Christ’s principle on earth was “I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will” (John 5:30 NLT). The Son did nothing on His own. That total denial of self is our ultimate goal in serving God. Everything Christ did laid the groundwork to fulfill His death on the cross and His resurrection. After He was resurrected, He told His disciples that they would receive “power from on high.” He was referring to the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. That power was the ability, talents, and confidence to live as Christ taught we should live, and in so doing we would walk in the Spirit. With this power, we can become obedient to God’s will and ways. Without the Holy Spirit, our flesh, or carnal nature, is in control and could not meet God’s requirements.

Paul realized He could not live the Christian life without God’s help. “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it” (Rom. 7:15–17 NLT). Too many people become Christians and mistakenly believe they do not have to study Scripture or pray, they can live a godly life on their own. Sadly, they are just professing Christians without the power from God, struggling each day and wondering why living a Christian life is so difficult. They question where the promised joy, peace, and love are. They must come to the understanding that the Bible instructs us to surrender our old nature and let the new nature control, which God gives us when we receive the Holy Spirit. God will not force Himself on us. For the power to work, He must control but only with our permission. Are you ready to let Him have that control so you can walk in the Spirit?

God removes any doubt as to what is required to live eternally with Him and Christ. God tells us what He expects from each Christian:

1.​ Abel brought an acceptable sacrifice to God, but his brother Cain did not. Apparently God had told them what he expected of each. One obeyed and one did not. The illustration of Abel teaches us the importance of worshipping God as Christ teaches and giving Him our very best. Tithing and sacrificing has been a part of worshipping God from the very beginning.
2.​ Abraham left his family—people with great wealth and status—and his home to live the rest of his life as a nomad in tents. We learn from Abraham the importance of trusting in God and the surety of His promises, for it was Abraham’s faith that made him righteous.
3.​ Enoch walked with God for 300 years. He had developed a relationship with God that was so close; God spared him death and instead took him directly to heaven. We learn from Enoch that God expects a relationship with each of us and that we are to worship Him through our daily walk.
4.​ Noah was one of the most obedient of all God’s people. For 120 years he diligently built an ark and preached to people to change their lives. He had faith in the promise that God would do what He said He would do: destroy everyone with a flood. Noah teaches us the importance of obedience and persistence.
5.​ Christ brought a new covenant that included teachings under the old covenant and fulfilled the laws, regulations, ceremonies, and sacrifices of the old covenant. He did not make the Old Testament obsolete He fulfilled it. It contains prophecies of the future, history, examples of godly people, and the character of God. Under the new covenant we are judged on our inner selves, our spirit, and thoughts but not on our external actions. Doing good works will not get us to heaven. But if we have the right relationship with God and others, we will do good deeds with unconditional love.

Christ came to restore us to a life God created, which is a positive, meaningful life free from negative fears. “Where, O death is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55). Christ came that He might ultimately destroy Satan, who holds the power of death, and frees those who are held in slavery by their fear of death. (See Hebrews 2:14–15.) In addition, Christ’s resurrection took the lid off the jar that would restrain our potential and freed us to become what God created each of us to be. First John 4:18 says that the love we receive from Christ will drive out fear. We must allow the Holy Spirit to help us overcome the negative fears of life because our sin nature would keep us locked up with feelings of unworthiness, lack of confidence, and remembering past failures. Christ’s salvation and the Holy Spirit break the chains that have enslaved our thinking and free us to living as God intends.

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now and not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life, unless it’s Christ’s.

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