Friday, October 23, 2020

The Seven Stages of Self: Examine Yourself In Your Relationship To God

The Seven Stages of Self

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The Bible often tell us to examine and judge ourselves, to use our insight and experience to see who we are and where we are in relationship to God and even to ourselves. Below are some of these admonitions.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? - 2 Corinthians 13:5 

I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. - Psalms 119:59

Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. - Lamentations 3:40

Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. - Ezekeil 18:28

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. - Haggai 1:7

For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. – 1 Corinthians 11:31

This study is meant to help us along the path of knowing ourselves by giving 7 stages of self by which we can gauge the person we are in light of God’s Word.


Expressed:  I am not to blame. I am not at fault and I do not need to change who or what I am. I need no one to save me because I am not lost.

Exhibited:  This is the natural state of man before he is convicted of sin and confronted by the Holy Spirit. Left to themselves, this person will become bitter, hateful and have no hope in this world or in the world to come. Self-deception can often become self-hatred and self-destructive.

Exhortation: Romans 3:10-18

What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways:  And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Example: Adam Genesis 3:11-12

And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.


Expressed:  I don’t care whose fault it is. I am willing to change but only if I get what I want. I can care for others but only if they meet my needs.

Exhibited: This is the selfish self. In this state only today is important, while everything about this person is centerd on themselves. There is little or no real love for others. This state is reached when we move from self-hating to self-loving without the insight of God’s Word or the leadership of the Holy Spirit. In the end there is no true knowledge of what love is.

Exhortatation: 2 Titus 3:1-7  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth


Example: Samson

Judges 14:1-3 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.


Expressed: I am responsible for my own life and circumstances. I now realize that I can truly change but only through Christ in my life.

Exhibited: Here we understand  and accept blame, guilt and sin but realize that with repentance there is hope in Jesus Christ. This person has sees themselves as lacking what is necessary for salvation, growth and happiness. They reach outside themselves to God, have been saved and everything about them has the potential for lasting, eternal change.


Romans 10: 8-13 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Example: Jacob

Genesis 32:9-12, 24-26 And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.

 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.  And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.


Expressed: I know what I was but Jesus died for me and my past will not hinder my future. My Father loves me, I have been forgiven and my sins have been forgotten. I am not worthless, or a failure for God has redeemed me.

Exhibited:  This is the Child of God looking with hope and expectation to the future with Jesus as their Savior. This true self-esteem comes to us when we realize I am not worthless in the eyes of God for Jesus gave his life for me.  I have been bought with the priceless gift of God’s own son.

Exhortation: Romans 6:1-11

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Example: Zacheus

Luke 19: 8-10 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.


Expressed: Through Christ I am changing and growing everyday. My Spirit led, Bible directed choices will define my life, protect my family and bless me today and will also bring God’s reward in eternity.

Exhibited:  This saved sinner, has faith and confidence in Christ and through Christ in themself. They look at the future as a positive thing filled with hope. Self-confidence is confidence in the person I am now in Christ.  It is achieved as I walk with Christ in the experiences of life and learn to trust Him more and more.

Exhortation: 2 Tim. 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Example: Peter & John

Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

Act 4: 13  Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.


Expressed: I am responsible to God and in the future will be everything He wills me to be.

Exhibited: This person knows themself in Christ and in their duty toward Him. They have begun to see the power of Christ and hear the call of Christ in their life. The peson who is empowered finds great power through an intimate relationship with Christ and it is seen as they serve Him.

Exhortation: Philip. 4:11-13

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Example: Timothy

2Timothy 1:6 6-8 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;


Expressed: I have given myself completely to God and all I am, all I will ever be is completely in His hands. 

Exhibited: This is the believer who has come to a place of sacrifice through the denial of self. They desire God to shape them for His service, no matter the cost. The self-sacrificed person has come to a place of absoulute, unconditional surrender. It is here at the point of their greatest surrender, that the greatest victory is realized.

Exhortation: Romans 12:1-2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Example: Paul - 2 Timothy 4: 6-8

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 


The encouragement to examine ourselves can’t be fully carried unless we also seek examination outside our own perceptions. Many times we can be blind to the most glaring weaknesses, faults and failures. Part of this growing of ourseleves in relationship to God is to also give ourselves to his searching of our lives. No one knows us better and can bring about the changes we need better than the one who created us.

David knew this and prayed in Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

If we are to move grow from stage to stage, closer and closer to God and the happiness of a fulfilled life, then David’s prayer must also be our own. “Search me, O God.”


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this. I preached on this many weeks ago, but I find this to be very helpful.