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Dying to Sin

June 2nd, 2017

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin… (Romans 6:6 NIV)

The hardest thing for any human to give up is his claim to his own life. This is precisely where the inner spiritual battle is fought, for once we surrender ourselves to God and removed our own hands from trying to control our destiny, we enter into a wonderful freedom. But in trying to hang on to our own rights, our control over our own destiny in opposition to God, we find ourselves blinded, vulnerable to satanic deception and temptation, ripe for the picking.

The scripture says:

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14:12 ESV)

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” (Matthew 16:25 NLT)

Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:14-15 NIV)

Miles Stanford wrote:

It was on the cross of Calvary that God, in Christ, dealt fully and finally with self, the nature from which all our sins flow. “We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body, [which is the instrument] of sin, might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin” (Rom. 6:6, Amplified). The reason there is no other way for self to be denied is that God has done the work in this way: our identification with Christ Jesus in His death and resurrection! It is done; now it is ours to believe.

The battle is down in our hearts where we hold on to our selfishness like a prize. What we must do is to let go of it and give it to Christ. This cannot happen in a vacuum, void of details and circumstances. The battle always will have something specific attached to it. We must let go of our pride like Namaan and humble ourselves and apologize, or let go of our greed like the Rich Young Ruler and give something away, or let go of our strong will like Paul and say, “What do you want, Lord?”

And we must do this every day. Every day we will be tested in someway on how surrendered we are to Christ. To hold anything back from Christ is to not be fully surrendered.

A simple inventory will help us:

  • What things do you possess that are unsurrendered to God? Pray through them all and each.
  • Are you withholding your children from Him?
  • Are you too proud to apologize to someone?
  • Are you bitter because you have not gotten the attention you think you deserve?
  • Are you jealous over someone else’s life or position?
  • Are you unforgiving toward someone who has hurt you?
  • Are you afraid of the cost of leadership? Fearful of rejection or being criticized?
  • Are you selfish with your time and entertainments?
  • Are you proud of your reputation and unwilling to risk losing it for the sake of Christ?

There are many other things that God might put on our minds. All we can do is to confess our weaknesses and sins and surrender them fully and wholly to God. This is the only path of victory over sin for as long as there is one part of our lives unsurrendered, the devil can use that to tempt us and lure us into sin.

The Deeper Christian Life