I have been crucified with Christ; 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 for me. Gal 2:20 (NKJV)
What does it mean to be “Dead to self”?
Some have suggested a believer should be like a glove and the Spirit of God should be the hand wearing the glove.
This sounds very spiritual but is it true?
The Bible teaches I must offer my whole life to the service of God and surrender my will to Jesus.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1Co 6:19 (NKJV)
A follower of Jesus does not belong to himself any longer but is like a slave who has been purchased by a new owner, Jesus Christ.
But how does this work in practice?
The parable of the glove operated by the hand of God is seriously misleading because it teaches you to see yourself as passive and unimportant.
Only God is important and believers may as well be robots, the more passive the better.
People should not see you but Jesus in you.
It is wonderful to see Jesus in a person and it is wonderful to be totally available for God to lead you and manifest Himself in you and through you.
The only trouble is that this passive concept of full surrender does not match my reading of real life Bible characters who are presented as role models for believers.
Paul appears in his letters and in the book of Acts as a very striking personality, quite different from Peter and John.
When I read the books of the Bible, I am impressed by the unity of the message of truth and the Divine inspiration.
However, I also perceive the strong imprint of the unique human personality of each writer.
When Moses writes THE WORD OF GOD, he remains Moses.
When David, Luke, John and Paul write THE WORD OF GOD they also express their strong and colourful personalities just as much as any poet in human literature.
The Lord Jesus Christ lived on earth as God in the flesh but that does not mean He was God in a human body.
He was God in a human BEING. Jesus lived as a man with a human mind and heart, a human spirit and soul.
In Jesus of Nazareth we do not see a human body acting as a glove operated by God but a complete human personality in perfect harmony with God:
in perfect harmony with His own identity as God,
in perfect harmony with the will of His Heavenly Father
and in perfect harmony with the Holy Spirit who guided and empowered His ministry.
As a man, Jesus struggled with temptation. There was potentially conflict between His human will and the will of the Father.
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me."
Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' " Mt 4:8-10 (NKJV)
“The devil took Him ....” Think about it!!
If Jesus was tested, so will you be.
- As Christians we seek to follow Jesus, to ACTIVELY seek to know and fulfil the purpose of God.
Jesus the man spent whole nights in prayer before making major decisions.