Sermon 22 – The FIG LEAF COVER-UP

15 Jan

And the eyes of them both were opened and they sowed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons … Genesis 3:7

Human nature works out how to avoid pain and how to make itself feel good. When it feels put down it works out from a very early age how to counteract the bad feeling and replace it by doing something that makes it feel good again. For example, if your parents chided you for wasting time or money or any commodity, you will inadvertently make it your life ambition to not waste. ‘Not Waste’ will become your inner objective, because you will feel bad about yourself whenever you waste. Everyone is trapped by something that makes them feel bad so they go out of their way to avoid it without ever fully realising they are a slave to their parents’ selfish control.

If a school teacher chastised you and you felt humiliated, you would have automatically deduced what to do to get your good feelings back again. For example, you could have told yourself “she’s wrong and I’m right”, or, “I’ll prove to you I can be perfect”, or, “you’re never going to put me down again”.

These reactionary self-strengthening techniques we automatically employ for our own protection are actually the blockage to our pathway to spiritual freedom. We react to hurt and put down by developing techniques to promote ourselves to overcome the pain of the put-down. Without even realising it, these techniques form the foundation of our outlook on life and our judgment of others.

We all learn something that gives us unique value, either through sport or business or education etc., so when our fellow man tells us we’re useless we can rise above the pain by falling back on our skills or values that make us feel good. Everyone is born with the inherent desire to be liked and valued by their fellowman, and most spend their life seeking to fulfil this god in them. We never stop to realise that these techniques for self-value are all founded on pain-prevention; they’re not founded on faith in God.

The problem is, freedom in the spirit world is based on de-elevation, not self-elevation. The self-elevation programming built into our spirits is inherited from the original sin in the Garden of Eden, and until you train yourself to stop surrendering to your elevated self-value, you threaten your salvation into God’s kingdom (Luke 14:26-33).

The original sin was the envy of wanting to be a god … a better position than what God created us for.

When Eve and Adam sinned by doing the opposite of what God had told them, instead of addressing the sin and repenting, they sowed fig leaves together. In other words, they tried to cover up what they didn’t want to be seen; they tried to hide what they didn’t want exposed. Ever since then, human nature has done the same; we cover up our hurt feelings by doing things that will get us back into favour with those who have addressed us or made us feel uncomfortable, or embarrassed or bad. We fail to see that our doing things is actually protecting our self-value pride. We fail to see the real issue of sinning against God’s instructions because we’re focussed on sewing fig leaves together to hide what we don’t want exposed.

When we judge people for not doing right according to our rightness, we expose that we have sewn fig leaves together to preserve our position as the centre of the universe. You see, we sew fig leaves to hide what we don’t want exposed about ourselves, when the real issue is, we made ourselves god (Genesis 3.v.5). You make yourself god when you elevate yourself above your neighbour by presumptuous judgment.

When you’re wise in your own eyes you don’t stop to seek God’s view you go straight to your view, confirming who your god is.

Q. When sin is pointed out, do you own it or explain it?

It’s easy to see that we are naked or that someone else is naked, but that’s just seeing what God already knows. It doesn’t prove we can see anything. In fact, all we can see is what we want to hide from others so they can’t see it, or to expose the wrong in others so we are elevated above them. The truth is, you can’t see what God sees until you see that the issue is ‘you ate the forbidden fruit because you wanted to make yourself a god’, and you won’t see that until you’re willing to own that you sinned. Covering-up our nakedness is just a diversion from addressing the real issue … our sin of wanting to be god. When we say we can see what someone is talking about when they point out our fault, more often than not we are stifling their correction so we don’t look any worse. You won’t see God’s point of view whilst you remain wise in your own eyes.

The real issue is we love ourselves

The real issue with humanity is that it made itself gods. All humans worship the ground we ourselves walk on, but we don’t believe that’s the truth because we sew fig leaves together to hide it; we learn the techniques of empathy, sympathy, politeness, niceness, friendliness etc., and use the same information to con ourselves into worshipping our own selves. The evidence that this is the truth is our judgement of others when they fail our level of rightness, our moodiness when it doesn’t work out right, and our serious dislike and resistance to authority when we are corrected. People think they have a little bit of pride in them; they can’t see they have a mountain of it; they sew fig leaves to hide it.

You’re the centre of your universe

When you elevate yourself by judging others for being stupid, incompetent, or insensitive … you’re the centre of your universe. When you complain that they didn’t do it right by you … you’re the centre of your universe. When you murmur that it didn’t work out to your satisfaction … you’re the centre of your universe. When you resist authority’s correction … you’re the centre of your universe. When you seek success, being liked, popularity, or position … you’re the centre of your universe. When you get annoyed because they didn’t thank you, accolade you, or acknowledge you … you’re the centre of your universe. When you use your kids to promote your own worth … you’re the centre of your universe. When you obey so you look good … you’re the centre of your universe.

Jesus came to save us from being our own god

God sent His Son to address the issue of original sin; the sin of me being god. Jesus showed us the solution; he came in a de-elevated manger and left on a de-elevated cross (Philippians 2). Satan sold man a lie that God had lied and was withholding elevation from man, and man took it hook, line and sinker. Man is inherently born to elevate himself, but the second Adam came to show man that he had been conned.

It’s God’s responsibility to change me?

Most people think that as long as they’re good and nice it’s God’s responsibility to change me, but that’s not true. It’s your responsibility to own the sin of being your own god by wilfully stopping yourself from judging others because you have come to see your elevated arrogance, so that then God can change you. God says in James 4:11,12 that it’s your responsibility to address your own sin of elevation exposed by judging others and putting them below you. [You can judge others, but not from elevation]. Elevating yourself above or below someone is judging and puts you in God’s seat, verifying that you are your own god, and thus disrespecting God’s rank over you.

