Philippians 3:12, Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
It would be an amazing thing to speak only of God. To be able to dwell on nothing else but the greatness, holiness, and grandeur of the Holy Trinity would be a blessing and an honor. What we find is that Christian life is more than a sterile discussion of the existence of God, but the concluded reaction of that fact by man.
A central consideration in this is where “one” has some responsibility in their own growth. There is nothing more central to a spiritual relationship with God than the “Sacrificed Life.” The “Sacrificed Life” is that life which is left on the cross and lived because of the cross. It is a circumstance where we can only be what God wants by becoming less than we presently are. We seek that spiritual perfection, Paul mentions, by becoming more like Jesus. A sacrifice for the sacrificed. A key attribute of a sacrificed life is that the life in question is no longer compatible with the world. To those who claim that relationship, it is the total destruction of personal ego and the replacement of that with the elements of our Savior. This unity is made obtainable by the cross, and was the goal of God and the salvation of man. (John 3:16-17)
This message for some can end at simple acknowledgement. One can simply believe and never change ourselves or our directions spiritually. For too many today, salvation is all RELIEF, and NO COMMITMENT. A simple statement of admission and somehow God is required to take us in. Nearly the secret special word which unlocks the heavenly vault for which nothing more is required. To confess Christ, and live and obey the Gospel call, is to find oneself at the will of God. Our own life compass is replaced with that of the Only Wise and Loving Lord. He becomes our way.
While this concept is not a new concept it is not a message that comes without a cost. For those who would seek the salvation of our loving master, we have to first understand the great cost made on our behalf. I personally see this as something of which we can only imagine, and never really know the true value. What is it for a holy and righteous Lord to leave Heaven and come to earth to die for mankind? (John 1:1-5) Most of whom will never acknowledge that sacrifice in a meaningful way.
What is it to take on the sins of man so that man can be redeemed? (1 John 3:5)
A sacrificed life is a life of both acknowledgment and action. It is both the confession of our sins and His holiness and the inescapable committed duty which invariably accompanies it. As James would say in James 2:26, “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” The crucifixion of Christ is both humbling and demanding. We cannot gaze at the cross and leave unaffected. What Christ has done for us has illuminated our sins. Not for the purpose of degradation, but for illustration. Since we have all sinned, we all require cleansing. Jesus made that sacrifice for us so that we could be what God requires. We are called to sacrifice ourselves for Him.
Galatians 2:20, 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.
He has sacrificed Himself for us, do we sacrifice for Him? In the end that will be the only question that matters… Godspeed on your journey.