Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sermon Notes: Battle Over Self by Seth Okyere


Key Text: Luke 9:23
Transcript of a sermon presented at Osaka SDA IWG by
Seth Asare Okyere

Sermon Introduction

There is a global war, a war everyone is involved in, aware or unaware, believer or unbeliever, religious or irreligious, old or young, strong or weak. It is the war of
  • What we are and what we ought to be.
  • Over ‘I’ and ‘Him’.
  • ‘What I am’ versus ‘what God wants me to be’.
  • It is the war over ‘self’.
‘The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God, requires a struggle; but the soul must submit to God before it can be renewed in holiness’ (Consecration, p. 43)
‘Self…The strongest foe man has to meet’ (Messages to Young People 134.1).
The greater battles are between what we say we stand for and what we do actually do, between the values we proclaim and the realities we impose—Haroon Mogul

Let us note the following…
  • Lucifer became Satan because he wanted to upgrade ‘him-Self’.
  • Eve sinned because she wanted to elevate ‘herself’.
  • Adam and Eve sinned because they cared about themselves than God.
  • Sodom and Gomorrah sinned because they liked to ‘please themselves’.
  • Judas sinned because he liked to satisfy himself.
  • Peter sinned because he trusted himself.
  • Many people will lose heaven because they love themselves.
  • Jesus saved us because he gave ‘himself’.
Self is our greatest enemy. To keep it is to deny Christ; to lose it is to win Christ. The natural self is enmity with God; it cannot please God because it is not subject to the law of God (Romans 8:7).

Daily battle: The war over self is a daily battle, and we must lose self daily that we may take Christ.

So how shall we fight the daily battle over self: Three hints from scripture.

1. Die to self: Gal. 2:20

In the battle with self, we must die to live. In the world you must live to die. But for Christ unless self dies, Christ cannot come in to grant us life in Him. As Paul said, without crucifixion there is no resurrection. Without death to self, there is no life in Christ. This is the mathematical equation of Christianity.

2. Discipline your self: 1 Cor. 9:24, 27 Prov. 16:32

‘A noble character is the result of self-discipline, of the subjection of the lower to the higher nature—the surrender of self for the service of love to God and man’ (Education, 57.4).
‘He who can stand unmoved amid a storm of abuse is one of God’s heroes’. { Messages to Young People 134.2}

3. Distrust your self:

Mark 10:18: We ought to be careful in compliments—both spiritual and physical. We like to hear good things about ourselves. But such praises, which Jesus avoided, may lead us to trust self instead of the source of all good—Christ. Self must never be trusted.

Matt 14: 28-30: Looking unto Jesus, Peter walks securely; but as in self-satisfaction he glances back toward his companions in the boat, his eyes are turned from the Savior. The wind is boisterous. The waves roll high, and come directly between him and the Master; and he is afraid. For a moment Christ is hidden from his view, and his faith gives way. He begins to sink. But while the billows talk with death, Peter lifts his eyes from the angry waters, and fixing them upon Jesus, cries, “Lord, save me.” (Desire of Ages, 382)


‘To subdue self, and bring the passions under the control of the will, is the greatest conquest that men and women can achieve’. {Testimonies, Vol. 3 183.0}

Our prayers may be: ‘Lord, empty me of me that I may be filled with you’

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