Many believers are encouraged to consecrate and re-consecrate their self-life.
This ‘love motive’ is a good motive, but it is not the correct path to spiritual maturity, for this path of devotion can lead the old-self trying to live for God, by being good, and the consequences of this path is often in living the self-life instead of the Christ-life.
It treats the fallen creation (the self-life) as capable of improvement.
And it simply means that in the Cross of the Lord Jesus, the natural life and the reasoning of the natural life, or the self-life – the willing of the self-life, the desiring of the self-life – has been cut off by the Cross.
Every expression and aspect of the self-life has been cut through by the Cross and is put in the place where the door is shut.
to die to the self-life. We are told die to the fleshly, carnal life of nature..
To die to self (to die to the self-life) we must discover it is not I..
But to know the Lord, we must first come to know the self-life.
We must first recognise the self-life – to understand what it truly is.
my amended, improved old self-life.
End of Self
It is when Self is identified as irreparably damaged and incapable of improvement, that we are brought to the end of our self-life and cry out at long last. Self must no longer have sway in my life, for it is not the “old I” but the “new life in Christ” that lives – and it must only be Christ.
Fruit of Christ
The natural life with its many preponderances must be laid underneath His grace. The self-life must die, so that our soul may be purged and sweetened in His... until its temperament, disposition and constitution is transformed into His likeness..
We must accept as fact what has already been made ours through faith in Christ, but we must be aware of our need of these truths in our daily walk – and only the Holy Spirit can reveal these truths to the seeking believer: for the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, they are foolishness to him: neither can they be known to them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1Corinthians.2:1 There are many ways to live that fail to deal with ‘self’ and the ‘self-life’. We have to recognise that God’s way, to self-denial, is at the cross.
As Christians we are going to be controlled by one of two powers: the self-life, or the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
He who knows that awful power of the self-life within; its enmity with God; its carnality; its grieving and quenching of the Spirit; its deadly blighting of all the blessed fruits of the Spirit; its fierce and desperate resistings of his hunger to enter into the full life of the Spirit, needs no other explanation of the lack of the fulness of the Spirit than the fulness of self. -J.H.
Only rebellion, stubbornness, self-assertiveness and all forms of self-life will hinder or arrest; but a life in the Spirit will be a constant succession of proofs, of evidences, that you were chosen for something.
you will lose your life (you will lose you soul) Luke.17:33 Should a believer choose the broad way he would be eternally saved, for eternal salvation is the free gift of grace to all who trust in Jesus as Saviour… eternally saved but choosing to live your own self-life and not His Christ-life.
Job.13:15. It is the expression of a self-life… that confesses the truth – a life willing to admit that God alone has the answers. Christian growth can often be stunted at rebirth with poor ‘discipling’. Spiritual maturity can frequently go into hibernation through a believer’s fleshly ways..
He prepares and chastens and purges each one, until they cry: “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear but now mine eye seeth Thee.” Job2:45. God will expose the roots of the old Adamic nature, with its prideful religiosity, until the old self-life is crucified and the new-life is transformed into His image. He will take your personal ‘seed of affliction‘, turning you into a ‘vessel of comfort’.
Old Self Life
Do you often ask for God’s help? “Help ME do this God” and “help ME do that Lord” or “Help ME change myself…” “Help ME stop being like this Father,” and “help ME start being like that?” Think!
God is never going to change the old YOU – the old self-life!
Is the Truth of His Person similarly an unqualified, non-negotiable truth to you – or are there things that conflict with your own experience or perceptions – are there areas in your self-life that you want to hang onto a little longer?
When Self is identified as irreparably damaged and incapable of improvement, we are brought to the end of our 'self-life' and cry out at long last, “self must no longer have sway in my life.” For it is not the “old I” but the “new life in Christ” that lives, and it must only be Christ.
Phil.1:21 This is a truth that discerning men of God have come to understand, but often after many years or decades of heart-break when the struggle with the self-life ends up with a life broken before the Lord.
We shall take our place on the resurrection side of the cross, and in so doing we leave behind the old self-life for the new Christ-life.
if that life is to work in entire submission to the leading and guiding of the Spirit – if the Spirit is to expose the infinite contrast between the ‘self-life‘ and the ‘Christ-life‘. You think I am labouring this point? Well, it needs to be laboured, for that is the teaching of Scripture to the Church. This is what Paul laboured for – so that Christ’s life may be established in the believer.
