THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST'S DOCTRINE, #567
"He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him." (JOH 7:18)
If you have been made willing by the power and the work of grace to do the will of God, not the orders, but the pleasure of God, then it becomes your utmost and highest desire to do the pleasure of God. Then you "shall know the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself." (JOH 7:17) This doctrine of grace, this doctrine of being made willing by the divine influence of the Holy Spirit upon the heart, is to do the pleasure of God at all costs. Abraham was willing to put Isaac on the altar, and to sacrifice his only son, before he would disobey the Lord. He would do the pleasure of God and do it willingly, not grudgingly. To understand the doctrine of grace is to understand that "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." PHI 2:13.
The Lord Jesus is telling us here in His text, "He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him." Now it says: "He that speaketh of himself." In other words, he speaks what is in his own heart, rather than that which is given by divine inspiration. In other words, he that tells you what he thinks and believes. Hes speaking of himself. Hes seeking his own glory. "But he that seeketh His glory that sent him, the same is true." In other words, those who are faithful to His Word, and those who love to know and do the revealed Word of God, "the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him."
When our Saviour began to teach, it says in JOH 7:15 that "the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?" Oh, they couldnt understand that He had not been through their seminaries or their schools of theology, and yet He spoke such gracious words, and they marvelled. But our Saviour is teaching, "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me." In other words, what He was speaking was that which He received from the Holy Ghost. He was speaking His Fathers will and not of Himself. He was not teaching what came from His own heart and mind, but that which was given to Him by the Father.
Now watch what it says in verse 17. "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." This is what we have to examine today. In the gospel that is being preached, are we speaking of ourselves? Are we teaching what we think and believe or are we rightly unfolding the Word of God?
Following is an illustration of the obstinate blindness the Jews had to the doctrine of Christ and of grace. A commentator said a man told him, "Sir, I have read the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) seventeen times and have never seen the doctrine of the atonement you teach." His response was, "You cannot light a candle with an extinguisher on it!" Education and learning often proves to be an extinguisher to the truths of Scripture.
I spoke with a lady over the telephone from California who had been reading the book I wrote called Believe and Receive Christ. She was marveling and was overwhelmed with the doctrine of the love of God as it comes from the Scriptures. She said, "You know, I have been raised in the Pentecostal religion. I have begun to realize that my mind has been so programmed as to what the Scriptures say that I am not hearing what it says at all."
That is what this man was saying, "Education and learning often prove to be the extinguisher to the truth of the Scriptures. To light a candle you must remove the extinguisher." I have learned this in my own experience. If I want to rightly understand what the Word of God says, I have to take everything I have ever believed and taught, put it up on a shelf and leave it there, until it comes back out of the Word of God. I have found that much of what I have been taught is still up there on the shelf because I cannot find it in the Scriptures.
Jesus says, in our text, "He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory." In other words, if you preach what is in your own heart rather than what is in the Word of God, you are not glorifying God. Now, the Jews were so blinded by their own doctrines of men that they could not receive the simplicity of the words that Jesus spoke. They were so filled with all of their teachings and studies, their understanding of the law, and their commandments of men that the true light that sprang forth from the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ was an offense unto them. They were so centered in the letter of the law, so filled with dos and donts and the orders of God, that the teaching of doing the will of God was an utter offense to them. Their hearts and all the corruption of the heart, as we read from MAT 23, were revealed. It revealed what was in their hearts, that their wills were not the will of God, that they were grudgingly doing the orders of God.
My son-in-law visited with a Jew on an airplane not too long ago. His fellow traveler explained, "You people love God. We hate God." The Jew explained that, "Gods commandments are cruel, we do them only to escape hell." That is the doctrine of the Jews. They dont understand the law of love. They do the orders of God because they are doing it to escape hell. They have no love for God; they hate Him. This person freely admitted it. Their blind doctrines were being reproved by the light of the gospel and by the doctrines of Christ, the doctrines of grace.
