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Thinking Right About Self - Part 2 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
September 25, 2023 12:00 am

Thinking Right About Self - Part 2 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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September 25, 2023 12:00 am

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3).

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Welcome to today's edition of the Baptist Bible Hour, a daily program proclaiming the sovereign grace of God.

My name is James Kenneth. Thank you for joining us. Welcome to today's edition of the Baptist Bible Hour.

So glad that you have joined us today. On today's program, LeSaire Bradley Jr. brings us the second half of a message entitled, Thinking Right About Self. This taken from Romans chapter 12 and verse 3, which reads, For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. We will get started with the second half of this message right after this song. God's love so great, he gave us all. His love so great, his name we call. His love much more than man can tell. Sweet grace and love, while here we dwell. Our hearts are drawn with chords of love. This gift we treasure from above.

An everlasting love it is that draws us to eternal bliss. He rose again, our God supreme. Around his throne someday we'll see. This love for him we feel so strong. We'll ever be in heaven's home. Precious is he to all his gold. Within our hearts his love we hold. He first loved us never in vain. Glory and praise to his great name.

Isaiah chapter 42 verse 5, But saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens and stretched them out, he that spread forth the earth and that which cometh out of it, he that giveth breath unto the people upon it and spirit to them that walk therein. God gives breath. God gives spirit. If God gives this life, then it is to be appreciated. It is to be respected.

It is a gift from God. Paul dealt with this in his message at Mars Hill. Acts chapter 17 verse 24. Paul had observed a monument with this inscription to the unknown God.

Now, he's going to tell them about the one that they ignorantly worship. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands. Neither is worshipped with men's hands as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life and breath and all things.

Now, when you understand that God gives to all life, breath and all things, then you have to conclude that life is to be valued. It is inappropriate to say, I'm worthless. I'm a big nothing.

I can't do anything right. I'm just a part of a fallen sinful race. I'm a great sinner, so I give up.

No. That's not the proper biblical interpretation. Have made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth and have determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitation, that they should seek the Lord if happily they might feel after him and find him, though he be not far from every one of us. Now get this, for in him we live and move and have our being, as certain also of your prophets have said, for we are also his offspring. For as much then as we're the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold or silver or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent. And then he tells us he's appointed today in which he's going to judge the world. God is the giver of life.

Life is valuable. Matthew chapter 5 verse 43, Jesus says, He maketh his son to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. Isn't that a remarkable mercy of God? I've been in communities, farming communities in the summertime when they were suffering a drought and they would call for prayer. They'd come together and ask God, please send us the rain that we don't lose the crop standing in the field.

I remember one brother coming to me saying, no, it's a little bit of a puzzle to me. My neighbor never goes to church. I've heard him use God's name in vain. But you know, after we prayed for rain and God sent it, he sent it not only on my farm, but my neighbor's farm also.

Kind of indicated it's a good thing that brother wasn't in charge because he probably wouldn't have given any rain to his neighbor. But God sends the rain on the just and the unjust. Just an indication of what our attitude ought to be, even toward the wicked, even toward those with whom we may disagree. As a matter of fact, he tells us to pray for them.

And in doing so, we will be like our Father in heaven. So, what is the right conclusion? What's the right conclusion after we look at these words that are maybe in somebody's mind terribly harsh and the meaning and belittling and talks about what wretched sinners we are by nature? Can't we read that God is the giver of life? Life is to be treasured and valued.

What is the right conclusion? Well, first of all, we do need to acknowledge I'm a sinner and I'm not worthy of the least of his mercies. I'm not exempt. I'm a part of this fallen race. Romans 3 23 says, For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Not just a part of the human family.

All have sinned. All of us are in that same category. And secondly, you should acknowledge that God has given you life and be thankful for it. Be thankful for it.

Number three, understand that there is a reason for you to be alive and you should ask God to bless you to fulfill whatever purpose he has for you in your life. I was visiting in a nursing home recently. I was out in the hallway and there were quite a number of people in wheelchairs up and down this wide hallway. I heard some kind of a commotion, but it was far enough away from me.

I couldn't tell exactly what it was. And then I see one lady coming in her wheelchair, wheeling it as fast as she could go. She wheels up to me and says, Did you hear what that woman said? I said, No, I heard a commotion, but I didn't know what she said. And I'm not going to repeat what she said, but it wasn't very nice. And she said, She's always saying bad things to me.

She accuses me of false things, things I never did. I don't even know what the woman's talking about. I can't tell you how upsetting it is. I said, Well, I'm sure it's upsetting, but you need to recognize that this woman is probably not thinking clearly that she's suffering from some mental decline.

And you try to be patient and understand it and don't let it upset you. Oh, I don't even know why I'm here. I don't know why I'm alive.

My husband is in another nursing home and I don't even know where he is. People don't come to see me and here I am in this place and I've got to put up with this woman every day calling me names. I said, Well, you asked the question, Why are you here? You don't know why you're alive.

You'd just as soon be dead. But I can tell you this. The reason you're here is because God has a purpose for you still to be alive.

