Dying To Self

The Bible is our manifest for life. It is our operations manual, others call it our guidebook. Its precepts are designed to teach us how to govern ourselves, as we mature as Christians, and travel down the path to our destiny.

The Old Testament precepts provide our travel instructions and through them we are encouraged to stay the course regardless of how live appears on earth, looking to our destiny, heaven as the purpose of our time on earth. The precepts offer hope in what can be defined as the godless world we live in today.

According to John Gill, learning encompasses: instruction “in the knowledge of Christ, of his person, offices, grace, righteousness, obedience, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension; and of the great salvation and redemption he came to obtain, and has obtained; and to teach us the doctrines of grace, of pardon through the blood of Christ, atonement by his sacrifice, justification by his righteousness, acceptance in his person, and eternal life through him; as also to inform us of our duty, and how we ought to behave both towards God and men.” (Romans 15:4, BibleStudytools.com/commentaries/Gill-exposition. March 23, 2018)

What Does that Mean for Us?

The theme of the month is dependence upon God and our obedience to Him. This scripture is yet another dimension of how we are to follow his instruction and rely on His Word to govern our lives. It informs us as to our duty as Christian Warriors in not only applying the precepts to our lives, but to demonstrate them through obedience to the Word. It describes the Trinity and how we can access the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The application of the precepts ensures that we are living a Christ-like life.

Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior

When we received Christ as our Lord and Savior, we received our Salvation and insurance that we are part of God’s family. We have been pardoned through the Blood of Christ. We are justified in his likeness and he dwells in our being.  As a member of his family, we received the promise of eternal life.

Instruction Requires Obedience to and a Dependence upon God

In an earlier post I discussed Obedience and Dependency. Both require our allegiance to our faith. By this I mean, it is impossible to live a Christ-like life without being obedient. Obedience is ascribed to the practice of our faith and is one of the initial acts of obedience and is essential to our character. (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, pp 438) This again takes us back to the Fruit of the Spirit defined as the characteristics of Christ. Living by these characteristics is a life long process because we fall daily and are in constant battle with our own demons given birth by Satan, and represent the opposite of Christ’s fruit.

Knowing we are susceptible to failure, we rest on the fact that as long as we are dependent upon our Father and rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance, our ability to overcome our flesh rests in the constant reminder of being obedient. Whenever we feel the nudge or hear the quiet, soft voice warn us of doing wrong, doing things expressed in our fleshly desires (acts of omission), or are not doing things we know we should (acts of commission). Paul said it thusly,

15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:15 NKJV

“So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Dying to Self

Our struggle is harnessing our fleshly desires to live like Christ. One author defines it as ‘carrying the cross’. It’s literally, dying to self. Dying to self is the true essence of the Christian life. It is part of being born again.

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
John 3:3-7 NKJV

We also die continually. To die to self is part of the process of sanctification. Dying to self is both a one-time event and a lifelong process. Dying to self is denying our flesh and living a spiritual symbolic life while living here on earth, and in so doing, as mentioned above, find eternal life in Christ. Dying to self is the reality of the new birth; no one can come to Christ unless they are willing to see the old life crucified with Christ and begin to live anew in obedience to Him. (Got Questions. What does the Bible mean by ‘dying to self’? gotquestions.org. March 23, 2018)

Humility, the Ultimate Dying to Self

Giving up your old self, dying to self, is living in a state of humility. Jesus died to self on the cross, surrendering himself in exchange for our sins. Though our rebirth we are freed from our fallen nature, our sin nature. Jesus accomplished this when he came down from heaven to dwell with us. Through the crucifixion he won life through death. “Humility and death are in their very nature one: humility is the bud; in death the fruit is ripened to perfection.” Humility leads to perfect death. Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death to set us free.

“The death to self is not our work, it is God’s work…the full manifestation of the power of this death is in our disposition and conduct and depends upon the measure in which the Holy Spirit imparts the power of the death of Christ. We must humble ourselves and surrender to God.” (Humility and Death of Self. biblestudytools.com. March 23, 2018)

Our primary responsibility in life is to die to self through meekness and humility. To accomplish this we should draw our strength from the Lord. We must (fully and completely) trust in God. I discussed sacrificing ourselves for others in an earlier post. We are to become dependent upon the Lord through prayer and study. We generally find that God’s grace abounds when we have come to our own end.