I was talking to a judge, and he explained how he had gone to college and majored in a different subject than he had minored in, which was law. It turned out that he became a lawyer and a judge. The subject he had majored in, which was chemistry, he had never put into practice. He told me, "I know little more about chemistry than you do." Do you know why? He had never put it into practice.
Now, the Lord Jesus comes with His doctrine and teachings. He is saying, "If any man will do his will." We learn to know the will of God by putting it into practice. You can hear it and hear it, but if you dont do it, you will never remember it. The important issue of the doctrine of Christ is: "If you will." If you are willing to do the pleasure of God and it becomes the priority of your life, then you will know His doctrine.
Jesus said in our text: "He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory." That is to say, those who are void of the Spirit's teaching, even if they have been through the schools of theology, are self-taught. They speak their own theories promoting themselves as some great authority. You watch theologians in a pulpit. I attended a service one time where a powerful preacher, a theologian, was in the pulpit, and afterwards the pastor of the church came up to me and asked, "How did you like that?" I said, "Brother, I would have a whole lot rather listened to you than that man." He was completely dumfounded, with no understanding of what I meant. I told him, "You dont even have to listen to this man. All you have to do is watch him among the crowd. He is so filled with pride, he bursts every button on his shirt. He speaks of himself. I have no pleasure in that type of sermon at all. I would far rather listen to you."
The more men become exalted in knowledge and speak of themselves, the less they know Christ and His doctrines. The Lord Jesus Christ having never learned letters and never learned to read, but He was able to tell us the doctrines of His Father. The gracious words that flowed from His lips were so intimidating to these people who had so much training because the light of His simplicity put them so to shame. Look at JOH 7:15. "And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters?
The scribes and Pharisees considered themselves as the only authorities in the Law of Moses. See how they challenged Jesus' authority in MAT 21:23. "And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?" They were the authorities, and their authority was being undermined by the simplicity of the gospel and by the miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore they asked, "By what authority doest thou these things, or who gave you this authority?" They knew that He had not received it from them, because He had not been to their schools.
Now, our Saviour taught with authority as He revealed the blessed distinction between the letter of the law as interpreted by the scribes and Pharisees, and the spirit of the law found in the doctrine of Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount. I want you to see that at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount how our blessed Saviour so powerfully brought forth the law of love and He so blessedly drew the distinction. "It has been said of old time, but I say unto you." Look at MAT 7:28-29. "And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." That authority with which He spoke was what caused them to so disdain His teaching, because it undermined their authority.
Our Saviour so beautifully reveals the heart of the Pharisees in our text where He said, "He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory." I want you to see how the truth of what our text says was such a piercing sword into the heart of the Pharisees. They speak of themselves and seek their own glory. Look what Jesus said about the scribes and Pharisees in MAT 23:5-7. "But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi." They love to have their authority acknowledged and their pride promoted before men. They love the show of reverence and respect from the peoples greetings in the marketplace. They glory in themselves. That is what our text is talking about. They are seeking their own glory, speaking of themselves, of their own hearts.
Those who are taught of the Spirit humbly acknowledge their dependence upon Him to rightly unfold the Word of Truth. You dont realize until you enter the ministry of the gospel how that the Apostle Paul said, "I come not to speak with words of mens wisdom, but with fear and with trembling, needing the unction and the power of the Holy Spirit." You dont understand the struggles to rightly divide the Word of Truth until you have been there. Youll find that of yourself you are such an empty vessel, and how you are so dependent on the Lord.
Look at JOH 7:18: "He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory." There is such a struggle in preparing a message about the gospel to know that we are setting forth that which glorifies God and edifies the church, that which is for the expansion of His kingdom and for the salvation of souls. Then He says, "But he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him." That becomes such a struggle that what we bring forth will be for Gods glory and for His honor, and that the gospel message will bring souls to standing in the will of God.
