Summary: A sermon on the overcoming life that Jesus calls us to have.
I must mention that I get very frustrated when good preachers avoid hard texts or leave them out altogether. As far as our text is concerned men will preach about the blood of Jesus. They will joyfully point out the need for personal testimony. Never in my 34 years of listening to preaching have I heard any preacher tackle this part of the verse. We have to love Jesus so much that we consider our life worthless, not wanting to hold onto it, willing to die. Only then can we have victory. Only then does Satan not have control, only then can we face the trials that will come and not falter.
As always, first, let’s pray.
One of the basic facts of Christianity is – we are dead! Romans 14:6-8 “He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord”. If you have accepted Christ then you have died to this world and Christ lives through you. You aren’t your own. Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and it is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me. . “ If you trust in God, the things of this world should not concern you anymore. I know that is easier said than done. I will tell you that I stand here this morning because of the trust that comes through Faith. Your faith and mine.
When we love Jesus more than anything else, we rely on Him easily for all the things we need. Read with me 2 Corinthians 5:13-15 "If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."
That is what we are called to do = live for him.
Too many times, however, we get to attached to the things of this world. We can’t help ourselves. It is easy to forget that we are not of this world. When the cares of this world overwhelm us. When our own personal weakness’ come back to haunt us, when our own self-will takes pre-eminence over God’s Will, we sacrifice our faith. We need to die to the world, we need to die to our sins, we need to die to our selves. Only then will Satan not have a foothold in our lives.
I. We need to die to the world.
Colossians 3:2-4 “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
Living Sacrifices Romans 12:1&2 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."
We can not put our special interest ahead of Jesus or Satan can used that to draw us away from God.
II. We need to die to the law.
We cannot rely on the law, on good works to save us..
Romans 7:4-6 “So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature,] the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”
Romans 7:17-19 “As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing.”