Because He Lives, I Live

“He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39)

Living for us is divided between two lives. We live in the physical sense in that we have a body of flesh and blood. It is obvious to us that this body is a temporal state that ages and withers each passing day from our birth. Man, unlike the animal kingdom, has the breath of live breathed into him by God our Creator. “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7) This breath of life sets us apart from all of God’s creation in the world. For we were created with eternal spirits. Too many live their whole lives giving no thought to their spiritual life until it is too late. Some who know that death is approaching will begin to pay attention to the spirit within them and find salvation for it. For the rest they die once in the flesh and then at judgment they die in the spirit, the second death. “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:13-15)

Many live their lives in the temporal physical body and have a fatal attraction to the things of this world. They are anxious and pay close attention to their comfort and security, they strive to have great wealth and possessions. In the end they leave all that here and have nothing for the long eternal future ahead of them. They forsake their spiritual life for the pleasures of the physical life and end up in the end with neither.

Jesus is teaching us that it is the higher life, the spiritual life that we are to strive to protect. As the spirit is eternal it becomes obvious that we are to sacrifice the physical life for the protection of the spiritual life. God’s whole purpose since the fall of man is the restoration of man unto Him. God is a Spirit and the only way that man can worship God his Creator is in the Spirit of Truth. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) We have many physical relationships in this world but the one essential relationship we must have is a spiritual relationship with God. There is only one way and that is an abiding faith in Jesus the Son of God and Savior of man. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

Our need then is to learn how to die physically in order to learn how to live spiritually. To be saved from the second death we need to realize that we have been in rebellion to God’s Word. We need to realize that we are broken spiritually and confess our sins and He is faithful to forgive us. This is calling upon the name of the Lord to forgive us of our sinful ways. “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

When we surrender to the will of Jesus and accept who He is on faith we commit our lives to be lived by Him in us. When Jesus sits upon our throne we become a new creature. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Jesus went to the cross to pay the wage of our sin, which is death. Our old self, that sinful self has been crucified with Him on the cross and we are freed from the slavery of sin in our lives. “Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.” (Romans 6:6)

Jesus taught that if we wish to follow Him then we must deny our sinful old self and we must pick up our cross and follow Him. This is not a onetime emotional experience and then forgotten. This is the beginning of an eternal relationship which is a partnership in eternal life. This is not a onetime statement but an all time commitment to His service. We were not created to sit idly by and watch the world go round and round. We were created to be bond servants of the Almighty God who paid the supreme price for the free offer of salvation we have received by His grace. We are to love God with all our might and to serve our neighbor in the love that God has given us. Jesus is our creator and He is our sustainer and He created us to do His good work. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Surrender is not the bad word full of depressing connotations. Surrender is placing ourselves in the proper perspective. That we are but men in the presence of an all-powerful God who loves us. If we wish to seek a relationship with Him then we must surrender to His will for our lives. Not just a piece of our life, as He has not given us a piece of salvation, He has not given us a piece of eternity, we are to surrender our whole life to Him. “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” (Romans 12:1)

We worry about security, worry about treasure, and worry about the passing things of this world. But it is all for naught on the day our bodies die, we cannot take one thing with us. But the wise place their complete trust in Him, they place it all in the Creators hand who is faithful and true. There is not enough treasure or possession in the world to compare with the riches of His glory. Ask yourself where you should place your trust? Jesus taught us this. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

In our self-evaluation we should ask the questions that are needful to our wellbeing in the spiritual realm. Have I truly surrendered everything to God or am I holding back a piece of my life? Is there more that I should be doing to serve His Kingdom? Am I growing into the person that God created me to be? Am I living in the fear of God and not the fear of death? The answers are the things that we must know that we know. “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant February 16, 2017

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