How to have the “abundant” life that Jesus spoke about … Die to Live
Die to Live is counter-intuitive idea, a paradox, like many of the themes and truths of the Bible. The phrase Die to Live is not a reference to death of the physical body but to death of the “sin nature” that plagues and destroys us. So what is this “sin nature”? How did it get in me and how is it destroying me? And If it is as bad as you say, how do I get rid of it? Yes, indeed, all very good questions which I explain in more detail in this article “what is sin” but for now let’s see how scripture explains the issue in the life of a believer of Jesus Christ.
Galatians 5:16-17 “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.“
If you have surrendered your life to Jesus Christ then you have made a choice to turn from your sin nature and take up your new life in Christ Jesus. You are “born again” and have a new Spiritual life in Christ. You believe that Jesus Christ paid your sin debt and that the Holy Spirit dwells in you to comfort and guide you in your new Christian life. Yet, you also still have the old sin nature in you, so you must daily fight and “die” to the desires of your old sin nature so you can “live” and enjoy the new life of Christ that is in you.
Thanks to the banners at football games, almost everybody knows the good news that Jesus told us from John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.“. But what most people don’t realize is that Jesus also gave us some bad news right after that, recorded in John 3:18, “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”. The bad news is that without the Son, Jesus Christ, you are unfit for eternal life with God. In other words, you are born dead in your sin and Spiritually separated from God’s saving love. A person who has not believed in Jesus is like a dead man walking and waiting to die both physically and Spiritually.
Jesus wants to give us an abundant life in Him but we are born children of Satan and Satan wants to keep us following him and keep us from finding and enjoying the abundant life in Jesus. John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” The thief is Satan, he comes to keep people lost in their sin, unconcerned about their future. Satan tells people they are “all right” and they don’t need to be concerned with their sin, or be concerned about their relationship with God or be concerned about death. In this way Satan “steals” away the truth about their sin nature and God’s judgment that is upon them because of their sin nature. Satan deceives man into believing he is good enough before God, thus making the gospel message of new life in Christ seem foolish and unnecessary.
Then the thief whispers to the unbeliever “just keep on trucking, trying to do your best … that is all that God requires of you”. But no works of ours can atone for our sin. A life without Christ is a life that has no lasting value, it doesn’t please God and it ends in eternal death and separation from God. Hebrews 11:16 “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”. After death, an unbeliever has no second chance to be saved but his soul waits in hell to one day be thrown into the lake of fire and be eternally tormented with Satan, his fallen angels and other unbelievers. Hebrews 9:27 “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,”
Praise God, Jesus is the good shepherd who comes to save us from our Spiritual death sentence and gives us abundant eternal life. John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” The believer is pardoned from his Spiritual death sentence the moment he puts his trust in Jesus, believing Jesus paid for his sin death penalty by dying on the cross in his place. The believer has assurance that God is satisfied with the payment because Jesus rose on the third day and sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. The believer receives the gift of the abundant life in Christ that can be enjoyed today and every day, even into eternity. Therefore, when the believer physically dies, yet he will live eternally with Jesus and receive a new resurrected, immortal body.
Ephesians 2:5-7 “Even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
And this is what it means to “believe” in Jesus … that you consider your old sinful self as good as dead and you accept a new life in Christ, with Christ’s Spirit living in you.
I created this site to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who are Spiritual dead and separated from God but more importantly I created it to give the weary and wayward Christian traveler “Spiritual meat” for his soul in order that he can press on and fight the good fight of faith. The truth is that even though the believer has the blessed assurance of a new and eternal life in Christ, the old sin nature is still within you, trying to prevent you from enjoying the new life of Christ. And everyone who desires to draw close to God faces a common #1 enemy … the sinful self. In other words, there is a battle going on inside your heart and soul between your new “born again” God nature and your old sin nature. Therefore, you must die daily to your old sin nature and natural reasoning in order to live and enjoy your new life in Christ and your supernatural reasoning … “Die 2 Live“.
The good news of the gospel is that those who believe in Jesus Christ will one day be with Jesus in a place where there is no sin. For believers, their life on earth now is the only “hell” they will every know. But for the unbelievers, their time on earth is the only “heaven” they will ever know. Also, for believers there is even more good news, God is going to “reward” a believer who daily dies to self and takes up his cross and follows Jesus. The hardest thing there is to do on earth is to be a an obedient servant to Christ, to deny self and live for Christ. Yet in Heaven, without our sin nature, the situation will be the exact opposite and everyone in Heaven will want to serve Christ but the reward and privilege will go to those who faithfully served Him on earth. Matthew 20:26 ‘It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,” This is why it is so important to not grow weary in serving Christ and doing the good works that God has prepared.
In a similar sense when Jesus says in Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.“ Jesus is talking to believers and encouraging them to ask their Heaven Father for “good gifts” that God longs to give His children. Jesus is not telling people to think of God like a cosmic genie who is subservient to our wants and desires for “health and wealth and happiness” but we are to think of God as the One who knows what is best for us and trust that we when we “ask, seek and knock” that God will provide the best for our “needs“. This concept is spelled out more clearly in 1 John 5:14 “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” and in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Moreover, the greatest gifts from God aren’t physical but they are Spiritual, such as the peace of God that passes understanding and the comfort and assurance of His Love.
These articles are about what I have learned about God and my new self in Christ as I’ve walked with Jesus and fought the good fight of faith. I don’t have any “new” revelations or teaching to offer. I am simply restating the age old truths of God in my own words, which is especially needed during these days of deception. The idea for creating this web site came from family and friends who encouraged me to write this information down somewhere, probably so I wouldn’t bend their ear so much. Of course, there are so many people who have influenced my Christian walk but primarily I want to thank my pastor (Clay), for 20+ years of solid bible teaching, my close brother in Christ (Vic), the late great teacher and chart maker Clarence Larkin and my all time favorite author and Christian apologetic, David Hunt. This web site is a work in progress, just like me. Philippians 1:6 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.“ God is working in me to make into a Kingdom citizen, like Jesus. God is primarily concerned about developing the loving, serving, sacrificing character of Christ in me and for that reason God would rather that I be miserable from fighting my sin nature and virtuous in Christ than for me to be happy in the world and selfishly lost in sin. And even with all the thorns of sin in this life, God’s grace is sufficient and amazing.
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
My prayer is that the information I have shared will draw you closer to God and bless your soul. But like Dave Hunt always says, don’t take my word for it, be a good Berean and compare what I say against scripture. And thanks to the format of this web site you can write your own thoughts down; agree, disagree, comment or correct my spelling.