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  • Writer's picture DaRhon Conner, D.R.E.

The Death of Self

Updated: Mar 21, 2021

“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” (1 Peter 4:1-2 King James Version).

Have you gone through the pain of walking away from yourself? Sometimes it hurts to not do what we want. Peter says that just as Christ suffered in His flesh for our sins, we must arm ourselves with the same mindset. Arm means to equip with weapons. We are to equip ourselves with the weapon of the mind of Christ. Why? Verse one tells us that by equipping ourselves with the same mind that Christ has on this topic, the same attitude that He had about suffering for sin, that it would lead to the cessation of sin in our lives. We would no longer sin because of the new attitude, the new thought process. It is our weapon to fight against the temptations of sin.

Where else do we hear about having the mind of Christ? “5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Philippians 2:5 KJV). This verse echoes the one above. We are to think like Jesus. What does that look like? What does that mean?

“6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8 New Living Translation).

Verse six, we should not be arrogant because of our position in life. We should think that nothing is beneath us, that nothing is too lowly for us to do. Jesus was and is the ultimate example and model of how to live this life of being devoted to GOD. He is indeed equal with GOD as part of the Holy trinity. The bible tells us that He is not only the word of GOD, but that creation was made through Him (John 1:1-3). This same Jesus did not hold on to that status, but willingly laid it aside. What will we lay aside to follow GOD?

Verse seven, Jesus shed His divinity. He put it away. He denied Himself access to His power. Jesus became a human being like us in every way. It says He was a slave; a person who is completely submitted to another. Slaves do what they are told. They do not voice their own thoughts or opinions, or even have them. Jesus said it like this, “19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.’ “(John 5:19 NLT).

How different would our lives be if we only did what we saw GOD doing? If we only said what we heard GOD saying? That would require us to spend time in the presence of the LORD, both in prayer and meditating HIS word. That would require us to put GOD first instead of the world. Does that sound radical? It is.

The word radical in the original Latin means root. It means getting back to the origin of things, the fundamental part, that which proceeds from the root. In another dictionary entry, it means to be extreme or very different from the usual or traditional; advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs. Sounds like Jesus and His followers to me.

“6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also.”(Acts 17:6 KJV). People who did not agree with what Paul was preaching about the resurrection of Jesus, and of Him being the Christ, said that he and the other apostles were turning the world upside down. That’s radical. Their message was so different from what the people believed that their very reality was being challenged. Are we willing to let GOD use us to be radical for HIM? Jesus did. If we call ourselves His followers then we are to do the same.

Verse 8, Jesus was so obedient, so utterly a slave to GOD that He allowed Himself to die a criminal’s death on a cross, and He was completely innocent of any crime. Now, we aren’t called to die on a cross, but we are called to die to self. For what purpose? 1 Peter 4:2 says that dying to self allows us to spend the rest of our time living in this flesh body doing GOD’s will, and not what we want to do. That is our purpose for being on this planet, for existing. We are to do the will of GOD every moment of every day.

“23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 25 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?”(Luke 9:23-25 NLT).

Are we following Jesus, or are we just saying we are? Do we say we believe in Jesus, that we gave our lives to Him, that we are saved, that we are Holy Ghost filled, but continue to disobey GOD in the big or small things? Do we follow GOD and the bible only when it is convenient? Do we say, but I really like that person. I really enjoy going to that place. I like doing that. I like listening to that music. I enjoy reading that, so on and so forth. What's wrong with that?

The activities themselves may or may not be sinful, but do they bring GOD glory? Are they in GOD’s will for our lives? As verse two states, am I living according to my desires or GOD’s plans for me? Here is a way to be sure.

The Litmus Test

Litmus is a mixture of different dyes. When these dyes are exposed to a solution, it tells us whether the solution is acidic or basic (not acidic) in chemistry. In politics, a political litmus test is a question asked of a potential candidate, and the answer they give determines whether they will be nominated for the position or passed over.

We have a spiritual litmus test which tells us if we are living for GOD or living according to our lusts. These tests are located in the books of Galatians and Romans.

“19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”(Galatians 5:19-21 NLT).

“29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.”(Romans 1:29-31 NLT).

Combined, the above passages give more than 30 examples of behaviors, thoughts, or attitudes that will let us know if we are living according to the desires of our flesh. Those are all things that are against the will of GOD, unlike GOD, and hurtful to both ourselves and humanity.

The following list of nine attributes lets us know if we are living according to GOD’s will or not. “22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”(Galatians 5:22-23 NLT).

How does your test read? Positive for fleshy living? Positive for living by GOD’s standards? A little of both? Wherever you are, be encouraged. If you're completely living for GOD, keep going. It only gets better! If you need a little help, no worries. GOD answers all prayers if we ask according to HIS will (1 John 5:14-15). Luke tells us, “13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”(Luke 11:13 NLT).

Ask GOD today for the Holy Spirit to fill you. Those nine attributes are a direct result of His divine influence in our lives. Won’t you ask Him to fill you today so that you can start your real life, so that you can start to truly live, so that you can die to self and carry out the mission GOD has had for you since before time began? Ask Him today, Family. And if you are already living for GOD, ask HIM for the strength to keep going each day. Our heavenly Father is ready to answer. Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. I pray the mind of Christ continues to dwell in you richly.

“25 May God’s grace be with you all.”(Hebrews 13:25 NLT).

How to be Saved

Romans 10: 9-13

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (KJV).

9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (NLT).

Say the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!” 11-13 Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.” It’s exactly the same no matter what a person’s religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help. (MSG).

Romans 5:8

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (KJV)

8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (NLT)

It is your belief that saves you, family. If you believe, you will speak what you believe and not be ashamed or embarrassed to do so, whether you are alone or among others. Simply talk to GOD. Say aloud to God:

“I confess all my sin, known and unknown, and ask You, GOD to forgive me. I believe Jesus was born of a virgin, crucified, died for my sins, and rose from the dead. I want Jesus to come into my heart to make me new in Him. I believe Jesus is Lord over my life and over everything that exists. Thank You, GOD for Your forgiveness. Thank You, Jesus, for making me Your own. Amen.”

You are now saved. You may not feel different or you may. Just know that the internal change is taking place once you uttered that prayer in faith. Day by day, you will begin to be transformed into whom GOD wants and created you to be. You will care more about the things of GOD than your own personal desires, and you will want to share the word of GOD when you have the opportunity. Begin to read your bible daily, and learn about GOD's will for your life. If you are not already a member of a local church, I encourage you to pray and allow GOD to guide you to the right fellowship for you. The pastor will help you grow in your gifts and talents so that you can begin to use them for GOD’s glory, and you and the other members will encourage and help each other along this journey with GOD.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

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