Summary: We cannot ’serve’ God until we learn to deny ourselves!
Date Written: November 4, 2006
Date Preached: November 5, 2006
Where Preached: OZHBC (AM)
Sermon Series: Living a Life of Service
Sermon Title: The Service of Self-Denial
Sermon Text: Rom 12:1-2; Mark 8:34-38
For the past several weeks I have been preaching to you about living the life that God has called you to live. We have seen how God has called us to live a life of integrity!
• As believers we are to submit in obedience to the call of Christ,
• We are to act on that obedience in DOING what God has called us to do,
• We are NOT to conform to the world but allow Christ to transform us to His image,
• We are to be willing to confess our sin daily and,
• We are to live our lives in humility before God…
We are called to live a life of evangelism as well. We are called by God’s Holy Spirit to GO, STAND and SPEAK the gospel message of Jesus Christ!
• In going we reveal the consistency of our walk in Christ…
• In standing, we reveal the courage of our walk in Christ, and…
• In speaking, we reveal the communication of our walk with Christ!
Today I want to begin a short series of sermons on another aspect of living the life Christ has called us to live, I want us to begin looking at living a life of SERVICE!
[READ ROMANS 12:1-2 here emphasizing v.1a]
And this morning I want to specifically share with you what I would call the SERVICE of self-denial and how it is a spiritual service that is essential for you to life that life Christ has called you to live!
We know that Jesus lived a life of total self-denial and humility before God. He calls us to be like Him and be conformed to His image… we are called to deny ourselves and to be humble before God!
In fact, we can look at the life of Jesus and see that He set the example and taught us what KIND of life we were to live, if we wanted to be His disciple!
[READ Mark 8:34-38 here emphasizing v.34 and denying oneself]
This morning I want us to look at 3 keys that we can learn about the service of self-denial for the believer…
1. Self Denial is KEY to Conquering our sin (Mark 8:34-35)
Now the Bible is very clear on the subject that humanity is sinful and that we are fallen and broken vessels. The Bible bears this out in many passages.
In the OT we find, “…All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way…” Isaiah 53:6 (NASB)
We can also find in the OT where King David confesses, “…I have gone astray like a lost sheep…” Ps 119:176 (NASB)
In the NT we can read, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Rom 3:23 (NASB)
In fact there are many other passages that reveal the total depravity of the human condition before God! It is because of the fall in the Garden that sin entered into this world.
And because sin entered into this world through Adam… sinners are WHO we are, it is our nature… we have a rebellious and sinful nature about us…
However, this is why Jesus came into the world… because we have a sin nature and there is NOTHING we can DO to cleanse ourselves of the sin in our lives. Jesus came to bring salvation to His creation and to conquer the power of sin over our lives… and without the sacrifice of Jesus’ death on the Cross, we would be helplessly and hopelessly lost…
To come to Christ we first must be drawn by Christ to Himself. In John 6:44 Jesus tells us that NO MAN comes to the Father except I draw him…
So I want to make this perfectly clear to ALL who are sitting in this place this morning… the sin in our lives can only be conquered by the shed blood of Jesus Christ – there is NOTHING we can do on our own to redeem our standing before God!
You must understand that you cannot come to God by making things right and ‘cleaning up your act’… if you try that you will NEVER reach God. God demands a sacrifice and Jesus paid the price for our sin.
But as God demands a sacrifice for the redemption of sin… Christ also demands a sacrifice of all those He calls into the Kingdom and for sin to be truly conquered and stay conquered in our day to day lives, we must deny ourselves…
Self-denial is the key to the conquering of our sin, you simply cannot rely on yourself… you have to DENY yourself! You have to come to the realization that you are TOTALLY powerless against sin and the death grip it has on your life… you have to accept the fact that all you can do is MESS up your life and make things worse…