In chewing on the simplest, most basic explanation for “how to” live the Christian life, I believe the juiced-down answer is to die. Christ’s life, resurrection life, only flows from one place: a tomb…death.
A Christian man is a 3-part being: body, soul (mind/will/emotions) and spirit. Before we’re born again, all that we have to live by is body and soul. But once we’re born again, Christ literally comes to live inside our spirit providing a new life form to choose to live by. That’s why we’re a “new creation”. We’re no longer simply human, but we’re human mixed with divinity. But Christ’s life flowing through us is far from automatic. We must choose which life we’re going to express on a moment-by-moment basis, and 100% of our quick reactions to life and situations flow from body and soul. So when we are tempted to react, we must stop, die, turn to Jesus and ascertain His response to the situation, and then choose to express His flowing life instead of ours.
A lot of people get born again, but never learn how to live by Christ from the inside-out. So what they end up with is a religiously trained body and soul, nice-guy, do-gooder, church-going kind of person, but bears little to no fruit, doesn’t advance the kingdom or defeat the enemy, and just sit back and wait for the rapture. Or they just keep living a fleshly life and doubt their conversion experience because “nothing changed”.
So “how” do we do this dying?
- Body – When our body is lusting for something that it shouldn’t, then we deny it (die to it), turn inwardly to Jesus in our spirit until we are “hearing” what He’s saying about the thing we’re lusting after, and then give expression (walk out) His response; which includes the grace/power to do it.
- Soul –
- Mind – When our mind is reasoning in such a way (normally to justify something that shouldn’t be justified), then we take those thoughts captive (die to them), turn to Jesus on the inside of us, hear His thoughts about the topic, then move forward choosing His thoughts that are literally flow from our spirit.
- Will – When we are determined to have our way in a situation or being tempted to impose our will on someone else unrighteously, then we die to our willfulness and turn to Jesus deep inside to tune-into His will, and then express that instead.
- Emotions – When our emotions are stirred up and pressing us to give vent to them, then we KEEP OUR MOUTH SHUT and turn to Jesus deep inside of us until we sense His feelings on the matter, and then let those flow out through us.
I believe our mouth is a master key to this death-to-Life transaction. Since the flesh has an instant reaction to everything, almost always flowing from selfishness, then when we are tempted to react, if we’ll keep our mouth shut and turn to Jesus on the inside, continuing to silently press into Him until like an oil-well His life rises up, and we give expression of His life through our soul and body, then we are living the Christian life that will actually bear fruit and overcome.