TOPIC: *_SECRETS OF VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIVING PART 1_*
BIBLE TEXT: *BIBLE: GAL.2:20*
*_I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God, who love me, and gave himself for me_*
Apostle Paul was crucified with Christ at salvation not talking about being crucified again after salvation. This is because our crucifixion with Christ takes place at salvation. After salvation, we receive power to stop being dominated by sin again *Rom. 6:14*.
We have been empowered to put the body under subjection *1 cor.9:27* and also to present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God -Rom.12:1*.
To be crucified means to die to self, flesh or the Old man, that is, the Adamic nature of sin as some call it. We, therefore, need to understand that this is done not by our works but by Grace which we receive through faith in Christ Jesus. -Ephesians 2:8
To be crucified with Christ is to be separated from the world of sin unto righteousness in Christ Jesus. *It is dying to self to live for Christ and total separation from human righteousness to God’s imputed righteousness*.
*Dying to self is not a hatred for self* but rather a *love for Christ more than self*. It is dying to self-satisfaction and desire and living for the ultimate God. It is saying goodbye to sin and embracing the righteousness that is in Christ Jesus. It ought to have a daily manifestation in our lives and not a one-time experience.
We are not crucified daily but expressing & giving dominion to what has been done at salvation in our daily lives. This can only be achievable when we abide in Him- John 15:5-8
You see, I can stand on a mountain top and say with a megaphone that *if you claim to be born again and still have pleasure in committing sin without remorse, you have not gotten anything called salvation*. We are not perfect yet but we don’t have the nature of sin again. Ephesians 4:12 says the ministerial gifts are giving for the perfection of the saint. If we are already perfect, there would not be a need for that. We are enemies with the works of darkness.
You see, the problem we have in Church today is that we are quick to assume everyone is saved because they are workers. *Work is not the same as walk.*
*It’s better to walk with God than to work for God*. *_You don’t save in a bank you don’t have an account.*
Apostle Paul was not only crucified or die to self but says “nevertheless I live”. Paul was not just dead to self; he was alive to God. *A focus on the denial of self without the enthronement of Christ leads to legalism*. We are dead to sin when we surrender our life to Christ but it doesn’t end there because we are supposed to live again unto God.
It is a change of state from sinful man to *New man*. It is a change of kingdom from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light (Col.1:13). It is a change of nature from *Adamic nature of sin to newness of life* in Christ.
Let’s take Jesus as an example, Jesus died with sin and was buried but rose up again without sin because he has buried it, so also we are buried with Christ when we are saved and rose up to live in the newness of life.
Listen, *you cannot indeed be dead to sin and not be alive to God* You can’t claim to love righteousness and not hate iniquity. You can’t be in the Kingdom of light and walk-in darkness- sin..
You can be a churchgoer, a tither, or worker, *all of this doesn’t produce salvation. Sometimes in my life when I was small, though I was working for God in church, I knew deep down within me that I am not walking with God.* Are you in such a situation? Listen, *You can be a member of a church and not have your name in the book of life.*
Beloved, going to church is not equal to salvation. *Until you are changed from the heart, you aren’t saved.* If salvation doesn’t take away your sinful nature, you may be heading toward hell.
Few years, I was doing visitation, the Holy Spirit asked me to call a young man who was walking by. *I knew exactly what he wants me to do*. He is a member of one Orthodox church. I greeted and I asked him, *are you born again?* He said I don’t know what you mean by born again but I know I do go to Church. I was dazed. To cut it short, on standing there I led him to Christ and he was saved. A day after, he was totally changed. He was surprised himself that he wasn’t born again but only religious. Many are like that.
You see, struggling to behave like Christians is a sign that you are not one. You don’t struggle to live it, notice Paul said in our verse *Christ lives in me*. Paul wasn’t living but Christ living through Paul. When you are saved, living a holy life becomes easy not struggle. When Jesus lives through you, you stop struggling but have the same confidence as Paul. This doesn’t mean you have no effort to make, but grace to make such determinations will be available. None of us is immune from sin. It’s grace that makes an overcomer out of us.
@Oluwaseun Isaac Agbenla