Monday, March 15, 2010

Not I ... But Christ

Galatians 2:20-21 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”

John 12:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

The biggest challenge we will likely face as a Christian is our old self.
Our natural carnal man is dead in trespasses and sin and he challenges us in hundreds of different ways daily in our walk with Christ. "Habits and ideas that are perfectly natural and ordinary in the world are contrary to the ways of Christ. Romans seven tells us “for I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh” and, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” In other words, I made a list of all of the things I want to do and not only do I not do them, I do exactly the opposite. Paul best describes this dilemma when he concludes; “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

The danger is that as we try to live out our commitment to Christ, we may fall into the trap of allowing our old nature to guide us to a worldly solution. The natural way to deal with daily challenges is to do what we have always done, respond from our strengths … we attempt to do good works, to be the good person. But in our striving, we do all of the right things for the wrong reasons, like the man we saw yesterday in 1 Corinthians 13. You or I will never be good enough, as long as we are still in the flesh. We may fail, give up and fall into sin, or we may become legalistic … "but there is only one way to victory … allowing the love of Christ to control us. We must crucify our old self and live by faith in the Son of God. We must again come to the conclusion that is reached in Romans seven: … “O wretched man that I am.” Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Once we see that we have no power of deliverance in ourselves, then we can see our old self for who we truly are (wretched and unworthy) and see Jesus Christ for who He is (our savior eternally and the new life here and now that has risen from the death of the old guiding us into his righteousness). His shed blood has delivered us (past tense) from our sins. And our old self has been crucified with Christ on the cross at Calvary. In order for us to get beyond our old self, we must learn to believe or reckon the old self-centered man dead and the new Christ-centered man risen from the dead and alive in us.

Bible scholar Dr. C.I. Scofield wrote; “It is a great blessing when a person gets into the seventh of Romans and begins to realize the awful conflict of its struggle and defeat; because the first step toward getting out of the struggle of the seventh chapter and into the victory of the eighth is to get into the seventh. Of all the needy classes of people, the neediest of this earth are not those who are having a heartbreaking, agonizing struggle for victory, but those who are having no struggle at all and no victory, and who do not know it, and who are satisfied and jogging along in a pitiable absence of almost all the possessions that belong to them in Christ.”

“God works by paradox. Success comes via failure; life springs out of death. The only element in the believer’s life that crumbles is that which has to go anyway—the new life can never be harmed or affected. The disintegration is something the believer cannot enter into or engineer on his own—self will never cast out self. He has to be led into it by the mercy of the Holy Spirit—into failure; abject and total. For we which live, are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” 2 Corinthians 4:11

“God can use a thousand and one different things to bring out the worst in us.
It can be good times or bad, a favorite person or an adversary … in fact everything, to bring out the worst in us Romans 8:28-29, ultimately enabling us to see that the Christian life has to be Not I … But Christ.”People or circumstances are never the cause of failure. Self’s reaction to them is the cause and the one problem to be dealt with …
It’s me, It’s me, O Lord.”

John 12:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Your old self must die, so that Christ can live through you.
Is your life bearing much fruit?

If not, Maybe it is time to revisit Romans seven so that you can have Romans eight become a reality in your life.

Romans 8:1, 26-39 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. … In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God Bless you My Friend, Bob
The Complete Green Letters by Miles J. Stanford reference: pg. 40-41


  1. Truly the paradox principal - God works by paradox as you say.

  2. Wow....that is all I can say! What depth and knowledge of His word!

  3. You are so right, Dad. We can't change our bad habits on our own, no matter how hard we try. I can really see God use His word to change me more than anything. When I am regularly in His word, the Holy Spirit uses it to impact my life. When I'm not in the word, I sense negativity and worldly perspectives begin to creep their way into my thinking.
    Great Post!

  4. There is a reason we must renew daily. Great word!