Look at ROM 10:13-15. "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
This comes against the thought that we can just sit at home, read the Bible, and that we can take enough out of it for ourselves. The Lord has His ordained way, and His ordained way is that He has sent His messengers to proclaim His Word; that they are not speaking of themselves, but they are unfolding the Word of God.
"And how shall they preach, except they be sent?" (ROM 10:15a) I am not against going to school, but what Christ is teaching us here is that we dont set that schooling as our authority. We have to be so aware that the whole motive of the heart is to glorify God.
ROM 10:15 continues, "As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" To think that you and I by nature were created under the authority of God and to serve Him as our King, and by rebellion in the Garden of Eden we have all broken away. We have become doomed for eternal destruction. Now the good news of the gospel is that God has again opened the way that you and I can again enter the kingdom of God and that the door has again been opened whereby we can serve Him acceptably in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the good news of the gospel that we can again return into His service.
There are many who run ahead of the Lord to preach the gospel, and the Lord has not sent them. They speak of themselves.
Look at JER 23:21. "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied." Thats the multitude, the big numbers. How do we discern whether the Lord has sent a man to preach? Look at JER 23:22. "But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words [not speaking of themselves, but to hear His words], then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings." That is how we discern whether or not the Lord has sent them. Is the result of their preaching turning people from serving sin and the things of this life? Does it turn them to serving the Lord? Thats how you can tell whether the Lord has sent them. A true messenger of God will turn them from their sins.
Have you ever thought about what the percentage is of those who are going out as prophets of God that have truly been sent? Turn with me to 1KI 22: 6. "Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king. [Now King Jehoshaphat was a God-fearing king.] And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him? And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man [The ratio was one out of four hundred. That one man told him the truth, which was the exact opposite of the four hundred prophets], Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so."
Our Saviour warns that there are many who run ahead of the Lord in the ministry when they were not sent. They go to speak of themselves. Look at MAT 7:15-16. "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. [They come to you in sheeps clothing, but their hearts, their internal thoughts and intents of the heart, are to devour.] Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" That is how you know them. Do they cause men to stand in the counsel of God? Do they cause them to turn from their evil way? Do they cause them to turn from the evil of their doings? Christ said that you would know them by their fruits.
So, what are the fruits Jesus was referring to? Look at MAT 7:21. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." In other words, he who will do the pleasure of God, who desires to know and do what is pleasing to the Lord shall enter into His kingdom.
See the blessed harmony in the doctrine of Jesus as we see the context of our text. I want you to see the doctrine of grace, the divine influence upon the heart, desiring to know and do the will of God. Look at JOH 7:16. "Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine but his that sent me." When we come to hear the gospel, are we hearing the doctrine of the man who is speaking or are we hearing the doctrine of Him that sent him? If he is truly sent by the Lord, then the doctrine is not his. Now if the Saviour says that He came not to preach His own doctrine, how should any human being on the face of the earth stand up and tell you, "Well, this is what I believe, and what my church says, and what that certain theologian says." What I want to know, what does Christ and the Word of God say? I dont want to listen to a man who comes to preach of himself, of his own. If the Lord has sent a man into the ministry, he should be preaching the doctrine of Him that sent him.
Verse 17 continues, "If any man will do his will. [He goes on to tell what that doctrine is, that doctrine of grace, that doctrine of a heart-desire to know and do the pleasure of God.] He shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God." [How? Because of the witness of the Holy Spirit in the heart, that testifies of the witness of the Spirit that that is the will of God] or whether I speak of myself."
Now, our Saviour's Name and Character, as well as He teaching were under attack. And so it will be of those who teach His doctrine, as He taught the distinction between the Spirit and the letter of the law.
Notice JOH 7:19-20. "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?" They came against His teaching. They wanted to kill Him literally, and they accused Him of having a devil. That is now what you will see for those whose hearts are touched with the truth and are convicted with the light of the gospel when they see the wretchedness of their attitudes, and their rebellion against God. The best way to handle that, they thought, is just like Ahab did with the prophet Elijah. He went out to kill him. The Jews went out to kill Jesus because the truth so convicted their hearts.
