|FAQ ID # 5805|
|Last Update : 2007/12/31
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|Question / Issue|
|How does one truly die to self and follow jesus correctly?|
|Answer / Solution|
|This idea of 'dying to self' is central in the life long process of sanctification (becoming more like Christ). John the Baptist said, "He must increase, but I must decrease." - Jn 3:30 'Dying to self' is a continual decision we make as a believer and follower of Christ. It's a matter of taking ourself off of 'the throne' of our heart, and placing Christ Jesus there as Lord and King.
The Apostle Paul speaks to this idea of 'dying to self' in his letter to the church in Rome. "... 2b How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we to might walk in the newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey it's lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under the law but under grace." - Rm 6:2b-14
Notice that Paul said for us not to let sin reign! This clearly shows us that we have a choice now that we are set free from sin and no longer are in bondage to our fleshly desires.
In Paul's letter to the church in Galatia, he writes... "... I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law." - Ga 5:16-18
Paul further says... "24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with his passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." - Ga 5:24-25
It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we are able to remain in communion and fellowship with Christ and live in a way that's pleasing to Him. We cannot live the Christian life in our own strength. As children of God, we have been forever sealed with the Holy Spirit and He (the Holy Spirit) resides in us. That truth will never change. The missing element in many believer's lives is that 'upon' experience of the Holy Spirit as promised by the Lord Jesus Himself in Acts 1:8..."you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you..." This is a gift we can ask for daily - continually as we go through each day following Christ. It's sometimes referred to as a 'refilling' or 'the baptism of the Holy Spirit'... Whatever term you may use, it's a crucial part of living the Christian life victoriously!
You can find some good resources in Calvary's bookstore http://www.calvarybookstore.com/. One of which is D.L. Moody's book - Secret Power. He writes in this book... "Before we pray that God would fill us, I believe we ought to pray that He would empty us." This goes right along with John the Baptist's statement above.
Some other good reads on this subject are: The Baptism with the Holy Spirit - by R.A. Torrey, and Living Water - by Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in California. Pastor Mark also has a special teaching message called Baptized with Power (item #AC502) that you can order on the bookstore website or through the tape/CD ministry in the main sanctuary.
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