OLD NATURE AND DENY (OR DIE) TO SELF.
To live in the historical fact that our nature was crucified with Christ is not necessarily dieing to self. Let us look at some scriptures in order to clarify this. Gal 2:20 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.
Notice 2 important things: The first is that Paul is crucified with Christ. If you are dead to something, there is no way to live out of it (old nature). The 2nd thing is that Paul has a life now to live. Now is present and it is because the old life is dead. You can not live the new life if the old life is still alive. There is no where in the bible where it says that the old nature is resurrected. He is dead at the Cross where Jesus died. This is only true if you are living by Faith, according to this verse in Galatians.
Rom. 6: 6knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. The crucifixion of our old nature happened at the Cross. If we live as though we are dead to the old nature we will not sin, if we think he is alive in us we will sin. According to this passage this is a once for all reckoning, like Christ on the Cross. Romans chapter 7 tells Paul’s life before he knew this, but in verse 24 & 25 he says that God delivered him. The works of the flesh is the old nature we used to have.
Walking in the Spirit16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
If you think you are a Christian and still living out of the works of the flesh mentioned above, then you need to get saved. This passage says if we are still doing these things we are not in the Kingdom Of God. Verse 24 says that if we belong to Christ then we have already crucified the old nature, past tense. The proof that you are a Christian and living in the Spirit is that you do not live out of your old nature. What is dieing to self? It is dieing to wants and desires of our hearts that are not necessarily bad, and in fact we have a right to.
Luke 9: Take Up the Cross and Follow Him 23 Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels.
According to this passage to deny one’s self is to die to what we want to do and do what God wants us to do. It is not wrong to want to work at a career or want a house, car or nice things with vacations and time to relax. Are we willing to lay these down for the sake of the Kingdom Of God. This taking up one’s Cross is a daily thing according to this passage. Are we willing to follow Christ and deny the things we want in order to find a new life. This is the only way. Paul died daily to the things he wanted and preached the gospel.
See 1 COR. 15: 31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. How do I know that the old nature and dieing to self is not the same thing? The answer is simple. Did Jesus Christ have an old nature? I think you know the answer. Jesus’ Father was God, Who was perfect in nature. Look at Phil. 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. The Humbled and Exalted Christ 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus Christ who is perfect in nature did not think of Himself. He died to self and became obedient to The Father and went to the Cross like we are suppose to do. Jesus Christ was not concerned about having the same Glory as The Father and being equal to God. He humbled Himself and denied Himself of His rights to be The Son Of God and obeyed The Father. Look at the story of the rich young ruler.
Luke 18: Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler
18 Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 19 So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 20 You know the commandments: "Do not commit adultery,' "Do not murder,' "Do not steal,' "Do not bear false witness,' "Honor your father and your mother."' 21 And he said, "All these things I have kept from my youth." 22 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
The rich young ruler was not really doing anything wrong by being rich and enjoying the things God has given him. He was godly and obeyed the commandments. Jesus told him what He told every one who wanted eternal life, deny yourself and follow me. To be a christian and a follower of Jesus is the same thing. We must deny ourselves if we are to have eternal life.
Luke 26: 26"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. A real Christian is only concerned with one thing: devotion to God. May God lead us by His Holy Spirit as we repent of living for our selves and enter into Faith and Love towards our Savior and Father in Heaven. Let The death of Jesus on the Cross be real to us in giving us total salvation as His precious Blood sanctifies us completely. Bill Naugle www.lulu.com/billn