Remember what we read in MAT 23:25-26, 28. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also . Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity."
He wasnt pampering their feelings, He was telling it just the way it was. He looked into the inner chambers of the heart, saw the hypocrisy and the iniquity that dwelled within, and He put His finger right on it. It made them smart, and what did they do? They went about to kill Him, rather than for them to see and understand the hypocrisy of a legal religion. They were going to go about doing the letter of the law with a heart filled with hatred and bitterness. He reproved them and said, "Why go ye about to kill me?" He was telling them about the murder that dwelled within their hearts. They wanted to go out and kill Him because He was coming against their following only the letter of the law.
It was the light of the truth that was so condemning to those self-righteous Pharisees. Their own consciences told them that they sought their own glory. They knew it, and when He told them, "You speak of yourself, you are seeking your own glory." Their consciences smote them. Jesus doctrine went to the heart. He wanted a heart religion. See what He told them in MAT 23:25, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter [He was putting His finger right on the cancer of their sins, telling them that the inside of their hearts was filled with all types of murder and corruption, even though on the outside they appeared to men to be righteous.], but within they are full of extortion and excess." They had a hypocritical religion. Outwardly they appeared to be authorities, in the letter of the Law of Moses. They worshipped Moses and the letter of the law.
In JOH 7:19 the Lord Jesus unfolds the Law of Moses and shows them their absolute hypocrisy: "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? [On the outside they came across as though they were such perfect law keepers and so righteous. But He tells them, You are not even keeping the law, not even outwardly.] Why go ye about to kill me?"
Our Saviour revealed the hypocrisy of the legalism in their hearts; they held their commandments of men above the Law of Moses. I want you to see how the Lord Jesus rebuked them through the fact that they violated the law of Moses outwardly by their commandments of men. Look at MAR 7:9-13. "And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death [the Lord Jesus is showing how they set their commandments of men, their own teaching above what the law of Moses said. He that speaketh of himself. You are speaking of yourself, taking what you think and putting it above what Moses said. You are telling me that you are Moses servants, and yet you dont keep the law of Moses.]: But ye say, if a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye."
He just picked this one as an illustration. He said "and many such things do ye." What they were doing was gainsay the Word of God to make it say what they want it to say. They had had so much schooling. They made 630 laws out of the one commandment of keeping the sabbath day holy. They got into all the dos and donts on how they were going to keep the sabbath according to the commandments of men, but in doing so they were desecrating the very commandment that they thought they were keeping. Jesus was pointing this out to them. He said, "And many such like things do ye."
The people strove with Jesus as though He had desecrated the sabbath day by healing a man, but Jesus shows them how they were perverted in their judgment. Why? Because our text says, "He that speaketh of himself seeks his own glory." They were speaking of themselves. Look at JOH 7:21-24. "Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) [What Jesus is teaching here is that Moses gave it to them, and they took it as though Moses was the author of it. No, Moses was only Gods messenger to bring it to them. God was the author of it because it says not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers. In other words, God had given it unto Abraham.] and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." In other words, you are straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.
Now, they had based their whole religion upon their own interpretation of the law of Moses, upon the traditions of their fathers, but see what Jesus told them in JOH 5:45-46. "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust." The Lord Jesus is telling you and me, in the doctrine of Christ, that we are all going to fall short of keeping the law with perfection. We are going to come so far short that we will never come to a legal perfection in the law. There is only one place where the law is kept with legal perfection and that is in the Garden of Gethsemane, upon the cross, and throughout the entire life of Jesus Christ. He perfectly kept the law in a legal sense. We must keep the law in a gospel sense. As we learn to see and to understand where we have come short and have remorse, that our hearts smite us over having sinned against God, over having come short of His divine law. We look at Christ as the place of mercy and come before Mount Sion where the law is given with mercy. That is where we find that we have the ability to do the pleasure of God.
