have not asked all the questions.
Jesus meets human needs, but we have not viewed our needs through the eyes of God.
2. Looking at your heart.
Humanistic psychology defines many human needs, but at closer examination, it is merely dealing with symptoms.
Jesus got to the very heart of the matter.
"Look for yourself and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin and decay."--C.S. Lewis
3. Sin and grace.
Those who are the most pessimistic about human beings are the most optimistic about God.
4. Avoiding self-knowledge.
It is a characteristic of our human nature to avoid getting to know ourselves because of what we might discover hidden within the depth of our hearts.
The pursuit of self-knowledge is an endless task. We never arrive at the place of being fully aware of the depth of sin that dwells within our hearts.
B. Diagnosing The Real Problem
1. Romans 7:18 "For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out."
2. Romans 7:24 "O wretched man that I am!" (KJV).
Meditate on those words, and you will see the apostle Paul didn't have a problem--he considered himself to be the problem!.
3. Philippians 3:4-8 "If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, in regard to the Law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ."
4. We are the problem, and Jesus is the solution!
5. Answers are not found in the World
C. Tracing Your Family Tree
QUESTION: "Who am I?"
The Bible identifies us with Adam. When we look at him, we will know who we are.
1.1 Corinthians 15:22 "For as in Adam all die."
2. Romans 5:12 "Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin".
D. Understanding Your Roots. (Adam is in us.)
The rebellious nature of Adam also was born in us. We became sinners by experience.
1. We have sinned!
a. Ephesians 2:3 "We are the children of wrath, totally unable by nature to grasp the things of the Spirit of God"
b. 1 Corinthians 2:14 "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them. because they are spiritually discerned".
c. Psalm 51:5 "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me."
d. Genesis 8:21 "...every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood."
e. Romans 7:18,19 "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature".
f. Romans 7:21 "So I find this law at work: when I want to do good, evil is right there with me."
2. Adams Fall.
When Adam fell into sin he took his eyes off God and focused upon himself. In this way, he became lost because he chose to separate himself from the source of his identity, his God.