Unmasking Self-Flattery in the Church by C. Matthew McMahon
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Self-deception is inherent in everyone, even born-again Christians, those who have much biblical light and knowledge. And whatever degree of holiness they are currently at, they are satisfied with where they are. In this satisfaction, they often flatter themselves, believing that God is as pleased with them as they are of themselves.
Many people in the church flatter themselves, believing they have discovered an easier path in the Christian walk, and in the eternal salvation which brings them to heaven, than Paul was aware of. They assume they will achieve victory and receive the crown not by battling and mortifying their own sins, but by deluding themselves into thinking they are something rather than nothing and engaging in cleverly crafted self-talk full of gracious words and empty persuasiveness. This only serves to disguise their own hypocrisy and unfaithfulness to Christ’s covenant, leading to the deception and ruin of themselves, and even other people they infect. The Christian church is filled with people like this. Are you one of them?
Self-flattery is a sin against the ninth commandment which must be unmasked. In this work, McMahon seeks to uncover this very pervasive sin, showing what self-flattery is, how one comes to flatter themselves in their daily walk, and the motives to shun self-flattery in order to mortify it by the power of the Spirit.
People often like to hear from the preacher, just tell me Jesus loves me and leave it at that. This delusion is the cornerstone of a self-flattering person. People always say, “I’m a Christian!” The question revolves around whether they act like it as well; do they have a life answerable to the profession they make when they say it? Or are they hiding behind the mask of smooth words they tell themselves about their spiritual condition?
C. Matthew McMahon, Ph.D., Th.D., is a Reformed theologian, and pastor of Grace Chapel in Crossville, TN. He is the founder and chairman of A Puritan’s Mind, the largest Reformed website on the internet for students of the Bible concerning Reformed Theology, the Puritans and Covenant Theology. He is the founder of Puritan Publications which publishes rare Reformed and Puritan works from the 17th century, specializing in the Westminster Assembly. He is also a managing partner at Reformed.org, and the Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Sin of Self-Flattery
Chapter 2: Thinking You are Something When You are Nothing
Chapter 3: Motives to Shun Self-Flattery
Chapter 4: The Sin of Self-Flattery, and Finding True Peace
Chapter 5: Self-Flattery and Smooth Words