When he's through with that, he'll take you on. In the meantime, you have to recognize as difficult as your life has become, God has a reason for you to be here. I said, I love the expression of the psalmist in Psalm 31 verse 15, My times are in thy hand. Try to remember that verse.

Try to think about that. I may feel alone. I may feel that everybody's forsaken me.

I may feel I'm in the most difficult circumstances that I could possibly face. But if you know your times are in God's hand, it'll give you hope. And I said, Let me quote you a beautiful passage and I pray God will bless to your heart. Let not your heart be troubled.

Neither let it be afraid. Do you believe in God? Believe also in me. In my Father's house, and as I went on quoting that, she started quoting it with me. It was evident she knew the scriptures. She knew the Lord. She said, Thank you. Thank you for reminding me of that wonderful scripture. I quoted some others to her, but I said, Just remember, I was leaving her that day.

Remember this. When you're at the point you feel like you don't even know why you're living. You're living because God is the giver of life and God has promised not to leave you nor forsake you.

And he will be with you even in this which seems to be the darkest time of your life. Now, people don't have to wait till they go to the nursing home to sometimes struggle with that thought. I've had much younger people say to me sometimes, I don't even know why I'm here. I don't know why I'm alive.

I can tell you why. Whether you're young or old, God has given you life. And you should thank him for that life and seek to use every moment of the life God has given you to the glory of his name. Now, seeing that you are, though, unworthy, that you are a part of Adam's fallen race, and that you personally must come like the publican to smite upon your breast and say, God, be merciful to me, the sinner. That realization of your sinfulness should drive you to the Lord for mercy.

Psalm 51, verse 1, David prays, Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness, according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies, block out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin, for I acknowledge my transgression and my sin as ever before thee. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned and done this evil at thy sight, that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest of me clear when thou judges. For behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me, and confessest I'm a sinner. I've been a sinner all my life, born in sin, but Lord, I'm coming to you for mercy. Create in me a clean heart, O God, renew a right spirit within me, restore unto me the joy of thy salvation. Take not thy holy spirit from me.

That needs to be our prayer. Lord, I see that I'm a sinner. It's not just mankind in general. I'm a sinner. I've violated your law.

I'm guilty. I deserve nothing. But as Jacob, the old patriarch, said, I'm not worthy of the least of thy mercies. May that be our plea as we approach a thrill of grace. Number five, when you're then cleansed from your sin, when you've come for mercy, and mercy is granted, forgiveness is given, you're cleansed from your sin. Now you can serve.

You can do something profitable. Or you may have felt for a time, I'm nothing. I'm so full of sin. I've made so many mistakes. I've come so far short. I don't match them. I'm not equal to what somebody else can do.

Might as well give up. No, when you've been cleansed, you can serve. And that's really the issue that the apostle was dealing with in this passage in Romans from which we've taken our text. He's talking about the various spiritual gifts that various ones had. Don't think of yourself more highly than you ought. Don't forget that if you have a spiritual gift, you did not produce it. It was given to you. That's what it means when it's talking about a spiritual gift. It's something that you don't work for. You use it, but it's given to you. So don't sit back as though you had attained it and you're superior to somebody else. Think of yourself soberly.

Let's look at this example. Isaiah chapter 6 verse 1. In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon the throne high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims. Each one had six wings.

With twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory.

What a sight. The whole earth full of his glory. This angelic chorus singing repeatedly in the presence of God. Holy, holy, holy.

What's his response? The post of the door moved at the voice of him that cried the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, woe is me for I am undone because I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. For mine eyes have seen the king, the Lord of hosts. When you see the Lord correctly, when you see him high and lifted up, when you see him as the sovereign ruler of heaven and earth, when you see him as the one who is absolutely holy in all things, your response will be, woe is me. I've come short.

I've missed the mark. I've sinned. I deserve nothing.

But rather than to give up and despair, look what follows. Then I said, woe is me. But verse six, then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand which he had taken with thrones from off the altar, and laid it on my mouth and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips and thine iniquity is taken away and thy sin purged.

Is that not something to rejoice about? I saw myself as a great sinner. I said, woe is me. But now I have been purged. Now my sin is taken away.

When you find forgiveness in Jesus Christ and believe your sin is covered under his blood, you have reason to rejoice, reason to praise God, reason to serve him diligently every day of your life. And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send and who will go for me? Then said I, Here am I. Send me.

So the very man that saw such a marvelous vision of the greatness and glory of God, rather than collapsing and saying, I'm a big nothing. I can't accomplish anything. I can't do anything. No, he admitted I'm a sinner, but when he was cleansed, he said, Now, Lord, here am I. Send me. Where would you have me to go? Is that your attitude today?

If you had an experience of grace, you've been cleansed of your sin. Are you ready to say, Lord, here am I. Send me. Wherever it is, whatever you want me to do, whatever the facet of service you want me to participate in, no matter what the sacrifice, no matter how difficult the path, no matter how much I have to give up, it's all right, Lord, I want to be surrendered to your will. I want to be submissive to you. Where would you have me to go? What's the service you would have me to render? Here am I.

Send me. Verse 6, recognize that you cannot do anything of yourself, but you can, by the grace of God, do what's needed. The philosophy of the world is, you can do everything. They say that to everybody, say that to little kids, you can do everything.

