A Testimony of Dying to Self
Out of Dry Ground
The term easy-believism captures the idea of a Christianity that does not have to produce good works. By this doctrine, a person who believes in Christ by faith alone does not have to prove James' thesis that faith apart from works is dead being by itself alone.
Jesus said, "If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 16:24, 25) To deny oneself is to refuse to associate with oneself. At regeneration, the repentant sinner begins to abhor who he sees himself to be. As a result, he starts, by the grace of God, to change into Christ's likeness.
In 1981, following the stumbling block mentioned in my previous article, finding myself judged harshly by a mission board, mine was a hard lesson to learn. Samson stood pressing on two columns; he sought revenge for the two eyes that led him by a lustful heart into sin. Following Samson's most significant victory over his Philistine enemies, these words are written, "And the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed during his lifetime." (Judges 16:30)
There is no easy way to follow Jesus. He requires obedience to the Holy Spirit as the fruit of faith. From what I knew from scripture, God softly whispered in my ear, "If you want to serve Me, you will have to die." When is dying easy? In the flesh, never.
The one means of suicide that man cannot accomplish is death on a cross. We can stab, shoot, hang, poison, burn, and fall to our death. However, we cannot nail ourselves to a cross. The New Testament term for the dying required of us is "reckon." We are to reckon ourselves dead when we come to see ourselves identified with Christ in His death. When our faith becomes realized by the Holy Spirit replacing our fleshly living with the very life of Christ, then we are experiencing a disassociation with self.
Grace be upon you!