To seek life, not in itself, but in God, is the highest honor of the creature. To live in and to himself is the folly and guilt of sinful man; to live to God in Christ, the blessedness of the believer. To deny, to hate, to forsake, to lose his own life, such is the secret of the life of faith. “I live, yet NOT I, but Christ liveth in me”; “NOT I, but the grace of God which is with me”: this is the testimony of each one who has found out what it is to give up his own life, and to receive instead the blessed life of Christ within us. There is no path to true life, to abiding in Christ, than that which our Lord went before us-through death.
Unless this life of self, with its willing and working, be displaced by the life of Christ, with His willing and working, to abide in Him will be impossible. And then comes the solemn question from Him who died on the cross: “Are you ready to give up self to the death?” You yourself, the living person born of God, are already in me dead to sin and alive to God; but are you ready now, in the power of this death, to mortify your members, to give up self entirely to its death of the cross, to be kept there until it be wholly destroyed? The question is a heart-searching one. Am I prepared to say that the old self shall no longer have a word to say; that it shall not be allowed to have a single thought, however natural- not a single feeling, however gratifying- not a single wish or work, however right?
Oh, that our eyes would be opened to the uselessness of this self. That absolutely nothing we can do of ourselves is of any value to God. That absolutely everything we do out of ourselves is a hindrance to Him.
Oh, that our eyes would be opened to the provision God has made for us to be free from this self. That the cross would be our freedom, not our suffering. That in losing self we gain Christ.
Believer, fear not this loss of self, for in it is found true freedom. For in it is found Christ.