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|Fellowship With God||FEBRUARY 27|
TO DIE WITH CHRIST1
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? . . . Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Rom. 6:1, 6.
The full significance of living entirely by Jesus Christ does not break ill upon us unless we see the utter bankruptcy of human wisdom, human effort, and human righteousness. We are to live by complete dependence on and union with a life that comes from above and not from within ourselves.
Of all the tragic cries that go up to heaven, none is more intense and tragic than the cry that began with Lucifer and has continued ever since: "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: . . . I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High" (Isa. 14:13, 14). We can never overrate the serious problem of pride and self-centeredness. The pride of self-will is where sin began. We all begin life ego-centered. It is the basic sin of all sins. All other sins are the outgrowth of this one sin. It is like a crease you make in a piece of paper. Any tear will the more easily begin here and follow the crease.
Pride affirms that by man's own searching he can know the ultimate truth and save himself. Unfortunately, all of man's so-called ideas about truth can become a substitute for depending on God. It is quite possible to be loyal to our own ideas without being loyal to Christ. In that case, as far as our religious experience is concerned, we are simply good pagans. We are a witness to the same thing found in Lucifer. We can exalt ourselves to the stars without trusting in, living by, or depending on God at all.
The ideal cherished by the world is the self-reliant man. But what men call self-reliance never gets beyond man's dependence on himself. Man's claim to superior knowledge, the conceit of self-sufficiency, the flaunting of pride, is fatal to the Christian life. Any claim we make for the glory of man can only render our fall and depravity more complete. To be ruled by self-seeking means to lose everything.
There is only one possibility left for survival: to find our true self in Jesus Christ.
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