In Part 1 we looked at how we are to FACE THE REAL ISSUES:
In Part 2 we looked at how we are to DEAL WITH OUR ANGER:
Today we will look at the need to DIE TO SELF AND LIVE BY CHRIST:
Galatians 2:20 ESV 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.
We might quickly say, "I have died to myself." Remember this, any place that I am offended, hurt, and angry in my heart is a place that I am not dead in Christ, but alive in the flesh. Dead men can't be offended, hurt and angered. I know this is hard but it is truth.
I have done a lot of funerals in my 40 years of ministry. I have never had a person in the coffin rise up and say that they disliked the color of the interior of the coffin or disliked the funeral flowers or disliked the service. Dead people don't have a choice nor are they hunt and offended.
Let me say that I am not trying to minimize the hurt or pain that you may have experienced in your life. I am only addressing the options we have in dealing with those experiences and the emotions tied to the hurt. We can own the pain and hurt and give it to Christ for healing, or the pain and hurt can own us and dictate our lives. When we live in anger, pain, hurt, and unforgiveness we are giving the keys of our mind and emotions to someone else to drive our lives as they please. I'm sorry, but life is short and I refuse to allow others to control my thoughts and feelings, while I roll around in self-piety playing the part of a damaged victim.
An open and deliberate decision to not live according to your old life and consciously to allow Christ to live out His life in you is a special and necessary part of deliverance from anger. When this is done, you open yourself to Christ's full work in your life.
There seems to be two aspects to dying to self. There is the initial dedication period which is like starting anew. There is also the regular daily moment-by-moment dying to self which starts with a daily morning prayer where we commit ourselves to the Lord honestly and without reservation or excuses. We make these choices every day. If we don't we will find ourselves building a wall of anger within us towards someone until one day we wake up and realize how far we have removed ourselves from God, His abundant life and His peace and joy.
(Ephesians 4:30 ESV) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
(Ephesians 4:31 ESV) Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
(Ephesians 4:32 ESV) Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
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.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.