Whoever loves their life…

Whether you have been a believer your whole life, or whether you are a new convert, there will come a time when the Bible will cut you to the heart.

God still says, “Adam, where are you?” and invites you to come out of hiding and stand before Him.

The Bible has a way of confronting your deepest identity, your deepest held convictions, your deepest secrets and hurts.

It puts the finger right on who you are and who you think you are, because who you are is a child in the image of Adam. And who you are called to be is a child of God in Christ. That means that Adam must go, so that who you were made to be might live.

You can’t get there if you never put to death the old man. That guy has to die.

And that is painful. It cuts to the heart. The scripture reveals your secrets and says, “Nail this to the cross.” It isn’t just those things that you do; it is the things that you are. Sanctification is only finished when we die. Only our death can finally put to death this body of death. But the little deaths, the taking up our crosses, must be daily. Jesus said that.

So the confrontation will come.

It will come in a sermon. It will come in your reading. It will come in your memories.

But it will come. The Holy Spirit will see to that.

What you do when it comes will be a matter of life or death. Unfortunately, mostpeople attack the messenger. Mostpeople won’t go there. Mostpeople will conclude that the “preacher is wicked. The bible has errors. That guy’s a jerk. That isn’t the Jesus I know…”

The alternative is just too hard. I like that old guy. He comforts me if I ignore the voice of all those that I have trampled in my push to be a god.

But if you go through the painful process of taking up the cross and hearing the thundering voice of the Word of God confronting everything you thought was right and normal and good, you will find your life.

If you want to hold on to “your life” – your life, your values, your identity, everything that you believe you are – the only possible result is death. You will think that you gained everything, but in the process you ironically lose yourself.

You must be born again to even see the kingdom of God. And that means that the old man must die.

Not gonna lie. That hurts like hell. Because it is hell, and it has to go. Your pride cannot take you into the kingdom of God.

(Luke 9:23-25)  23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
  24 “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.
  25 “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?

4 Comments

Filed under Gospel, growth, sanctification

4 responses to “Whoever loves their life…

  1. Jocelyne

    I would agree with everything you said. It is a fight…. but how do you respond to those who say…. the old man is already dead. We don’t need to die daily…. we need to live out the new man that we became at conversion and not even think about the old man. This person who challenges me thinks I’m wallowing in negativity and need to climb out of the hole I’m in, etc…

    • As a foundation for all of this, we must remember that we are complete in Christ. In the eyes of God as the judge, we are already innocent, as if we had never committed nor had any sin. This is why we can boldly approach the throne for help in our struggle against sin.
      So the heart of our struggle with the old man is the struggle for resting in Christ, or trying to earn God’s favor. And that has many, many manifestations – too many to discuss here.
      But – we DO fight against the Old Man daily, because the Bible says so. Not only is it done IN us, but we are to take part in that battle.
      So – put off negative thoughts, because we are all complete in Christ. Don’t forget that.
      AND – fight against sin and the devil and the flesh in this life, because that is our privilege as children of the King.

      Take this passage here – which is written to Christians, dearly loved of God, saved by grace, made alive, chosen in the beloved, and heirs of eternal life:

      22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
      23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
      24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
      (Eph. 4:22-24)

  2. Thank you… this is truth!

  3. Anu Riley

    This is the best pontification of Hebrews 4:12: how the Word “penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

    Described especially with the words: “The Bible has a way of confronting your deepest identity, your deepest held convictions, your deepest secrets and hurts.”

    Some of what you described reminds me of an addict needing to admit AND take accountability for whatever is destroying them. The pain realizing, that whatever substance that made them feel “alive” is in reality is slowly killing them. I once heard it being described as being sick and tired of being sick and tired. If pride is such a “substance,” we’re all guilty of abusing it. And it’s all or nothing. A recovering addict will tell you that they can’t just have “one drink” now and then. They have to abstain from it, permanently.

    I think we could mediate forever on what it means to “reckon (or consider) the old man dead.” If that person is reckoned as dead, we should reckon that he or she has no rights over us. It’s not right to listen or obey a dead person.

    “It isn’t just those things that you do; it is the things that you are.” I’ve noticed we tend to try to take the easy way out: just change your behaviors and that’s good enough. No, it’s the exact opposite. You have to abide in Him in order to be like Him in order to live like Him. When I would aim to do right, but I didn’t aim to reckon that old person as dead (along with my righteousness), it was sheer legalism: Colossians 2:23.

    Legalism is so alive and widely accepted within the church, but it’s just a way to avoid “reckoning” the old person as dead. So even while professing to be born again, you can in reality be professing that you never really “died” at all.

    The BEST part about reckoning that old person as dead is that you are getting RID of someone that deserves to be gotten rid of. That old person gave you nothing of real value. Nothing of real worth. It kept you FROM all of that. That is the root lie pf pride, and it’s far more powerful than we’d like to admit. Being born again starts you on that path of disempowering that lie, but as Pastor said it’s a constant and daily struggle. But when you apply Romans 8:13 to your life, your realize the joy of 1John 4:4. Greater is the One who lives within us.

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