ESV - 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
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My simple and 'easy' answer is that, as a Child of God, we "deny ourselves, by 'dying to self' and then allowing God's Holy Spirit to be our guide every single day, seeking His righteousness every single day and being more like Jesus every single day". This is how we allow God's Holy Spirit to teach us and be our 'teacher- guide' every single day! This is what scripture is talking about when we read verses that instruct us to "stay on that narrow path of His righteousness". For He-The Holy Spirit- will guide us unto all Truth in righteousness! "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, with all your mind and all your strength and He will direct your every pathway". AMEN! --Andy--
Being crucified with Christ is clearly explained in Romans 6:6 "We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. " The moment we come to faith in Jesus as our personal saviour, our sinful nature is crucified with Christ on the cross and Christ's divine nature is given to us. We are immediately justified and made right in God's sight. When God looks at us he sees Jesus. Before we came to faith in Jesus we were spiritually dead in our trespasses and sins. Once we believe, Jesus gives us his Holy Spirit who breathes new life into our spirits and restores the gift of eternal life. All these wonderful changes initially take place in the spiritual world. It is now the Holy Spirit's work to sanctify and make us holy. He does this work so that the divine nature of Jesus will be revealed in the way we think, feel, talk and act. Our old way of life controlled by our sinful nature will be gone and our new way of life controlled by our divine nature will flourish for the glory and will of God. So why do we continue to struggle with sin. In my view, there are 2 primary reasons, as follows: 1) The desires of our flesh 2) The corrupt world we live in The desires of our flesh are those "habitual behaviours" that developed when our sinful nature was in control. Our patterns of thought, feelings, words and actions. We all recognise the power of habits in our lives. Even though we have been born again by the Spirit of God we may continue in "some" or "many" of these habits. For some people their conversion experience is so powerful that some serious sinful habits are broken immediately by the power of God. For others, dropping sinful habits can take much longer. I believe we often fail by focusing on the negative instead of on the positive. When we try to stop a sinful habit we don't replace it with a good habit. We first need to pray and ask God to give us the wisdom to select a good habit that will take away the desire we have to indulge the sinful habit. Then we need to faithfully practice the good habit, at least 21 times according to research, until the new habit becomes second nature (or should I say divine nature). This process of replacing sinful habits with godly habits is what the bible calls "crucifying the desires of our flesh". Over time these desires will have less and less impact on our lives as we continually form new godly habits. The second issue is the corrupt world we live in. This world and its culture is controlled by our spiritual enemy, Satan, and his demonic hordes. Everything about the "ways of this world" is opposed to God's will. Satan uses the culture to enslave people in sin. His strategy is to steal, kill and destroy everything that God considers good. We human beings have bought into these cultural influences which can have very powerful holds on our lives. Sometimes we are not even aware of these influences. The bible says we are "in this world" but not "of this world". If we claim to love God then we must hate the ways of this world and the corruption it has brought into people's lives. As Christians, we first need to be cleaned up from the corruption or pollution that is plaguing us today. The cleansing agent is the blood of Jesus. We need to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show us how our new robes have been stained by this pollution and then apply the blood of Jesus to cleanse us. Going forward, our best defence against this corruption is the "Armour of God". We need to put this armour on every day. In my view, the best way to do that is by having a thorough knowledge of the scriptures and by spending concentrated time in prayer engaged in spiritual battle. it is God's will that we succeed in this battle. Then his kingdom is expanded upon the earth and his will is expressed through us for his honour and glory.
To be crucified with Christ simply means that "Self" is dead. You as a person live no more. You are a new creation with a new nature belonging to a new family. Only when one is crucified with Christ would be able to call jesus "My lord" because self is dead. When one is dead to self, than only he is taken to the Race Track to run his race looking into jesus the author and the finisher of the race. This is the race when one pick up his cross doing the perfect will of his lord. One can either be dead with Christ or alive with self.. Death leads to life eternal.
Colossians 3:3. We are dead and our life is hidden with Christ in God. God could have just taken us to heaven the second we believed the gospel. First Corinthians 15:3-4. But he left us here to be a witness for him so others could receive the free gift of eternal life. And as the children of God by faith alone, if we continue in the sins named in Colossians 3:5 He may take us home before our time. The wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. We cannot lose eternal life, or that would make God a liar. John 6:47. John 3:18. So He chastens us as a good Father. And their are rewards in heaven for the faithful in Christ Jesus. First Corinthians 3:11-15. The blood of Jesus covers us from all sin. John 3:18. John 5:24. First John 2:2. Romans 4:5. Faith is not a work. It is FAITH apart from works. And faith is not the gift. Eternal life is the GIFT, not faith. Acts 16:31. Period. John 10:28-29. Once you believe it you are saved forever.
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