Galatians 2:20 is a constant encouragement to me: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” May we continuously celebrate that Christ lives in us and pray that His life flourishes in us and flows through us to be a blessing to others.
How do we do that? One primary key for me is the principle of dying to self. The word “crucified” is pretty powerful to us as Christians. We immediately think of the One who was crucified for us. While we are not all asked to die physically for Christ (some are martyrs, but not all), we are all asked to live for Christ; and to do that we must die to self. We either live for self or live for Christ. Not both.
What does it mean to die to self? It means we put our carnal nature on the cross. We put our selfish desires on the cross. We put our fleshly leanings on the cross. When Jesus died on the Cross, He gave His life for you and me. For us, dying to self allows us to give and live our lives for Him. Crucifixion speaks about death; Jesus died on the Cross. We need to, in effect, put our old nature on a cross and die to self. What a powerful image — and even more powerful truth.
We die to self so that we can say no to carnal conversations. We die to self so that we can say no to selfish desires. We die to self so we can say no to fleshly temptations. And we say yes to living like Christ, for Christ, and in Christ.
What needs to die in your life? What forms of ungodliness need to be crucified if you will? Where do you need to live for Christ more powerfully, in the power of His Spirit who is in you?
“I no longer live…but Christ lives in me.” Stirring words, to be sure. This is the goal, to die to self so that we can live like never before — for Him. May these words be lived out in and through us for His glory.