No, you can't. There are some things you can't do. You look at me, you know I could never have been a linebacker on a football team. I couldn't have made it. I could have meditated on that. I could have read books about it. I could have done lots of things.

I could never have made it. There are some things you cannot do. This empty philosophy that you just set your mind to it and the sky's the limit, you can do it all.

You can't. But there are some things you can do. You can do what God would have you to do, what God has directed you to do, what God will enable you to do.

You can do it because the Apostle Paul said, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Number 7, you should have the right view of yourself thinking soberly. Not more highly than you ought to think, not lower than you ought to think. When you feel like you're better than everybody else, you're on the wrong track. When you feel like I'm a big nothing, I can't do anything, you're wrong.

You're in the dark. Verse 25, 27 says, so for men to search their own glory is not good. So if you're trying to figure out some way to justify your inclination to think that you're superior and better to other people, that's not good.

On the other hand, if you allow yourself to be thinking over and over again that there's just no real purpose to your life, there's nothing you can do, that view is wrong. So then let's think about man's condition by grace. You've seen what the scripture says about his condition in nature. What about his condition by grace? 2 Corinthians 5 verse 17 says, therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.

Isn't that good to know? And in spite of the fact man is this rebellious, sinner by nature, by grace he becomes a new creature, a new creation in Christ Jesus. Secondly, a child of God. This individual who by nature was alienated from God becomes his child by adoption.

Ephesians chapter 1 verse 5 says, having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself according to the good pleasure of his will. Think of that. You were an alien. You were far from God. You weren't seeking God. You didn't fear God. You didn't love God.

You wish God would go away so you didn't have to be accountable to anybody. But God reached you, called you, drew you by his Holy Spirit, therefore he now has adopted you into his family. He didn't just deliver you from the penalty of sin, but he brought you into his family. And then, thirdly, he cares for you because he is your heavenly father.

He cares for you. Matthew chapter 6 verse 26, behold the fowls of the air. They sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly father feedeth them.

Are ye not much better than they? Now think about that. The next time you're having one of those down moments where you feel like I'm a big nothing. Nobody cares. I don't know why God would even care for me. It says he feeds the fowls of the air. They don't sow, they don't reap, but your heavenly father feedeth them. Are you not much better than they are?

Are you not superior to the little bird that flies in the air? Romans chapter 8 verse 31 says, if God be for us, who can be against us? God is for you. Being adopted into his family, being born of his Holy Spirit, being one of his, he is for you. Never allow yourself to develop this idea that God is just looking for the first opportunity to punish you because he is harsh and overbearing. He is a loving, kind, gracious heavenly father.

It's described in Psalm 103 verse 10. He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. How many of you believe that? You believe that verse? Raise your hand if you believe that verse.

You don't believe it, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. He has not dealt with us according to our sins. If God had dealt with you according to your sin, where would you be today? I tell you, you wouldn't be sitting here in this church meeting. If he dealt with us according to our sin, apart from grace, you'd be in hell.

If you were still living on this earth, you wouldn't want to be here listening to the gospel preach. He has not dealt with you according to your iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. That's something to rejoice in every day that you live. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame, he remembereth that we are dust.

How wonderful to know it. You're a joint heir with Jesus Christ. Romans 8 17, and if children then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. And next you're on the way to a home in heaven.

What more could you ask? I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am, there ye may be also. Jesus wants his family to be with him and one day they'll all be there.

Consider the contrast. You were at enmity against God, but now you're a friend of Jesus. You were guilty, but now you're pardoned. You were polluted by sin, but now you're washed by the blood of the lamb. You had no peace with God, but now you're reconciled. You were darkness, but now are light in the Lord. You owed a debt that you could not pay and now you're forgiven.

You were lost, but now you're found. You are a sinner saved by grace. Somebody might say, I wish I was in that blessed condition that you just described. I'd like to know that I am his friend, that I have been pardoned, that I have been washed, that I have been reconciled, that I have been forgiven, that I have received his saving grace. If that's your desire, Jesus says, him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out. Come to Jesus. Come unto me.

All ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. May the Lord help us to apply the teaching of his word to have the right view of self. Not to think more highly of ourself that we ought, but to think soberly and understand that with your identity in Jesus Christ, you have reason every day that you live to continually give thanks for his abundant mercy. Today on the Baptist Bible Hour, we have been listening to LeSaire Bradley Jr. bring us a message entitled Thinking Right About Self. To hear this message again, you may visit our website at BaptistBibleHour.org.

Messages that have been on our broadcast are uploaded to the website shortly after their broadcast date. Please do keep in mind that the Baptist Bible Hour is a listener supported ministry. We rely on the gracious gifts of our listeners to keep this program on the air and on our podcast, and we greatly appreciate all gifts that come from the Lord through our listeners.

That is all the time that we have for today. Thank you for listening, and I pray that the message has enriched your life. Be sure to listen again next time to another message of God's sovereign grace. And until then, may the Lord richly bless you and keep you and make his face shine upon you and give you peace. This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior, praising my Savior, praising my Savior all the day long.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-07 21:48:51 / 2023-10-07 21:58:44 / 10

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