Grace: Die to yourself

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So now that you know what grace is, I must now tell you why grace leads to a complete repentance and transformation of life. I cannot let you use grace and God’s eternal forgiveness as a reason to remain in sin. When you understand grace and understand the true extent of the price Jesus paid for us on the cross to save us from sin and death, as unworthy as we are, you have to change. You have to submit to God. You have to glorify Him and spread the gospel with your whole life. As He has loved you first and always will, don’t you want to show God that you love Him back and are willing to sacrifice your life to glorify His name, the same way that our Lord Jesus Christ died and was raised, to save us? So in this post I am going to explain why we serve God and strive to live a pure and blameless life, despite grace covering every sin we could ever do.

First I must define for you what it means to submit to God, serve Him and die to yourself. To die to yourself means to: push aside your fleshly desires; your sinful nature; your immediate needs for gratification; your pride; your emotions; and plan for your own life. It means to stop being lord over your own life and to truly let Jesus be your Lord and Saviour. It means to understand that Jesus did not simply die on the cross, but He died and was raised in order to raise us up into a newness of life and transform us in His name (Romans 6:4 (ESV) says: ‘We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.’). It means to accept God’s will for you, to want to be in alignment with God’s original purpose for you, and to be nourished by doing the good work of the Father alone (John 4:34). It means to care about pleasing the Father only. Submitting to God means wanting serving God in every way He destined you to, to be your biggest accomplishment.

But why do we actually do this? What makes us want to live such a life of ‘strict rules and regulations’ that looks like no fun and no pleasure, as it may seem? The answer is love. As Christians and believers, we die to ourselves and live for God because we love God. We understand how much God loves us and now that we know Him and love Him, we seek to do what pleases Him, knowing everything He has already done for us and will always do. If the Lord will forever be your rock, don’t you now want to be an honourable vessel that God can rely on to do His will (2 Timothy 2:21)? If God will always extend His hand to you and help you, don’t you also want to love, serve and help others as God commanded (John 13:34, Hebrews 6:10)? As you know God sings over you (Zephaniah 3:17) don’t you want to also reciprocate this love and action by praising His name and relentlessly spreading His Gospel, knowing it pleases Him? Don’t you want to live a life that shows that Jesus did not die on the cross for no reason, as you love Jesus and know that allowing yourself to be made new in the Lord is the desire of our Father in heaven? We serve and submit out of love, not fear. Not because lots of Christians around us are trying not to sin. Not to seem ‘Godly’. Not to ‘avoid hell’. We die to ourselves as we love God, and know that He does not wish for us to live in our flesh anymore.

Next, we submit to God and die to ourselves because when Jesus died on the cross, He ended the dominion that sin had over us. Romans 5:10 (AMP) says: ‘For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin’s dominion) through His [resurrection] life’ Whilst Romans 6:14 (AMP) says ‘For sin shall not [any longer] exert dominion over you, since now you are not under Law [as slaves], but under grace [as subjects of God’s favor and mercy].’ So if scripture, the Word of God, tells us sin no longer has power of us, why do we still live in it willingly? The Bible tells us that sin is death. Romans 6:23 (AMP) says: ‘For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.’ But when Jesus died, He raised us up WITH Him into a new life. So why do so many of us cling to the meaningless and selfish pleasures of sin? The Bible says we are free through Christ! We don’t have to be bound by sin anymore! That we were once slaves to sin but now we can submit to Jesus and be a vessel for good works instead! A new life through Jesus Christ that allows us to strive for purity and blamelessness before God is now available to us. So take this free gift! Submit to God and let Him remove the chains of sin from you. Jesus did not die on the cross and rise again, just for you to cling to the sin He dedicated His life’s mission to free you from. As Mike Todd said about submission to God in part 6 of his ‘Grace like a flood’ sermon series on YouTube, (which I strongly encourage you to watch), “it is not more chains, it is finally freedom”!

Next, we die to ourselves and let God take control because we know it is best for us! God is sovereign and knew us completely before we were even born. He has loved us each eternally. So who better to let control our life than our Father in heaven, instead of ourselves. We always say ‘God knows what He’s doing’ regarding the course of our lives, but please understand that God’s perfect plan for your life can only come to pass if you are walking in alignment with Him. God is a gentle God. He will not force His plan for you onto your life if you don’t want it. He is also a fair and just God, so if you want to sin, there will be consequences for it during your life. But if you choose to obey God, you will reap goodness and bare fruits that glorify God, and you will experience joy and peace, as a consequence of doing things God’s way and not your way. There are so many changes to my life and sacrifices I’ve had to make in order to grow in God and do things His way. It hasn’t been easy and it never will be a light and easy journey. But the fruits you get from glorifying God, and the reward of looking more like Him instead of always reaping dead fruits because of living in sin, is a life I want to live. So choose God or choose to live in sin. Choose to feed your flesh or choose to feed your spirit. The choice is yours.

We also die to ourselves and choose to submit to God because we know God pursues us! If you want to know more about the extent of God’s love and pursuit of us, read my blog post ‘A letter to my younger self’ and also read Luke 15! When you understand how much God yearns for you to experience His love and His best for you, which can only happen if you submit to Him and give Him permission to be the driver of the car of your life, you will want to give your life back to Him. As despite how unworthy, wicked and unfaithful you are, He wants you and will forever be faithful to you.

So I encourage you to make a decision today to submit to God, if you haven’t already. Give God back your life, as it truly belongs to Him. Let Jesus Christ reign in your life as your Lord and saviour and glorify Him with your life! Read the Word. See what God wants you to do and pray for God’s divine direction. Repent and turn completely away from sin with God as your strength. Decide to follow God’s plan and please Him, regardless of your own desires or original plans for yourself.

Romans 6:6 (AMP) ‘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.’

Romans 8:6 (AMP) ‘Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].’

Romans 6:13 (AMP) ‘Do not continue offering or yielding your bodily members [and faculties] to sin as instruments (tools) of wickedness. But offer and yield yourselves to God as though you have been raised from the dead to [perpetual] life, and your bodily members [and faculties] to God, presenting them as implements of righteousness.’

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