The Jews were followers of a man. They marveled at the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, but they were following a man. Did it ever enter your mind why the Lord allowed Moses to sin at the waters of Meribah or why the Lord has recorded in His Word how David committed adultery and murder? Did it ever enter your mind why it is recorded in the Word of God that the Apostle Peter denied he ever knew his Lord, cursing and swearing]? Why are these things recorded? Because no flesh will ever glory before God. Do you know why the Lord allowed John Calvin to do such hideous crimes? I am a Christian not a Calvinist. I am a follower of Jesus Christ not a follower of a man. Do I agree with the doctrines of Calvin in as far as they are based on the Word of God? No more.
The Jews were followers of a man. They followed Moses. See how they contended with the man who was born blind, for believing in Christ because he was holding what Jesus had said and done above what they had said. Look at JOH 9:28-29. "Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is." They were followers of a man. Even though Moses was the meekest of all men, and the Lord used Moses as His instrument to "give [them] the law," yet these people did not understand Jesus' doctrine as we see in 1CO 1:27-29. "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are." Why? "That no flesh should glory in his presence." 1CO 1:29.
The Lord becomes jealous when we start worshipping and looking to be a follower of a man regardless of who that man is. The Jews were followers of Moses. If Moses, the meekest of all men, was not to be followed, then whom else in this world are we going to follow? He was taught in all the teachings of Egypt. He studied all the sciences of Egypt. He was certainly a God-sent minister. He was on the mountaintop with God face to face. If we cant follow Moses, whom are we going to follow? The Lord Jesus Christ, and no other man. The Lord is jealous if we follow some other man. No flesh will glory before the Lord.
Now, the reason for this is apparent from the following verses. Look at 1CO 1:30-31. "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." Christ Jesus is made unto us wisdom, not that theologian, or pastor, or old father, not even Moses.
What does our text say in JOH 7:18? "He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but [on the other hand a genuine, God-sent servant can be identified by the fact that] he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him." That is how we identify those whom God has sent. He has sent those who seek to glorify Him that sent him.
They were accusing Jesus of having never learned letters. His response was that they had the letter of the law and didnt keep it. They professed to be Moses disciples, yet they had hearts filled with murder. Jesus said in JOH 7:19, "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?" Why do you have hearts filled with murder if you profess to be the followers of Moses? Where there is no heart for the truth, there will always be a hatred against it. There is no neutral position. The truth is either your condemnation or you love it. One of the two. We need to examine our own hearts. Where does the truth stand in our hearts? We are either going to love it or have a hatred against it. Where there is a hatred against the truth, there will also be a hatred for Christ's ambassadors of the truth.
Look at JOH 16:1-2. "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." They are going to hate the truth because the Light is their condemnation.
The Jews only knew the letter of the law as the orders of God, but they had never understood the doctrine of the atonement. They had never understood the reconciliation with God that our hearts must become reconciled with God. They had never understood the reconciliation of God by the atonement of Jesus Christ. And they were not able to come unto the law as it comes from Mount Sion, and that is as it comes in the satisfaction of Christ. These Jews were always trying to take Jesus in His words. They divided the one commandment of the sabbath into 630 legalistic commandments of men.
Look at MAT 22:35-36. "Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him [the whole motive of asking this question was to set a trap for Him by tempting Him], and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law?"
Now, to them the great commandment in the law was these 630 commandments that they all stirred up out of the sabbath command. They were trying to catch Him, because He had violated their sabbath commands. Jesus consolidated all Ten Commandments into only two tables of one law of love. Theres the difference.
Look at MAT 22:37-40. "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang [that one principle of the gospel] all the law and the prophets." That one central principle of the gospel is the law of love. This is what they missed.
