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A Sacrificed Life is a Victorious Life
Life of surrender
"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 by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. "Gal. 2:20)
Some years ago a man by the name of James Calvert was on his way to minister to the cannibals of FijiIslands as a missionary. The captain of the ship sought to turn him back. You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among the such savages.” he cried. Calvert replied in return. “We died before we came here.”
I. The surrendered life
A. One that is crucified — The Christian life is one of surrender: “Ihave been crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20). “Know ye not that, as many of us as were baptized in to Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?(Romans 6:3) In receiving Christ, we come to the old rugged cross and gaze upon the dying form of one who suffered there for us. We see his hands nailed fast to the wood. We see the spike in his ankles. We see the blood flowing down his body, and deeply moved, we turn aside from the kind of life we once lived and take our stand beneath the cross of Jesus. We die to ourselves and to our sin, we identity with the cross.
Those of us who have been around a while, like to think and talk about the good old days. We collect pictures and hang them on the wall or put them in albums so we can look back at how things used to be. It is a way to hold on to memories. But we need to examine some of these memories because they speak of the life that should have been crucified, given over to Christ. You know those pictures when you were out at the club or party. You sitting there pickled, eyes half shut with a martini in one hand, and a cigarette in the other. Your girlfriend leaning over to you, she just about showing everything but the kitchen sink.
B. Lay no claims on the past. Gal.6: 14- But God forbid that I should glory,
Except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me,and / unto the world.
You ever watched the Discovery Channel were you see the paleontologist and the archeologist digging up fossils and bones and other objects of antiquities? They determine how old it is and set a price on it to the point that it has to be locked away to keep from being stolen. Can you see any logic in it? These things were dead and gone with no intrinsic value and some body digs it up a set a value on it. Men glory in the foolishness of things gone by. In Paul’s day the Judyizers mixed Christianity and the Law of Moses and gloried in it; putting people back under the bondage of the law, which they could not keep themselves. Paul said that his glory was in the cross of Christ.
The Jews saw this as a stumbling block and the Greeks saw it as foolishness. I remember a time when I was witnessing to some of my fellow workers in the post office. One of the men asked me: “why do you Christians got to have the cross displayed on everything, it reminds me of death. I said that is what it supposed to do. It reminds me of the one who died for me and is a constant reminder of my dying to the world, the flesh and the Devil.
In Eph. 4:22 we are admonished to put off the former manner of life. The old man as it is called because it is corrupted by the sin of Adam.
II. The Life Given In Exchange
A. No longer I The Bible uses terms like Christ in you, God dwells in us, Christ being formed in us, and being conformed to the very image of Christ.
B. Not my will but thine be done - Paul in his farewell address to the elders at Ephesus said In Acts 20:20-24, “and how! kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have taught you publicly, and from house to house testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, And now I go bound in the Spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I may finish the course with joy, and the ministry. Which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
We here in the Unite States are under such great Grace and Mercies of God that we take things for granted. We neither learn from our past nor care what others who are less privileged have or don’t have. I think of people in Middle East, Asia, Africa and those countries that are predominantly Muslim. It cost something to claim to be a Christian. Yet many Christian are like Paul who do not count his life dear to himself. Unlike Paul they knew what could happen to them. The Jews know that if they embrace Christianity, they will be disowned as a family member and thought of as dead. In the Muslim and Hindu countries you can be beaten and left for dead or tortured until you deny the faith.
C. It is Christ’ life- The manifestation of the Christ likeness found in Galatians 5:22-23, not just moral or legal correctness. As a matter of fact the fruit of the Spirit has nothing to do with correctness but with an attitude that can only come from the Spirit in us. You can try to imitate this if you want but it only leads to hypocrisy, aggrandizement, vainglory, and walking around thinking that you are more spiritual than others. After a while you will findthat you can' t keep this up and people will start to see the real you. So you stop coming to Church, Bible Study and Prayer meeting
.Ill. The Life of Faith
A. Live by faith - we need to live by faith to the point that if God ask of us to do something that goes against the way we think, we should have enough faith to think God knows what he is doing.
What saith the Scripture? “But without faith it is impossible to please him: For he that cometh to God must believe that he is. . .“ (Heb. 11:6).
By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac, by faith Israel passed through the Red Sea on dry land, by faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
B. Denying the flesh – Jesus calls or self denial. Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whosoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very soul. ( John 9:23-25) We are not talking about living in a monastery life of asceticism but putting Jesus first. Not prone to self-seeking, selfish ambition. Follow Jesus’ example of pleasing others. “Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself….” (Rom. 15:2-3a)
C. Trust the Lord“Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.” (Ps. 40:4) “But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.” (Ps.. 31:14)
Conclusion: The Spirit of God will lead you and guide you in the life that you are required to live in any give situation. God has determined the quality and state of your being. Perhaps Galatians 2:20 is the word from God to you today, if your dying for change and be willing to sacrifice you life to Christ you can have a victorious life.