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.
For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
One of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity that seems to be lost to many people, churches and denominations is that when we come to faith in Christ for salvation, we are bought and redeemed by Jesus and we longer get to do as we will, but rather serve Him as His Spirit leads; we become His! To truly be saved, born again and forgiven, we must surrender in faith to Jesus and then the Holy Spirit of God indwells us as Romans 8:9-11 clearly teaches. The One and Only Living God now lives in us to lead us in this life and He desires to work in and through us to fulfill His eternal purposes. For this to work out in practical life we must “live by faith” which means we surrender our will to God’s will and let Him use us. To reject God’s will for us and to live selfishly or immorally is to quench and grieve the Holy Spirit and to sin against the One who loved us and died for us (1 Thessalonians 5:19 & Ephesians 4:30). To be “crucified with Christ” speaks to our identification with our Lord when He paid the price for our sins on the cross of Calvary when He submitted to the will of God the Father in our redemption. For us to “live by faith”, we must likewise surrender ourselves to the will of God and let Him “call the shots” versus our natural tendency to try to rule and control our life on our own. We trust in the character and purposes of the One who loves us and we surrender to His will out of faith, love and gratitude; this cannot be done without the Holy Spirit of God in us and empowering us. Human will is corrupted on its own and will never truly submit in a righteous manner unless God Himself is in us to help us. Our job is to trust and obey in faith and let God do as He desires. Religion and mankind have abused and misused the trust of many a person who is willing to submit themselves to what they think is a “higher power”, but we are talking about here is Jesus Christ, the Holy and sacrificial One, who wants us to live lives of love and truth towards all people and to practice kindness. I was misled before I found Christ in my own life, so I know how this can happen, but I do know that if a person seeks the truth by reading the Bible and calling out to Jesus Christ, God will do far more in the life of that person than can ever be imagined. Surrender to God Almighty through Jesus our Savior is a very different relationship than man-made religion where you allow another human to dominate you; it is a truly miraculous connection with the Creator of the Universe. If you have not done so yet, call out to Jesus Christ and surrender all you are to Him for salvation and watch what He will do to live in and through you in a way that is the greatest blessing any human can experience.
Love in Christ,
Pastor Gary Houdek