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom [a]every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the [b]saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations [c]forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21, NASB

Websites – Other posts on faith, hope, obedience and dependence, and more on lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com
biblestudytools.com
gotquestions.org

Other Resources
Vine, W.E. Vines Complete Expository Dictionary. 1996
Nouwen, Henri. Can You Drink the Cup. 1996

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Pt. 2, Wisdom Directs Your Steps

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A few days ago we learned what Solomon said about wisdom in Proverbs 16, Old Testament. Today we are going to learn what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2, New Testament, about wisdom. In the last Post we learned about knowing God’s Voice and acquiring wisdom. I also shared that through this wisdom we develop our character, in fact, I wrote an earlier piece on knowing the Voice of God (February 2018) entitled: Change Your Filter, Hear His Voice. Today we are going deeper into our relationship with our Lord and the benefits of building a Christ-like value structure. 1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:1-16‬ ‭NLT‬‬ is a message written by Paul about hearing the Wisdom of God, referred to as the Mystery of God.


“When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined, what God has prepared  for those who love him.” 10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person’s thoughts God's Master Planexcept that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. 13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16 For,“Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

‬‬1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:1-16‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Corinthians 2 is about power and wisdom. Power and wisdom are reliant upon one another and together keep the Christian life balanced. Warren Wiersbe succinctly stated, “Allow the Spirit of God to teach you about the Son of God from the Word of God, and grow up in Him.” Holy wisdom calls for us to rely totally on God for spiritual wisdom and rejecting the wisdom of the world. The discussion about Christian maturity speaks to our belief in the cross. Jesus’ accession to heaven by way of the cross. Do we believe God’s wisdom is greater than our interpretation of wisdom?  Do we believe that Christ’s crucifixion is part of God’s unfolding plan?

Without the light of God’s Spirit, we’ll be in the dark. We can either believe in the wisdom of this age or the wisdom of God which is eternal. One theme in most of my Posts is the belief that as Christian Warriors we must live a Christ-like life. As Christian’s, we must first accept Christ as our Lord and Savior to establish our faith. As Christian’s, it is important that we believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – the Trinity. It is important that we establish a relationship with our Lord and learn to hear His voice in prayer.  It is our responsibility to read and study the Word. It is our responsibility to know and embrace the Fruit of the Spirit. Once these have been accomplished we begin to mature as Christian warriors.

1 Corinthians 2-9

The question then becomes, do we apply the Word to govern our lives? Is our faith enough to address how we act or respond to difficulties in our lives? Does it support reconciliation, the restoration of friendly relations? Do we use our faith as the justification for overcoming conflict at home, social settings and work? Do we rest on our faith to maintain a respectful relationship with those we are at odds with or did harm to us? Do we have the right perspective and maintain our Christian walk regardless of what this world offers us?

The Trinity5True wisdom is accepting that God has a master plan that we will never fully understand, but accept as the truth. This faith resides in our relationship of the Trinity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The wisdom of accepting the Trinity opens the door for our relationship with the Holy Spirit who communicates with us through prayer.  God’s thoughts are revealed through the Holy Spirit, who reveals these deep thoughts to us, the believers.

“According to Paul, the Holy Spirit searches the very depths of the heart and mind of God. He can do this because He is God-the third member of the Trinity. Paul’s point is that the Holy Spirit functions within the Trinity the way our human spirit functions within us” (Ben).  The Holy Spirit knows God because He is God. We know our spirit because it is our spirit. The Holy Spirit has access to the workings of the Godhead.

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the direct link to God, do you ask him in prayer to share the Lord’s wisdom in what you are praying about, asking for his guidance? Do you spend time in prayer until you hear from the Lord or is your prayer a drive-by prayer? Spend a few minutes in prayer, do not maintain silence and calmness, say, ‘okay’ get back to me and then, guilt-free, having done your due-diligence, act on your own wisdom? This is exactly what Paul was concerned about so long ago. Do we say we are Christians and live by the wisdom of the Word of God, or do we say we are Christians and default to our own understanding? Paul 00-end-time-bible-prophecy-word-of-god-is-aliveexplained that some people do not respond to the Holy Spirit: “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually appraised.” The natural man is someone who does not have a relationship with the Holy Spirit. If you do not have this relationship you cannot understand the deep wisdom that is being shared. People that do not understand the wisdom of the Word are controlled by their behavior, feelings, urges, logical choices, moods, and worldly goals. People who have access to deep wisdom and abide by the Word have Christ-centered lives, Christ-like values and behaviors, and live according to the Word.

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”  

Romans 8:11 

Are Christians perfect and live Christ-centered lives 24/7? No. The beauty is that through Christ, we are not only saved, but can repent of our sins, our shortcomings, and are forgiven. Our responsibility then becomes a journey to eliminate the sins of omission we commit by not doing something we should have done, as well as sins of commission which we knowingly commit, sins that the Holy Spirit warns of and we do them regardless.  It is difficult to commit a sin of commission and get away with it, but it is quite easy to commit a sin of omission without others knowing.

Omission, comission3Some sins of Commission are:

Committing sexual sin, adultery, fornication, bestiality, molestation, homosexuality, pornography; theft, covetousness, murder, physical abuse, bullying, mental abuse; gossip, slander, backbiting, lying, manipulating, cursing, etc. Many of these things are opposite the Fruit of the Spirit.