However, for the Lord Jesus to be fully manifested, it is going to involve a lifetime of the Holy Spirit's deep dealing with the more subtle and deadly characteristics of the self-life always delivered unto death (2 Cor. 4:11).
How many earnest and religious people belong to the Old Adam Improvement Society.' It is the recognition of the Christ-life, it is union with the Risen Christ, that men need instead of the culture of the religious self-life. -E.H.
We can submit to the principle of reproduction in this life and die to self… OR – We can fight against God’s will for our lives – and live to self. We can choose His perfect, abundant, eternal divine life – or live the self-life.
For every believer who actually crosses over into the Promised Land there are far too many who stand for awhile and look longingly across the river, and then turn sadly back to the comparative safety of the sandy wastes of the self-life.
Christ-Life or Self-Life
From beginning to end, it exemplifies two choices for the “One New Man In Christ.” The story of Job is emblematic of believers.
There are only two choices, for the one that has been born again – 1) either to live the Christ-life, or 2) to live the Self-life – there is no alternative. There are some in the Body of Christ in the front lines of intense spiritual conflict… a spiritual conflict that is intensifying in these last days..
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity – all in this self-life is vain, foolish, stupid folly, except to love God and to serve Him forever.
Nothing in this world, and the self-life that seek supremacy in your life, is of value.
All in this self-life is vain, foolish, stupid folly - except to love God and serve to Him.
a deceitful balance If you seek after wisdom you will gain wisdom but be careful that you use it wisely, for there is only one, truly wise choice in this life, and that is death to the self-life – and living for Christ.
New Life in Christ
So often this self-life we nurture and tend is the wrecker of our fruitfulness; yet this sentence of death to self is not the end of the story in your life or in mine.
Just as the sins we committed were placed on Christ 2000 years ago… when He died, so our sinful nature (our old self-life), was nailed to that cross, when He died – our Adamic propensity; the old man; our sin nature was nailed to the cross.
And Peter reminds us that the ‘treats’ that Satan strews in our ways are passions of our flesh that tickle our fancies and damage our soul – they are lusts that feed our self-life, and starve us of the bread of Life that is the only nourishment that is good for our souls.
In time they are brought to the very end of themselves, until they can admit that the refreshment they desperately need has been drawn from the broken cistern of the old, Adamic-life and will eventually run dry, for the energy-source that is powered through the fleshly self-life, will in time be drained of all its self-induced efforts.
Indeed, it is not the sacrificial acts of a man or woman who desires to be pleasing to the Lord that delights His heart – but the one that walks in spirit and truth – the one that dies to the self-life and lives to Christ – the one that looks to Jesus – the one that abides in Christ - the one that can say, nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.
Loving in spirit, in word, in deed and in truth is evidenced in the life of one who has died to the self-life, abides in Christ and is able to say with the apostle Paul – it is not I that live my life, but Christ, Whose life is in me and living through me.
May we never forget that we have an assurance that if we die to the old self-life and live the new life of Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, (as did this great apostle of God), our consolations will more than compensate for the inevitable afflictions and difficulties that accompany the lives of all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Only when the old self life remains nailed to the cross and the new life in Christ feeds of Him in our hearts, by faith, with thanksgiving and praise, can that love of Christ’s be manifested towards other and this is the way that we will know that we love God’s children - if we love God and obey His commandments: love as I have loved You.
Pressing towards the goal of our calling is the responsibility of all Christians and our objective in life should be to finish the race that is set before us and seek to attain to conformity to His death - which is death to the self-life - so that the life that we now live is a unsoiled reflection of the beauty of Christ in us.
He identified with us so that we could identify with both His death and His resurrection - so that HIS death became OUR death (death to the self-life) and HIS life became OUR life (our new eternal life in Christ).
The old self-life must give way for the new Christ- life - for a new righteousness must replace the old.
Christians can choose to EITHER be controlled by the former self-life which can only produce the unacceptable works of self-righteousness OR they can choose to walk in spirit and truth and be controlled by the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which will only produce acceptable works of Christ's own righteousness.
May we keep the self-life nailed to the cross so that the imputed life of Christ may be manifest in all we do.
If we live as a carnal believer it means that we rely on our self-life rather than on the life of Christ, we proudly have faith in our own abilities instead of trusting the indwelling Holy Spirit and humbly admitting that of ourselves we can do no good thing – for we can only function in the spirit, as we live our Christian life the new born-again life in Christ.