Dying to Live

Apr 2, 2023    Ron Barnard

It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Ephesians 2:1-5 MSG

Dying to Live

The question isn’t whether or not we will die, but whether or not we will we live, really live?

We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. Romans 6:6-8 NLT

I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. John 5:24 NLT

Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matthew 26:36-38 NLT 

Before Jesus could die for humanity He had to die to self. He had to go through Gethsemane to the Cross!  

He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. Luke 22:39-44 NLT

Jesus willingly walked to his own crucifixion, knowing His Kingly coronation would be the cross!

Pride is not the posture of a breakthrough! 

If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? Luke 9:23-25 NLT

To take up your cross is to lay your life down and give all that you are to Him. 

He who looks at the white side of Christ’s cross and takes it up handsomely will find it just such a burden as wings are to a bird! - Samuel Rutherford

In dying I live - If I die to my flesh - And give up on things done my way

I’m learning to trust - That Jesus has got me - Like a potter who’s molding his clay

He works out His will - And I’m the one blessed - For all that He’s choosing for me.

When I was in charge - Only chains and dying - But now I’m alive and I’m free.

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:2 NKJV

Everybody wants to live, but nobody wants to die.

Contentment marks the lives of those who have died to self. 

So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life, even though invisible to spectators, is with Christ in God. He is your life. Colossians 3:1-3 NLT

Dying to self means God gets to decide.

If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. John 15:18 NLT

But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! Matthew 5:44 NLT

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 5:20 NLT 

Jesus did not come into the world to make bad men good. He came into the world to make dead men live! - Leonard Ravenhill