“…we shall be saved by HIS life.” Romans 5:10
When the Lord Jesus spoke of denying self, it was in order to pave the way for understanding and embracing His saving ways. Christ uses nothing of “self” to save us. So then, where do we begin in our understanding so that we might KNOW His saving Life?
The Beginning is always the Person of Christ, and according to Isaiah (55), that means beginning with “His thoughts” and the knowledge of “His ways.” Paul writes in his epistle to the Romans, that we are “…justified by faith.” (Romans 5:1) God’s way has always been that of faith. This is so because faith must come from outside of us to be acceptable to God. It is thus, the “gift of God.” It is a wonderful day when we realize that we are nothing and can do nothing, and that God is waiting to give us all in Christ. But that “all” can only be received by faith. So, we begin by faith…IN the Son of God, and BY the Son of God.
The next “way” of God is that of understanding that God will have nothing of the “flesh,” nothing of the sinful “self” dwelling in us. Sinful self is worthy of only one thing, along with all of the manifestations of it, and that is, crucifixion, death, burial. (Romans 6:6) This brings us to the pitfall of thinking that, though we are justified by faith, we can live by trusting in something, or someone else, (usually ourselves), other than Christ for His victory. We have only to read the sad commentary of Paul in Romans 7:24 to learn where this brings us: “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” This is certainly not the victorious life.
Lastly, and wonderfully, we come to the testimony of Paul who declares that he has understood GOD’s ways: “I AM crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh (in this physical body), I live BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20) Paul embraces God’s ways by embracing the work of Christ on Calvary. It is an act, followed by an attitude, of faith. That great and wonderful work brings us now face to face with Christ as our LIFE. “CHRIST lives in me.” What wonderful words, declaring that the cross has delivered me from all that I would trust in, in order to embrace Christ, and Him alone as my Life. HIS victorious Life then becomes my own…by faith. This is how we shall live and KNOW the power of His resurrection in all places, at all times.
Dear Father, grant us grace to see clearly the simplicity and yet, profoundness of Thy Son’s work on Calvary. Enable us by faith to enter into the reality that we have died with Christ, in order to live BY His life, and thus, for Him. Strengthen us in the inner man, that He may DWELL in our hearts by faith today, and this, in an ever-increasing manner. In Jesus’ name, Amen.