Chuck Deveau March 15, 2015 “Christian Self

Chuck Deveau
March 15, 2015
“Christian Self-Image/Esteem: The Eternal Value of
Being a Christian”
Operational Definition (What is “self-image/esteem”?):
Self-Image: “…the idea, conception or personal perception
one possesses of oneself…”—Random House Dictionary.
Self-Esteem: “…the inner perspective one embraces
regarding one’s personal value or worth…”—Random House
The “Clinical/Humanistic” Perspective (Cosmos: Man Centered):
According to this perspective “the personal perspective one
has of himself” and “the inner perspective one possesses of
his personal value or worth” is ESTABLISHED/determined
by the PERSON himself/herself. It’s up to ME!
According to this perspective, however, my “self-image”
and its “inherent value” is significantly influenced by a
variety of variables.
According to this perspective there is a “range” or spectrum
which “scores” one’s “self-image” and “self-esteem” on a
scale from “low” to “high!”
The Bottom Line: This perspective is man created,
creature centered and restricted to TIME (=ones’ brief
earthly life)! And it is deceptively DANGEROUS! Why?
The “Biblical” Perspective (Christocentric=Christ centered):
Key (central) Biblical texts: James 1:16-18, 22-25; I Peter
1:3, 22-25; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18; Ephesians 2:10, 4:24;
Colossians 3:8; Romans 6:4-14; Galatians 5:24, 6:15.
A New and Eternal Beginning (=spiritual rebirth;
regeneration; born again):
James 1:16-18—“Do not be deceived, my beloved
brethren. (vs.17) Every good gift and every perfect gift
is from ABOVE, and comes down from the Father of
lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of
turning (vs.18) In the exercise of His own will HE
BROUGH US FORTH by the word of truth, THAT we
might be a certain type of first fruits of his creatures
I Peter 1:3, 22-25—“Blessed be the God and Father of
our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant
mercy HAS begotten us (=caused us to be born from
above or) again unto a LIVING HOPE through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
(vs.22) “Since you have purified your souls in obeying
the truth through the Spirit in sincere (=genuine) love
of the brethren, LOVE one another fervently from a
pure heart, (vs.23) having been BORN AGAIN (=from
above), not of corruptible seed but incorruptible,
through the word of God which LIVES and ABIDES
forever (vs.24) because (=quote from Isaiah 40:6-8):
‘All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man
As the flower of the grass.
The grass withers.
And its flower falls away,
But the word of the Lord
Endures FOREVER.’
Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached
to you.”
“6” BULLET points!
 In this text James explains to his Christian readers
with very illustrative language that every believer in
Jesus Christ has been granted NEW spiritual
birth/life as a good and perfect GIFT!
 The absolute sovereignty of God in “regeneration/new
birth” is nowhere in all of Scripture more succinctly
and colorfully presented.
 “New birth” is a PERFECT conception (GIFT) for its
PRIME PROGENITOR is man’s Creator.
 Thus the “born again” one, the child of God, should
come to realize that his/her “new birth” is the
beginning (genesis) of his/her eternal spiritual journey
(destiny) with all its limitless potential.
 I am now also, in “regeneration” the “first-fruit”
(=fore gleam) of all future creative realities (=new
heaven and earth)!
 SO once again the initial 1st step toward
understanding the Biblical perspective of my real
“self-image/esteem” is to embrace my “new spiritual
birth” which transpired the moment that, by the
sovereign grace of God, I was declared eternally
righteous through faith in Jesus Christ and received
the FREE gift of “eternal life!”
A New, Eternal and Spiritual Self-Image/Esteem:
1. James 1:23-25—“But be doers of the word, and not
hearers ONLY, deceiving yourselves. (vs.23) For if anyone
is a hearer of the word (only) and not a doer, he is LIKE a
man observing his NATURAL FACE (=face of his birth)
in a MIRROR; (vs.24) for he observes himself (=perceives
the self-image), and immediately FORGETS what kind of
man (self-image) he was (is). (vs.25) But he who looks into
the perfect law of LIBERTY and continues (abides) in it,
and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this
one will be blessed in what he does.”
2 Corinthians 3:16-18—Nevertheless when one turns
to the Lord, the veil is taken away. (vs.17) Now the Lord
is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is
LIBERTY (vs.18) But we all, with unveiled FACE
BEHOLDING as in a MIRROR the GLORY of the
Lord, are being TRANSFOMRED into the same
IMAGE from glory to glory, just as BY the Spirit of the
“7” BULLET points!
 Please note that with verse 23 James likens the
Word of God to what? A “mirror” which
reveals/reflects the Christian’s TRUE spiritual
 Thus the phrase “natural face=face of his birth” is
a reference to my “new birth” in Christ that he
mentions in 1:18!
 Therefore a Christian (=born again one) on a
spiritual/emotional should go to the “mirror” of
God’s eternal Word and SEE himself for that new
and precious eternal person he/she IS as one
“begotten” by the Father of lights (1:17)!
 HOWEVER, as James makes clear this beautiful
“self-image/esteem” will soon become a “fading”
reality IF I do NOT live in obedience to God’s
Biblical will!
 This means that, if I only take in God’s Word—the
instrument He used to conceive me—and do not
COMPLY with it on a daily or practical level I will
become DULL (=opening up the flood gate for all
types of distortions) with regard to WHOM I truly
am as an eternal son/daughter of our living
 The verb “looks=peer intently” carries the idea of
“bending down” or “stooping down” to see
 This conception is also present with Paul in 2
Corinthians 3:18—“But we all, with unveiled FACE
BEHOLDING as in a MIRROR (=once again the
Word of God is likened to a mirror) the GLORY of
the Lord, are being TRANSFOMRED into the same
IMAGE from glory to glory, just as BY the Spirit of
the Lord.”
Paul’s presentation is that what/who we should
really see is “Christ and His glory…” We are to
intently “behold” in the mirror of the Word of
God’s Word our precious Lord Jesus Christ and
fall deeply and madly in LOVE with WHO we see.
And WHEN we do this or to the extent that we
“behold HIM” we will see ourselves ORGANICLY
“in Him” and He “in us” and thus increasingly we
will become “transformed to conform to His
character image!”
James 1:25—“But he who looks (=peers intently)
into the perfect law of LIBERTY and continues
(abides) in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer
of the work, this one will be blessed in what he
Summary/Conclusion: James has cogently articulated the fact
that a Biblical understanding of self-image/esteem is essential to a
productive/fruitful Christian experience.
It is not only fitting that we possess a Biblical “self-image/esteem,”
it is imperative IF we are to live healthy, enriching and eternally
productive lives.