"What does it mean to “die to self'?"
“It is no longer I who live..” Galatians 2:20
Dying to self is part of being born again and is described throughout the New Testament. The old self is left behind and the new self emerges as an effect of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3–7). Not only are Christians born again when we come to salvation, but we enter the lifelong process of sanctification. Ephesians 4:24 says “to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”.
Sanctify means to make holy, to consecrate, to purify, to be free of sin, and to become like Christ. We are being sanctified when we actively pursue growing in our faith by choosing daily to fight against sin, obey our Lord, take in the preaching and teaching of His Word, and reading the Bible regularly. This work of sanctification becomes evident, but not completed in this life. We are to confess our sins daily for forgiveness and renewal to resist. The Bible says when we die the sinful and mortal body will take on a perfected and immortal body and we will be like Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:53). The Christian's perseverance in this is evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Christ said that those trying to hold on to their old lives would lose their lives in the kingdom of Heaven. But those who would give up their lives for His sake would find eternal life (Matthew 16:24–25; Mark 8:34–35). Jesus emphasized the necessity when he said that those who are unwilling to sacrifice their lives for Him cannot be His disciples (Luke 14:27).
Paul says he is “crucified with Christ”. As such, Paul no longer lives, but Christ lives in him. The old life, with its inclination to sin and to follow the ways of the world, has died, and the new life is the dwelling place of Christ who lives in and through him. (Galatians 5:24). Where we once pursued selfish pleasures, we now pursue that which pleases God.
Dying to self is never portrayed in Scripture as optional in the Christian life. It is the reality of the new birth and required for salvation. Jesus also warns lukewarm followers, who try to live partly in the old life and partly in the new, by saying He will spit them out (Revelation 3:15–16). Lukewarm is how Jesus characterized believers in the church of Laodicea and is also characteristic of many in churches today. Jesus asks no more of us than he was willing to do in dying on the cross for our sin debt. He gives us the ultimate example of putting aside one’s life in obedience to God. For us, death to self is to sincerely trust and follow Jesus, the one who offers abundant and eternal life.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18) Come!
Member – Colby Reeves
All are welcome – worship in person or live stream from website Sunday 10:30 am evangelchurchpca.org
Evangel Church PCA (Presbyterian Church in America)
423 Thompson Road, Alabaster