A true disciple has faced the god issue in them

If you want to be a true disciple of Christ, you’re solely responsible to stick the sword into your own spirit John 12:24, Luke 9:23,24, Luke 14:27,33, and 2 Corinthians 5:15. When you smell yourself having a mood, talk it over with God and stop it. When you know someone is annoying you, talk it over with God and stop it. This is the daily fight that God is constantly referring to in His Word, but the church isn’t seeing it, they’re too busy sewing fig leaves of prosperity, spiritual warfare, prophet schools, evangelism, good works, bible colleges and teaching to camouflage the real truth that they are their own gods. On the outside it looks nice, but on the inside is sexual immorality, judgments, unforgiveness, elevation, merchandising God’s word and songs, and competitive jealousies.

You won’t find genuine repentance until you concede that you superceded God’s position and made yourself the god and the judge of rightness.

Satan has conned humanity

When you operate blindly under god, you’re actually being controlled by Satan; that’s why he sold the lie to Eve in the first place. If a man truly wants to be a servant of the living God he has to come to the point in his life where he sees he is the centre of his own universe. You see this in every child, every child thinks they’re the centre of the world, but a Christian is meant to face it and turn from it. Some people try to overcome their selfishness with generosity, good works, niceness, religion and even evangelism, but all these fail unless you switch gods. Adding God to your god and calling it Christian is counterfeit. God isn’t interested in sharing His position.

The real issue isn’t sin

Jesus didn’t come to save us from our sin !!

Q. What is sin?

The bible has 4 definitions of sin

  1. Doing anything against your conscience (James 4:17)
  2. any fracture of the ten commandments (1John 3:4)
  3. doing anything against God’s direction (1John 5:17)

but sin can be summarised in the 4th definition … whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23)

The bible says in Romans 3:23 … all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and in Romans 6:23 … the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Neither verse says he came to save us from our sin.

Q. Did Jesus come to save us from our sin?

A. No. Most Christians think Jesus came to save us from our sin and therefore they believe if they are good, then it proves they are saved, so they spend their time focussed on being good. But, Jesus didn’t come to save us from our sin, He came to save us from the penalty of our sin. That’s why as genuine Christians we still fall to sin but it isn’t counted against us so we suffer no eternal penalty for it.

Q. Why did Jesus come?

A. He came to save us from worshipping the wrong god

Q. What’s the 1st commandment?

A. Thou shalt have no other gods but Me

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.  John 14:6

Q. If you were Satan, what strategy would you employ to counteract God?

A. Trick God’s creation from worshipping Him by introducing multiple gods, such as Allah, and Buddha. But there’s a god that is less obvious and more subtle than all other counterfeit gods.

Q. What’s the no.1 god Satan has introduced to man to trick him from worshipping the true God?

A. Himself. In Genesis 3, Satan tricked Eve into eating the fruit that God had said they couldn’t. The carrot was that she would be elevated to a higher status of god v.5. The temptation to be higher was too great and she succumbed. Thus mankind automatically inherits the core of sin … Me is the centre of the universe. I am the centre of the universe is in direct violation of the great I AM who said no other gods but Me.

Q. What was man’s original sin?

A. Eve disobeyed God’s command and enticed by envy, sought the higher position of god

Q. Why did Jesus come?

A. Not to save you from your sin, but to save you from worshipping yourself, and until this god is destroyed you cannot be a Christian, because God will not allow any other god to usurp His position. It’s worship of self that is the origin of sin. All sin comes from the worship of self. The answer to life isn’t to be good and try and not sin; the answer to life is to cease worshipping yourself. The bible calls this ‘die to yourself’.

If any come to me and hate not his own life, he cannot be my disciple, and whoever doesn’t bear his cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:26,27

When you’re dead to yourself by faith in God alone to save you, then you have life instead of death. It’s that simple, but few fall on their sword, preferring the praise of men to the suffering of the gospel.

The church teaches that Jesus came to save us from our sin. He actually came to save sinners. He came to save us from the penalty of our sin. The real issue for man’s spirit isn’t sin; sin is the fruit. The real issue is where it all started in Eden, man made himself god. Jesus came to save you from yourself. Therefore, you can repent of your sin as much as you like but it won’t free you. You can’t get spiritually free until you stop being the centre of your universe; until you sacrifice the god in you and you surrender to the God of the universe to own you and run you. Only when you do that, is repentance genuine and God then covers your sin.

Sewing fig leaves = covering up what we don’t want ourselves and others to see so we look good and feel good.

Sewing fig leaves doesn’t address our sin, it feeds our god; it focusses on what I can do to make you like me; it focusses on what I can do to restore or maintain my position and value. The secret motive for doing most things is so we can stay the centre of our own universe. Like Eve and Adam, instead of owning our god selfishness, we sew fig leaves together and pretend we’re good, and blame the other person for making us feel bad or making me do it.

The real fight isn’t against demons

The real fight to be a genuine Christian and to retain being a genuine Christian isn’t against demonic spirits, it’s against yourself. That’s how you win the victory over demons … you sacrifice yourself and God fights for you.

God is looking for men and women who’ll open their own heart to see their own arrogant pride, and fight themselves to walk under God’s will, instead of camouflaging their sin with fig leaves. The question is, will you commit to the real fight or will you consent to the comfortable lifestyle Christianity of the majority?

Pastor John McGrath

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Posted by on January 15, 2012 in god, Pride


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