If you are a Christian or have ever been around Christians, then you have probably heard the phrase “die to yourself.” That is a strange phrase to the world. What does that mean exactly?
In the Book of Romans, the Apostle Paul urges the believers in Rome to stay pure and holy as they follow Jesus. Anybody who has studied history knows that Rome was full of immorality in the first century. It was not a place of purity and holiness. It was a place of vile sin, violence, and death. Paul urges the new believers to offer their bodies to God in a very unique way.
“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.”
Worship is much more than singing. Paul is telling the believers to die to themselves (let go of the sinful behavior and attitudes of the world) and become “living sacrifices” in order to be holy and pleasing to God. He is saying leave the ways of the world and worship God with your whole being in everything you do!
“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.”
Paul does not want the believers to act or live like the Romans anymore. He wants them to understand that they must be transformed by the Holy Spirit who washes our minds and hearts clean. That admonishment comes with a promise too–that we will be able to understand God’s will when we live our lives in the renewal of the Spirit!
All of us who follow Jesus are the Body of Christ and He is working through each one of His people! Paul makes sure the believers understand this. He would have rebuked the phrase, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Paul is saying forget that and love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength!
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
Paul says it this way to the believers in Colosse:
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
When you accept Jesus, your old life dies, and your new life is safe in Him. We are to die to ourselves daily, which means we no longer satisfy our old way of life with all its worldly passions and desires. My old self died back in 1996 when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior!
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.”
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”
“I die every day–I mean that, brothers–just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
1 Corinthians 15:31
You can only “die to yourself” and live in purity and holiness by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. It is through His Holy Spirit that the Lord renews our minds, sanctifies our souls, and gives us power to live a righteous life–and that only comes through Jesus!
“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all!”
May all of us who love Jesus keep our focus on Him, die to ourselves daily, and may all of our lives be a spiritual act of worship holy and pleasing to God, in the Name of Jesus, Amen!
Grace and peace to you all!
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.”