The Power of Self-Denial And Victory Over Self

The Power of Self-Denial And Victory Over Self

Matthew 16:24; Philippians 4:2,5,13

  • The Bible Dictionary of Themes defines self-denial as “the willingness to deny oneself possessions or status in order to grow in holiness and commitment to God.”
  • Self never gives what it promises. It always returns less than the sinner invests in it.
  • Self promised Adam and Eve freedom, wisdom and life, but they ended up in curses (Genesis 3:6,16-19).
  • Self promised Samson pleasure, but he only had blind eyes, mockery, and untimely death (Judges 16:4-5, 21, 30). 
  • Self promised Ananias and Sapphira credit for generosity, but they got sudden death for being liars (Acts 5:1-10).

P1. Sacrifices And Strengths For Self-denial

John 13:1-11; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Romans 14:21; 15:1–3

  • Denial of self involves overcoming the persistent fleshly demands of the body and bringing them into submission to God’s word.
  • Jesus show us a good example, he denied self and died for the sin of the world (Luke 22:40-43).
  • Jesus’ disciples sacrificed their fishing business and followed their Lord and Master (Matthew 4:18-20).
  • Apostle Paul sacrificed his rabbinical law skills, and tent making for the furtherance of the gospel (Philippians 3:8).
  • The believer needs conscious sacrifice and strength for self-denial.

P2. Struggle And Surrenderedness To Surmount The Self

Romans 7:15-24; Galatians 2:20;  Colossians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23; 9:24-27

  • There is an ongoing conflict between the divine Spirit of God and the carnal self.
  • Paul describes this ongoing struggle as ‘captivity to the law of sin’.
  • We can surmount ourselves only by God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s power.
  • To serve God acceptably, the struggle with self must cease.
  • We must flee from things that edify not and surrender to God for our flesh mortification.

P3. Steadfast And Selfless Lifestyle Of A Believer

Ruth 2:11; Esther 4:15-16; Genesis 13:9; Hebrews 11:24-26; 1 Kings 17:12-15; Acts 2:44,45; 4:34

  • “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).    
  • Boaz commended Ruth for her selfless lifestyle.
  • Esther risked her life for the sake of her fellow Jews.
  • Abraham showed Lot an exemplary selfless lifestyle.
  • Moses forsook the pleasures and treasures of Egypt and lived a selfless lifestyle to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
  • Despite the looming death, Zarephath’s Widow preferred Elijah over herself and her son.