Now, our text in its context clearly teaches the important distinction of the gospel between those who are under the law, and those who are under grace. Are we under the law, the condemnation of the law? Unless you and I know what it is to be under grace, having that divine renewing of the heart, the divine influence of the Spirit on the heart, which has given us to be renewed in the spirit of our minds. That means we have put off the old man and put on the new man.
Unless we are under grace, we are under the law, and you and I are not able to keep the law. There is only one-way that we can escape the demands of the law, and that is under grace. That is that we have a desire and a will to do His pleasure. That is by the washing of regeneration of the Holy Spirit, that we are made a new man. We need to examine whether we are under the law or under grace. The Jews were under the law, and the Lord Jesus showed them how they had violated the very law and that the law of Moses is that which would condemn them in the Day of Judgment. We need to come from under the law, to be under grace. We need to have that divine influence.
What does the Lord Jesus say in JOH 7:16-18? "Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will [if you have had your heart renewed and have been renewed in the Spirit of your mind. If you have had that new desire and new affections and have that new work of grace in your soul.] do his will [that becomes the heart desire to do what is pleasing to the Lord], he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him."
That doesnt mean that we are walking in legal perfection, but that means we are walking in gospel perfection, which is when the heart is set to do the glory of God.
We are also living in a time of very little love for the truth. If you watch the news or read the newspaper, you see the attitude of the people of this nation, and any attempt to cite the Word of God brings them up in arms. They dont want the truth. If you try to talk about morals, about abstaining in sex, they might even listen to that if you dont bring in Gods commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." They do not love the truth nor the law of God. We need to try the spirits and the attitudes.
I was at a political rally and one man was talking about abortion saying, "Well, I believe like our church." Oh, what does your church believe? "Well, our church believes that abortion is a private issue between a woman and her doctor, and that the church has no right to enter into it." So that church doesnt even take a stand against outright first-degree murder. It is because, as the Lord Jesus says, he that speaketh of himself seeks his own glory. They need numbers, to have their building filled up, but they dont dare to come out and say, "Thus saith the Lord."
This is what we see todaythe attitudes, those who profess to be sent of Godare they seeking His glory? Do they come out with, "Thus saith the Lord." Are they willing to be persecuted and to be put out, if that is what it comes to? The Lord Jesus says, "They will put you out of synagogues and they will kill you thinking they are doing Gods service." Oh, they say, "You cant be judgmental." I was talking to a pastors wife about homosexuality. "Oh, be careful, you cant be judgmental. After all, God loves homosexuals, and God created them."
No, no! ROM 1 tells us very clearly that homosexuality is a judgment from God, and that judgment from God was sent upon this nation for what reason? Because they loved the creature more than the Creator and because they refused to teach the will of God. That judgment has been the destruction of every civilized society that has ever gone down before this one. As we see homosexuality being accepted as a way of life in this nation, be it known, unless the Lord sends repentance, it is the last struggle of a dying cow. It is the last struggle of the destruction of a civilized society. The Word of God does not say God loves homosexuals. It says very clearly that homosexuality is the judgment that God sends upon the nation and upon a people and upon a person because they worship the creature more than the Creator. They glorify man instead of glorifying God. They speak of themselves, and so they take a congregation and lead them into hell. They are speaking of themselves, seeking their own glory. They want the praises of men.
It says in 1JO 4:1. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." So it behooves you and me to try the spirits, whether they be of God. Try their teachings and their attitudes. Is Gods glory the central theme of their preaching?
Our text says in JOH 7:18. "He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory [he that speaketh what he thinks is right, is seeking his own glory.]: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true."
Are we faithful to the Word of God and to the souls of men? It is such a horrifying thing to think, how many souls are hell-bound, thinking they are dying believing in Jesus, but they do not believe in the Jesus of the Bible. They do not believe in the doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ. They do not believe in that which is taught by Him that sent me. That is what Jesus says, "My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me." That is what is so important in our day, is that we must search for the truth. "Search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me." Amen.
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