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The Tomb of the Unknown Self

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Dying to "self" so we can live for Christ.

Text: John 13:36-38
Date: 03/10/2019, the Traditional service.
Series: "John: Encountering Love" Part 126

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In one of the most dramatic and ironic interchanges in the Passion narrative, Peter boasts to Jesus that he will gladly lay down his life for Him. Unfortunately Peter does not know himself very well. There is the "self" he thinks he is-- or even the "self" he wants to be; but then there is his "unknown self" that lurks within, dictates his actions, and will eventually cause him to deny Christ and desert Him in His hour of need. Before Peter can reach his potential as the disciple Jesus wants and needs him to be, his "unknown self" must be destroyed. We will define the "unknown self" and look deep within our own "selfs" to try to unmask it, confront it, and ultimately help destroy it. In order to truly live for Christ-- we must first see every part of us that fights against Him dead and buried in the tomb of the unknown self.

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I. Introduction, Rom. 7:15, 18-19.
II. Exposition of the text, John 13:36-38.
A. Context
B. The "would-be" follower.
1. The desire to follow Jesus, vs. 36.
a. A revealing oversight.
b. Jesus' response.
i. Tracing the ways Jesus is departing.
ii. The ways Peter cannot follow-- "yet".
• In His Crucifixion.
• In His Resurrection, John 6:39.
• In His Ascension.
c. More than mere desire, Matt. 14:28.
2. The essence of the unknown self, vs 37.
a. Discovering the "unknown self", vs. 37a.
i. Peter is impatient and petulant.
ii. Too much "self".
b. The unknown self's boast, vs. 37b.
i. A double-edged boast, Matt. 26:33.
ii. A twice-stated boast.
iii. An ironic boast, John 10:15.
c. Dealing with the unknown self.
i. The dilemma of the unknown self, Luke 14:28. 31.
ii. The "self"-destroying lesson, Luke 9:23.
3. The "self"-destroying lesson begins, vs. 38.
a. Living for Jesus.
b. A solemn prediction.
c. Finding a use for the "unknown self".
III. Application
A. Learning from Peter's example.
B. Dealing with our own "unknown self".
1. More than mere desire.
2. Unmasking the "unknown self".
3. Confronting the "unknown self".
a. "Self" is a god.
b. Examining our faith.
4. Destroying the "unknown self".
a. How NOT to die to self.
i. Self-acquired righteousness.
ii. Legalism or asceticism.
iii. Contrived supernaturalism.
b. How to help send the unknown self to the tomb.
i. Recognize and accept the sovereignty of God.
ii. Implement and practice basic Christian principles.
iii. Behold the beauty of Christ.
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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