Some sins of Omission are:

Failing to pray regularly, failing to pray for others, failing to tithe, failure to be faithful stewards in our finances, failing to help others when nudged from the Holy Spirit, failing to provide for your family, failing to read and study the bible, and failing to fellowship with other Christians (corporate fellowship is important), etc.Sin is Sin2

The fact is, at the end of the day, sin is sin, and God hates all sin. Sin keeps us from our fellowshipping with the Lord, and strengthing our relationship with Him, as well as other Christians.

One sin stands out more than any other, the sin of rejecting the Holy Romans 10-9,10Spirit and not receiving Christ as your Lord and Savior. The most important thing we can and should do is receive Christ as our Lord and Savior and ensure our Salvation through this simple prayer. It is not enough to say it, you must believe it with all your heart in faith.

Johne 316

Romas 8_1

Resources

Hayford’s Bible Handbook. 1 Corinthians 2
Wiersbe, Nelson’s Quick Reference. 1 Corinthians 2

Websites

lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com
Sins of Commission vs Sins of Omission: The Two Types of Sins Humans Commit. http://www.revelation.co/2015/07/21 by Ben

Scriptures – Bible.com
Images – Google Images. LAB’s photo collection, CanStockPhoto.com

 

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

The Trinity, Consecration, and Lent

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As we enter the Consecration or Lenten Season and ponder God’s Word in our lives, consider this: the Trinity was created before the Creation. This is an odd introduction to Consecration and Lent, but it explains why both exist today. Without the Crucifixion of Christ, there would be no New Testament and no Trinity. There would be no Consecration or Lenten Season.

God spoke in the plural explaining the genesis of man. He said, let us make man in our image. Key Words – us and our. Us and our are plurals, indicating more than one being. This is perhaps the revelation about the coming of the Trinity. God is masterful, this was all part of his plan. 143316F3-D84C-465C-9841-8BF7FC69DE5F

 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Genesis 1:26 KJV

We are in the season of the Crucifixion of Christ, Easter. Upon his death, we entered the New Testament dispensation, the actualization of the birth of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our Father made all there is, Christ came to free us from sin, and the Holy Spirit (Spirit of Christ) came to indwell in us and guide us upon Christ’s departure. Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit.

15“If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you… 25All this I have spoken while still with you–. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
John 14:15, 16, 17,25-26 NIV

As Christians, we believe in the Trinity. Annually many of us take this special time to ‘thank God’ by entering Consecration prior to Easter. It is our time to earnestly Seek the Lord, and strengthen our relationship with him through fasting, prayer, praise, and worship for a specific period.

Consecration is derived from the word, consecrate meaning ‘to dedicate’, in Romans 12:1, the scripture says, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.

IMG_5941Consecration is not so much a ceremonial time as it is a commitment, a time of inspiration and gratitude. Lent is more sacrificial, in that Catholics and some Protestant denominations use this time to attain God’s blessing, which is antithetical because the New Testament teaches that grace cannot be earned, grace is the gift of righteousness.

“But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!…For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!”
Romans 5:15, 17 NIV

Consecration is our opportunity to search ourselves and strengthen our relationship with the Lord as we simultaneously reach toward spiritual maturity. Consecration is the basis for every spiritual experience. We are giving ourselves as a living sacrifice, we are to live out our lives as a “holy” and “royal” priesthood to the glory God, for we are God’s people.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
1 Peter 2:9 NIV

17A11A6D-6A7F-43B4-8267-0552577EEE5AIn essence, we give up our own claims on ourselves and put ourselves in Gods hands.

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Lent is not listed in the Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. According to GotQuestions.org, Lent began as a way for Catholics to remind themselves of the value of repentance. Over the centuries Lenten observations have developed as a much more “sacramental” time. Many Catholics believe that giving something up for Lent is a way to attain God’s blessing. Which, as explained above cannot be reached because we do not live by works, we live by grace. There is nothing we can do, no work we can offer that will reward us in the eyes of God. It is through His righteousness that we live by grace.

The Catholic Encyclopedia describes Lent as: “The aim of Lent is, above all else, to prepare man for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ. The better the preparation, the more effective the celebration will be.” The idea is to imitate the struggles Jesus faced when he was in the wilderness for 40 days and had to fast. People try to get penance and forgiveness from their sins, with some choosing to fast and others trying to give up something they enjoy for the duration of Lent.

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Scriptures – Bible.com
Images – Google Images
Research – Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary; Google.com; Blog.Bibleforamerica.org; metro.co.uk; gotQuestions.org; West Angeles, COGIC; Bible.com

If you like what you are reading, follow me and receive the daily inspiration in your inbox. Also visit my website, youngchristianwarriors.com and find lessons to help you and your loved ones become stronger in the Word.