“Dying to self”… It’s a term that is found throughout the New Testament in one form or another but it is something that is scarce to be heard from the pulpits in modern churches today. Many pastors are too afraid to preach this Biblical message for 1) fear of losing their job, 2) not being “relevant” and 3) because it will offend many!
If you get offended by this, then you are getting offended by the Word of God, not me!
Galatians 2:20(NKJV) says “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
The moment we are born again, we surrender our entire lives to Christ. Remember that hymn “I surrender all”? Now that sounds as bad a cliche as “Give me your hand and give Jesus your heart”. So I want to clear things up. I want to make sure you know that the great majority of Christians are not “surrendering all” to Christ because they don’t know what it truly means. It’s a hymn they sing… it’s a nice Christian cliche… if only it was practiced in real life!
What does surrendering truly mean? It means to give up everything of yourself! Do what it takes to get to that place! Do what it takes to be more like Christ!
In order to live the Christian life, you have to be willing to die to self!
“It is no longer I who lives!” says the Apostle Paul. In other words, it’s not what I want to do, it’s not what my carnal flesh desires, it’s not about me, me, me! It is instead Christ who lives in me. That means I must live the way Christ would have me to live! That means I must love what He loves and hate what He hates! I must have a desire for growing in holiness (sanctification), a desire not to be like the world, not to be like the great majority of Christians, not to be like pop idols and celebs but to be like Jesus Christ!
We are not our own! We are Christ’s! We are bought with a price! We are His! Therefore we must glorify God both in our body and our spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
The Apostle Paul goes on to write “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
This temporal earthly life that we live right now, we are to live it by faith in the Son of God.
“…who loved me and gave Himself for me”… I want you to meditate on those words for a bit. The Son of God was crushed by God the father! He bore the full wrath of God that we justly deserved upon Himself! We owe a debt of gratitude to Christ for what He has done for us!
The immense love of God should be enough to move us with appreciation and gratitude for what He has done for us.
Luke 9:23“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
In Matthew 10:38 Christ says “he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
John 12:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”