THE ABUNDANT LIFE IS A LIFE YIELDED TO CHRIST:
Romans 6:10-13 ESV For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. (11) So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (12) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. (13) Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
How to live the abundant life is no secret; it is revealed in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in Rom. 6:10-13. The same faith that "saves" us also identifies us with Christ in His death. This is eternal life. The faith that "yields" to death to self also identifies us with Christ in His resurrection. This is abundant life.
Colossians 3:1-4 ESV If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (2) Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (3) For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (4) When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
***It is one thing to have eternal life by faith. It is quite another to have abundant life by faith.
***It is one thing for us to be “made the righteousness of God in Him. It is another thing for us to realize His righteous life is in us.
1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
***It is one thing for us to live in Christ. It is another thing for Christ to live His life in and through us.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
We, as believers have a choice. We can yield unto God by faith and enjoy abundant life, or we can yield unto sin and endure a defeated life. God would have us to “know and experience the power of a yielded life.” By the way, I have met many "committed" Christians. However, they were committed to church, to a building, to a denomination, or to a certain doctrinal creed.
Not only must we not yield to sin, but we must not yield to the traditions and religions of man if we really want to walk in the abundant life of Christ. The power of a yielded life will lift us above circumstances that tries to cut off abundant living. The abundant life begins when we yield to Him as Master, allowing Him to live His life through us by faith.
Colossians 3:17 ESV And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV (31) So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Colossians 3:23-24 ESV Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, (24) knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
1. RAISING THE STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE SHOULD AFFECT ALL AREAS OF OUR LIFE:
2. RAISING THE STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE IS AN INTERNAL ATTITUDE WHICH IS MANIFESTED IN THE EXTERNAL
Let others see Jesus in you. You are the only Jesus some will ever see and the only Bible they will read.
What if you are the only chance some of your acquaintances will ever have to be saved? Are you the light that will guide them? The challenge of a "first impression" for a believer should be a high standard of excellence:
2 Corinthians 3:2-3 ESV (2) You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. (3) And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
As believers many of us see being Christian as something we do. We read our Bibles, pray, go to church, and give our offerings. These are all good disciplines of the faith and should be done. However being a Christian is more than something we do, it is someone we are. We are called Christian because we are like-Christ.
Our old Adamic nature is dead, we have been given a new nature, the nature of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, we are developing a new set of actions, which leads to new habits, which leads to a new lifestyle, which leads to new strongholds, which leaders to a new character. My character is not what I do but who I am.
Sow a thought and you reap a deed or an action. (What we think and then act out)
Sow a deed and you reap a habit. (What we continue to do until it becomes a habit)
Sow a habit and you reap a lifestyle. (That which we do daily)
Sow a lifestyle and reap a stronghold. (What we do now drives us)
Sow a stronghold and reap a character. (No longer what we do but who we are)
Sow a character and you reap a destiny. (Who we are determines what we accomplish in our life)
In the Old Testament, Joseph was called "a dreamer" by his brothers, but his expansive dreams came true. Why? Joseph decided who he was before he decided what he would do, and he lived out his vision in everything he did. Joseph was a man of excellent character.
God is always more concerned with your character than your position in life.
Proverbs 11:3 ESV The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
Proverbs 4:23 ESV Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.