To Live We Must Die
If Christ is the kind of Savior He claims to be, He can obviously save His people from the bondage of sin. This is not to support the man-made doctrine of "sinless perfection"; it is rather to declare the God inspired doctrine that it is possible to "walk in the Spirit" and so "not fulfil the lust of the flesh." (Gal. 5: 16 NKJV) The Spirit has the power to enable us to walk in all the light that we have received and to no longer walk in willful sin. God has made provision in the cross of Christ for His children to be delivered from the yoke of sin.
There is no other way to this Life in Christ except by the cross of denying ourselves daily, as Jesus said in Luke 9:23, "...If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."
Many insist that this is beyond our ability. Our real trouble, however, is in our unwillingness to die to our own will and ways. The Cross touches self and exposes the old willful nature. Here is the inbred sin that everyone receives from Adam. But we must go into our own Garden of Gethsemane and choose to take His way of the cross. Only then can He begin to work in the supernatural, which includes His scourging work, to bring about the end of the old flesh-life.
When we have a hunger or thirst for something from this world, when we are being tempted by the devil, there are two ways of quenching those desires. It will either be by giving into them by taking the easy road that the Lord called the "wide road" that leads to destruction, or by fighting the good fight of faith and submitting to the cross of Christ in a willingness to suffer with Him by denying those fleshy evil desires and desiring only His will to be done. This is the "narrow way" that leads to Life. Only after being approved by continuing to choose the harder path, i.e. the "narrow way", will the Lord impart a new life in us and begin to display His nature through us.
Every downward step, every dying to self, every embracing of the cross - whether in the form of denial or degradation, of suffering or separation, of false accusation or humiliation - all these and a hundred other things that might be mentioned, are not a descent into misery but actually an ascent to life and power on the throne. Our call to embrace the Cross is a call to reign with Christ.
Have you truly become a follower of Christ? There is no other way to find His life. If you are attempting to find a way into the heavenly realms other than through the cross, you are deceiving yourself. Listen to Jesus: "You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized." (Mark 10:39)
L.E. Maxwell said: "He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him." (1 Cor. 6:17) Listen fellow believer. The promises of the Lord are sure. "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." (Rev. 3:21) It was only by overcoming the self-seeking and self-exalting ways of this world that He gained this eternal position. The only way up is down.
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