DEATH COMES BEFORE LIFE
(Help for You to Live the Christian Life)
Scripture: John 15:4; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:7-10; Rom. 6:11-13
Nothing in the world is more exciting than knowing what God has done for us individually. He is a loving, caring God who has provided salvation for us through the Lord Jesus Christ and has given us everything we need to live our new life in Him. We are not alone on this journey, we do not have to struggle as we saw from last week. So let’s pick up one more time with the Vine and Branch relationship in John 15.
Verse 4 says, “Abide in Me and I in you.”
THINK ABOUT THIS:
If we are to live the Christian life, we have to realize that we can’t live it ourselves; we are completely dependent upon Him for the supply of life. We must abide in Him if we are to draw this life from Him. And just as we are dependent upon Him for this life, He is dependent upon us for the expression of His life. What a responsibility on our part!
A branch does not TRY to produce fruit; it simply draws upon the vine for its supply of life and energy. As Christians, we have a greater resource—the ONE who created vegetable life and electric energy lives IN us! If I still find myself TRYING to live the Christian life, something is choking out the life-flow to me.
There are several names we can call this way of life: victorious Christian living, abundant Christian living; abiding in Christ, New Testament Living. All mean the same thing and Gal. 2:20 is the perfect verse to describe the nature of this Christian living.
“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal. 2:20
Let’s see what this means as applied to our lives:
1) Know that you have died. Christ died for us. We died with Him spiritually. Our “old man” was crucified with him. This is the first step in recognizing you are a changed person. Death must precede life. God’s way of dealing with sinful human nature was to crucify it. We need to live in the reality of this.
2) Know that Christ lives in you.
3) Take yourself out of the way. It is no longer “I” that lives. This is the hardest step to take but probably the most important. We have all the resources of the Godhead available to us and the only thing that blocks that power is you and me.
REMEMBER THIS: (If you can, take time to read the following verses)
Phil. 3:7-0 “…being made conformable to his death.”
Rom. 6:11-13 “…reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin but alive unto God.”
1) How did Paul do it? 3 words say it all; found in I Cor. 15;31b. “I DIE DAILY.”
It’s dying to self and self-effort and living “in” Christ and allowing Him to fill us with Himself and all that He is.
2) Live dependent upon Christ’s faithfulness—not mine!
In summary: we stop trying and live the Christian life by abiding in Him which is done as we completely yield our lives to Him and let Him be the LORD of our life.
I’ve given you a lot to think about this week. Take time to go over it as many times as you need to fully understand and then LIVE IT!