ONE SERMON YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO MISS – Pastor Shah, Clearview, Henderson
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Overall Background: In ancient Greece, Delphi was the site of the famous Temple of Apollo. Inside the forecourt of the temple were three maxims/proverbs carved into the wall. One of them read – gnwthi seauton = “know thyself” or “know yourself” (Latin -nosce te ipsum).
Temple of Apollo – Delphi
Throughout history people have been trying to know themselves – the hardest thing to do. Benjamin Franklin once said,“There are 3 things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” (Poor Richard Almanak)
This message matters because as you truly know yourself, you will truly begin to appreciate you.
In Romans 12:3, Paul lays out the secret of how to know one’s self.
I. THIS SUBJECT CAN ONLY BE APPROACHED BY THE GRACE OF GOD.
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you,
Background: Paul does not begin by poking his finger in the chest of his readers. He approaches the subject with great gentleness and wisdom. He begins by humbling Himself and recognizing that His authority comes only by the grace of God.
In I Corinthians 15:10 we hear of Paul’s view of grace in his life – “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
I Corinthians 10:12 “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”
Charles Spurgeon – “Free grace can go into the gutter, and bring up a jewel!”
Application: Anytime we want to point out someone’s faults, we should begin with the understanding that we are no better. We are everything we are by the grace of God. How sadly we tend to forget where we came from.
II. IT’S NOT A SIN TO THINK OF ONESELF.
not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think,
Background: Some people think that humility means that we are never to think of ourselves. The Bible never says that. The Bible does not say – “Don’t think of yourself.” The key in that statement is “more highly.”
Not thinking of ourselves or talking low of ourselves is not humility but lying. Many times when people say – “Oh I am a nobody or nothing,” they are really saying, “Come on, compliment me. Tell me that I am somebody.” It’s like they are fishing for a compliment.
- If you are good in math, it’s not humility to say – “I’m not good with numbers.”
- If you are a good cook, it’s not humility to say – “I’m not the worst cook in the world.”
- If you are good teacher, it’s not humility to say – “I’m the most ignorant person in the room.”
Don’t look down on someone for being honest about their intellectual and moral gifts. Don’t complement someone when that’s not true.
Unless we begin to tell the truth, we cannot understand ourselves.
Application: Do you pretend to be humble or do you lie?
III. DON’T CONFUSE TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF SELF WITH PLAYING THE GAME.
not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think,
Background: Some people confuse self-knowledge for propriety and etiquette and groups and clubs and styles.
- To know how to hold the teacup when you are hanging out with your high-class friends is not self-knowledge.
- To know how things work at the local country club is not self-knowledge.
- To know how to crack insider jokes is not self-knowledge.
- To know the lingo, the walk, the talk, the look when you get around your group is not self-knowledge.
That’s call acting. True self-knowledge is the real you when the curtain falls, the lights are turned off and the crowd has gone home.
For e.g. That’s why in marriage argument you often hear things like – “I don’t know who you are anymore.” “You are not the person I knew when we are dating.” Why? You started playing the game for some reason and now the game is playing you.
For e.g. Like dungeons and dragons – they forgot when the game ended and real life began.
Application: Do you know the real you or the pretend you?
IV. DON’T BE INTOXICATED WITH PRIDE.
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly,
Background: Once again, Paul uses an interesting imagery for us. He tells us to be sober, as opposed to being drunk.
How does a drunken man or woman act? They brag about themselves. They talk big about themselves. They tend to forget their weaknesses and exaggerate their strengths.
For e.g. Travis Tritt’s song – “Ten Feet tall and bullet proof.”
When we are drunk with pride:
- We foolishly think that we are better than others, when we are not. F.B. Meyer – Don’t flatter yourself when it comes to “face or lace or place or even grace.”
- We try to cover up for blemishes and only put forth our commendable qualities. For e.g. The fruit sellers in India put the shiniest and the best bananas on top and the bad ones on the bottom. You have to move them around and check them.
- We compare our best qualities with other people’s worst.
This does not mean that we need to blast all our weaknesses everywhere. It simply means that we need to think soberly of our selves.
Application: Do you think of your self soberly?
V. OUR TRUE MEASURE IS IN FAITH.
but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Background: Our standard of measurement is not physical or mental strength but faith. Not knowledge of God but faith in God. It is about our relationship with God.
- How you see God in your life?
- How you see God in your trials?
- How you see God in your life to come?
- How you see God in the face of death?
Henry Ward Beecher said, “You must measure, not where you touch the ground, but where you touch the sky. You must measure, not the root, but the blossom; not the leaf, but the fruit.”
My ultimate worth is who I am in Jesus Christ.
My greatest desire when I leave this world is for people to say what the Shunammite woman said to her husband of the prophet Elisha– II Kings 4:9 And she said to her husband, “Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly.”
When it comes to knowing yourself – 1. This Subject can only be approached by the Grace of God; 2. It’s not a Sin to think of oneself; 3. Don’t confuse true knowledge of self with playing the game; 4. Don’t be intoxicated with pride; and 5. Our true measure is in faith.
Someone might say – No one can do that! One person did and His name is Jesus. On the night that He celebrated the Passover with His disciples – John 13:3-5, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
John 13:12-17 12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Application: What would happen if every marriage, home, Clearview, city, county, and our nation began to seriously apply Romans 12:3?
Is Jesus your Master and Teacher? Then you have to do what He said to do.
If He is not, today is the day of salvation.
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