Die to Self
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.Galatians 2:20
What does scripture mean by “it is no longer I who live”? Do we give up life as we know it, does our personality change, or do we become a different person? We will attempt to answer these questions from scripture.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, (Romans 8:29) Those who accept Christ as their Savior are predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son. Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16). If we have the mind of Christ, it is a mind filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Besides renewing our minds the Lord gives us a new identity. 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) We are God’s special possession and we live in the eternal family of God. We are heirs of God and coheirs with Christ. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, (Romans 8:16-17)
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) To follow Christ is to be his servant, and we deny ourselves in order to do the will of our Lord. What this really means is that we are his servants and he guides us through life, giving us Godly wisdom to make choices and to be a light in this world. Since the Lord guides us, and we make choices according to his divine will, the outcome is in the Lord’s hands. This is truly freedom because we put everything in his hands and we live as his servants. Thus our lives are driven by Godly wisdom which means life is better while we are being molded to be Christ-like.
As we minister to lost souls, meditate on the Word, pray, and fellowship, his love increases in our hearts and greatly reduces fear coming from Satan. As our trust in the Lord increases, we develop the attitude that we can overcome anything in life through the power of God. For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4)
In summary as we die to self, God molds us to the person he created us to be. We are now secure in Christ, have a new identity, a divine purpose for living, and the love and power of God to overcome the world. We walk securely which makes us humble, and any defensive behavior virtually disappears. Our true personalities appear, and any facades we have disappear. We live as God’s ambassadors in this world, knowing that heaven is our home. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. (2 Corinthians 5:20) We are now closer to the Lord than we are to the world. When we die to our old nature, God molds us to our new nature that is filled with love, peace, joy, and security from the Lord.
Today let the Lord mold you to be Christ-like and to experience life to the full. Know your identity in Christ and the divine reason you live, to point people to the Kingdom. Heaven is your home and you are living in a foreign land as Christ’s ambassador. Trust the Lord’s guidance and live in peace.
Let’s Pray: Lord, help me to die to any old habits that are not pleasing to you, and to replace them with new habits that are pleasing to you. Mold me to take control of my emotions and to respond securely with Godly wisdom. Continue to mold me to have the mind and heart of Christ. In Jesus name, Amen