Summary: Life does not begin until after the death of self. To be honest, I believe the Bible teaches that that’s when life really begins.
TO DIE IS GAIN
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain .
Rob Frazier, a contemporary Christian artist wrote a song titled, "He doesn’t want you better, He wants you deader" Dead people don’t mind the pain, Don’t get offended so they never complain They’re not concerned about personal gain, Does that sound like me or you? The truth is rising from the mist And the word is this; That when Jesus calls a man He calls him to come and die! He doesn’t want you better, He wants you deader.
Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with:
I don’t think they had a clue about what they were acknowledging.
When they came to kill Jesus, they scattered.
But I’m not talking about a physical death here.
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
1. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live...
Life does not begin until after the death of self.
14 If a man die, shall he live again?
To be honest, I believe that’s the only way that he or she can live again.
Prior to our conversion we were dead while we lived.
2:1 ....... you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world
But Jesus said,
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone : but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
You have to die to self, world, and personal desires before you can fruitful and live.
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
A.W. Tozer says that people who are crucified with Christ have three distinct marks: 1. They are facing only one direction, 2. They can never turn back, and 3. They no longer have plans of their own.
2....yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:
After your crucifiction there is transformation - My transformation
Oscar Cervantes is a dramatic example of Christ’s power to transform lives. As a child, Oscar began to get into trouble. Then as he got older, he was jailed 17 times for brutal crimes. Prison psychiatrists said he was beyond help. But they were wrong! During a brief interval of freedom, Oscar met an elderly man who told him about Jesus. He placed his trust in the Lord and was changed into a kind, caring man. Shortly afterward he started a prison ministry. Chaplain H. C. Warwick describes it this way: "The third Saturday night of each month is ’Oscar Night’ at Soledad. Inmates come to hear Oscar and they sing gospel songs with fervor; they sit intently for over 2 hours; they come freely to the chapel altar.... What professionals had failed to do for Oscar in years of counseling, Christ did in a moment of conversion."
Can God transform you? Not me! Yes you. Not him or her! Yes, him and her. No matter what your spiritual condition.
25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
2 Cor 5:17
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
3. ....and the life which I now live in the flesh
Flesh – The flesh is one of our greatest enemies.
The flesh is a built-in law of failure, making it impossible for the natural man to please or serve God. It is a compulsive inner force inherited from man’s fall, which expresses itself in general and specific rebellion against God and His righteousness. The flesh can never be reformed or improved. The only hope for escape from the law of the flesh is its total execution and replacement by a new life in the Lord Jesus Christ.