We were buried with Him…that just as Christ was raised from the dead…even so we also should walk in newness of life. —Romans 6:4
Death to self and dying to self are both processes that require effort. In the natural realm death happens often somewhat naturally. Little effort has to be made except to live each day and eventually death will happen.
Death to self and dying to self are both processes that require effort.
However in the spiritual world, death to self is much more deliberately achieved: only through nailing ourselves to our God-given crosses. We must die to self daily in order to live a sanctified life. We cannot be separated unto God until we are separated from our selfishness and self-absorption.
In what is a paradox for many in church, it seems sermons are all about finding peace with God and self. Churchgoers and so called followers of Jesus wrestle with identity issues all the time. Is this because we have forgotten that the only identity that matters is Jesus? We have forgotten that as John The Baptist said, He must increase and I must decrease (John 3:30).
The decrease is unto death. We must be willing to go 6 feet under the ground spiritually! (How many are willing to stay 6 feet from others but not 6 feet from self?) We are to die to self if we desire to be raised in sanctification. Dead people make no other decisions. Instead they rely only upon the life-breath and leading of Holy Spirit.
Dead people make no other decisions.
God’s will for us is our sanctification according to 1 Thessalonians 4:3 which says:
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;
One of the ways we become sanctified is through moral purity. We die to the desires, dreams and demands of the flesh and exercise Holy Spirit discipline to live in alignment with God. This dying isn’t always easy but it is doable since we have the power of Holy Spirit within us. Many times it comes down to us laying aside our wants for a greater purpose. It is always a death to the flesh to be alive in the Spirit.
Funerals are not usually times for enjoyment or entertainment. We come to the place of dying to self on purpose. It is only through that event however that resurrection and new life are experienced and then the true celebrating of meaning and purpose and peace and identity are realized.
Consider these reflection questions
Have you been dying to self?
Do you need to have your own funeral of self?
If sexual immorality is something to avoid in order to lead to greater sanctification, what does that mean for your life?
How can you practice death to self better?
How can you decrease so that Christ may increase?