You may have heard the saying, “prior to a resurrection, there has to be a crucifixion.” If you want a new life you will need to leave the old life behind. One of my favorite Bible verses is Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” II Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation (creature); the old has gone, the new has come!” and Jesus says in Matthew 16:24-25, “…if anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life (self-centered) will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it.”
As Christ followers, we have experienced a spiritual birth; we have been born-again (John 3:3). We now have the Holy Spirit of God living within us (I Corinthians 3:16). However, within every Christian there is spiritual conflict. Galatians 5:17 says, “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other…”
So, what do you do? You desire to be filled with God’s Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), so you can live by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) and be led by the Spirit (Galatians 5:18). Within each of our lives there is a cross and a throne. Self (old sin nature) is to be nailed to the cross and Christ should be on the throne. Often times self tries to get back on the throne; but with God’s help we need to make sure this does not happen!
We need to see sin and selfishness for what they are: damaging, destructive and deadly. Romans 12:9 says, “…Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” And when you sin have a genuine remorse. II Corinthians 7:10 says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret…” Conclude with I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify (cleanse) us from all unrighteousness.”
Now that is an encouraging word!
Celebrating 28 Years of Service as Exec. Director, Jimmie Hale Mission