Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Sentence of Death

Dying to Self

Written by Dr. Justin Imel

Death. That’s the sentence Youcef Nadarkhani has received from an Iranian court for refusing to recant his faith in Christ.

According to news reports, the court asked Nadarkhani to repent. He replied, “Repent means to turn. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?”

“To the religion of your ancestors, Islam,” declared the judge.

Nadarkhani simply said, “I cannot.”

Nadarkhani clearly stands as an example for all who profess faith in Christ. In former days, many gave their lives for Christ – Stephen, James, Peter, Paul, Justin Martyr, and the list could be made much longer.

Yet, Jesus intends every disciple to lay down his life. Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23, ESV). We view the cross as a symbol of our redemption, but Jesus’ original hearers would have understood the cross as an instrument of death. Jesus says that his disciples must daily die for him – die to their own will and live for him. “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal 5:24, ESV).

Have you died to self today? Have you taken off the old self to be clothed with Christ? Why not die to self today that you might live for Jesus? After all, he has already died for you. “He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Cor 5:15, ESV).

No comments:

Post a Comment