The Apostle Paul sets forth some tremendous truths regarding sanctification and a living a holy life. In his writing to Christians in Rome (Romans 6: 1-
14). Paul begins this passage by questioning, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” He addresses the mistaken belief, held by someone, that because God is
merciful, we can just keep sinning repeatedly.
Paul corrects that thinking by writing about dying to self in verses 2 and 3:
“Certainly not! How shall we who dies to sin live any longer in it? Or do you know that as many of us were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death?
Some people today do not like talking about dying to self. We all want to talk about living. But the Bible often speaks of dying to the flesh as the only way to victorious
Christian living. Paul assures believers of victory over sin when he writes in verse 14:
“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” BREAKING THE POWER OF SIN’S DOMINION.
The question is, how can you live the kind of life where sin no longer has dominion over you? The answer is by dying to the flesh: ROMANS 6: 11- 13 declares:
“Likewise you also, recon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you
shall obey it in its lusts. And not present your members as instruments of unright-eousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of
righteousness to God.”
You are the one who must determine that sin will nor reign in your life and that you will not yield to unrighteousness. Instead you must yield to righteousness, you must yield
to God and then sin no longer have power over you. In other words, you must die to self and the flesh - and let Jesus live His life in you, instead living it on own.
Self-sacriface gives you victory over satan, but “self-saving” gives satan victory.
Jesus tied serving and self-sacrifice together. He said that a corn of wheat that did not die would not produce fruit. If a corn of wheat is not buried, and does not die, it
will not reproduce. As believers, we cannot serve the Lord effectively and protect self at the same time. We cannot serve our Lord and mammon. (Matthew 6: 24)
A “CROSS - LESS” LIFE
At the begining of Christ’s ministry, satan offered him the kingdoms of the world without the cross - Jesus rejected His offer. Again, when the Lord was dying on the cross,
He was tempted to accept a cross-less life when those passing by cried out to Him to “come down from the cross”. But Jesus did not.
What happened to the Lord will also happen to you ... the devil will seek to put down the power of the cross in your life... he, and others around you, will say you do
not have to live a crucified life. But, you will only have genuine authority over the devil when you choose to die to self and live a crucified life.
THE POWER OF THE CROSS TO SAVE AND TO HEAL
Salvation, and healing are only found at the cross, even in the Old Covenant:
In Egypt, when the death angel passed over (Exodus 12: 29) God commanded Israel to apply the blood on
the top and side posts of the doors to their homes -
symbolic of the cross.
At Marah, when bitter waters were sweetened (Exodus 15: 25), God commanded Moses to cast a tree into the waters - again, symbolic of the cross.
In a deadly plague,when the brazen serpent was lifted up on a pole (Numbers 21: 9)
As the people looked upon it, they were healed, again, symbolic of the cross.
The prophet Isaiah declared in ISAIAH 53: 4-5 these powerful words:
“Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions he was
bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
Hetre again we see salvation and healing are given through the cross. And David also reminds us of the blessings of salvation and healing as a results of the work of the cross. (PSALM 103: 3).
The Apostle Paul said that our “old man” is crucified, sin is destroyed, and we are empowered to live a new life, through faith in God’s Son and the power of the cross.
BIND THE SACRIFACE TO THE ALTAR
In Old Testament times, they would bind sacrifices to the altar to make sure they did not fall off to the ground. In the same way, you must bind your life to the altar -
the cross - in order to live a victorious life and not fall back into sin.
In PSALM 118: 27 the Scripture tells us: “God is the LORD, which has shown us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.”
Sanctification (growing in Christ-likeness and Godly character) is ever increasing participation in Christ’s death. In MATTHEW 16: 24-26, Jesus said you must deny
yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him. To deny yourself is to say no to the flesh and to the world and take up your cross by following Christ’s example of dying to self. Jesus prayed to the
Father in the garden of Gethsemane before He went to the cross, “Not as I will, but as You will.”He laid Himself on the altar, and bought our salvation, healing and victory over sin and death.
MORE THAN CONQUERORS
In ROMANS 8: 35, Paul questions,“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or sword?
Then in ROMANS 8: 37 he says, “In all these things we are more than conquerors
through Him that loved us.” In all what things? The things of verse 35: tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, and sword. How are we
Through death as is written in verse 36; “For your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
We face the choice constantly, from morning until evening to exalt self or to die to your fleshly desires. It’s a process. You must keep dying all day long.
As you grow in Christ and crucify the flesh, there will come a time when you will face difficulties such as Paul describes - and you will not be shaken because dead people are
not bothered by tribulation. In dying we live. We have nothing to lose,
but this world of sin ... and everything to gain in glory!