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Letter to a Friend on Dying to Self PDF Print E-mail

Dear ________,

                        I have looked over your questions, and after some prayer and careful consideration, will share with you how the Lord answered these questions to me a little while back.


1)    How do you give up self?


Dying to Self.


            "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."  Rom. 4:5.

            [Christ Jesus], Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God."  Rom. 3:25.

            "There is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus. . . "  Rom. 8:1.

            "The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. . ."  DA 324.

            "He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life."  Jn. 6:47.


# We have sinned.  Self has been indulged.  We feel guilty and know we must die to our bad habit.

We seek to die, to uproot it from our desires.  We seek to dislike it.  We seek to put the temptation out of our minds. . . . It only looms up bigger and we go down discouraged.


God has seen our sin.  He knows we have done it. Yet, He gives us our Saviour.  On our behalf, Christ offers His blood, His death...and this removes our sin. In accepting this, believing his blood, we go free.

            Dying to self is believing His sacrifice on our account. By gift of the Father, Christ has assumed our sin, and transfers to us His righteousness.  Him "God hath set forth to be a propitiation [satisfaction in relation to the law] through faith in his blood." In place of your sin, is declared "his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God." Believed, we see His that grace, that love toward us, and that love works our submission.

            It is God's love and forgiveness that creates renouncing of self.  rather than our dying brings our submission and acceptance.

            "Not by painful struggles or wearisome toil, not by gift [something we give] or sacrifice [something we give up], is righteousness obtained; but it is freely given to every soul who hungers and thirsts to receive it."  MB 18.

            "The perception of God's love works the renunciation of selfishness."  MB 105.


2)    How do you trust in God?


“Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” 2 Cor. 3:3-5.


# As God shows us how complete Christ is to our salvation, we find a willingness to commit all of ourself to Him. A simple trust in His ability to save us fully and completely and entirely, is known as the faith of Jesus. See 3SM 172. This willingness to have Christ as our Saviour, and Him to work in our heart, is trusting God.


3)    How do you look to Jesus when you cannot see Him, How do you look to Him by faith?


“Faith looks beyond the difficulties, and lays hold of the unseen, even Omnipotence, therefore it cannot be baffled. Faith is the clasping of the hand of Christ in every emergency.” GW 262.


# When we are discouraged, and cannot see help clearly, know that Christ is still your Saviour, not because you can see Him, but because of what it says in the word of God. That Word is above the clouds and uncertainty that sometimes surrounds us, and our guardian angels are commissioned to bring us the assurances of that Word in times of darkness. See Heb. 1:14; Ps. 34:7. It is not for us to bring our mind up to the level of God’s encouragement, but to rest upon the assurances of God’s word; then we will be encouraged.


4)    What do you do if you are trying to give up something, but it will not go or it keeps coming up?


“You cannot keep the law. No. It is impossible for man of himself to keep the law. He cannot do it. But what can he do? Lay hold by living faith of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and present to the Father the righteousness of Christ; and the fragrance of His character is brought into his life. Here Satan is dethroned; he is emptied out of the house, and the vacuum is supplied by the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Christ sits enthroned in the human soul. Christ never wars against Christ.” 1 SAT 241.


# This thought is also expressed in the first part of the article I wrote in the last issue of the Grapevine (Issue 9), entitled, ‘Christ our Saviour Today’. We are to learn that it is not our work to cleanse our hearts from sin. Christ has volunteered to do that, and it is His work. He says, “My son, give ME thine heart, and let thine eyes observe MY ways”. Prov. 23:26. If we are battling with a sin problem, we are trying to rid ourselves of sin, and our thoughts and trust is taken from Christ and His righteousness on our behalf. Christ gives us many promises of His work on our behalf. See Prov. 16:1; Ps. 138:8; 130:8; 127:1; 121:7; 103:2-5; Exod. 14:13, 14; Exod. 23:20, 25; Zech. 3:2-4; Ps. 34:18, 22; 108:13; also Ezek. 36:24-29, 36. If we are willing to let this arrangement of things be ours, then we will have the blessing of Christ-likeness. “The just shall live by faith”. Hab. 2:4.


5)    How do you consecrate your self to God?


Exod. 29:33. “And they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them: but a stranger shall not eat thereof, because they are holy.”


      # Aaron and his sons, the subjects of our verse above, were consecrated and sanctified to be ministers unto the Lord, by eating those things “wherewith the atonement was made”. Now Christ has made an atonement for us, in His death upon Calvary, and His presenting of His blood before the Father (the law, His character), on our behalf. As we in faith, dwell upon the value in Christ’s sacrifice for our righteousness, as we learn of Christ and lean our soul weight upon His salvation for us, we are consecrating ourselves to God. We indeed shall be ministers of His, having something to share with others. It will truly be said of us as it was of His disciples, “and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13.


6)    How do you give all your self to Him? How can you control your feelings when you’re mentally, emotionally, and physically tired and worn out?


This is answered beautifully in a letter Sister White wrote to Brother Amadon, a brother in the faith who was quite elderly. This is part of what she wrote to him:


“Brother Amadon, rest in the promises of God. When your mind is clouded because of physical weakness, do not try to think. You know that Jesus loves you. He understands your weakness. You may do His will by simply resting in His arms.” 5MR 171.


# This is how we give ourselves to God. It is a complete abandonment of our mind, our soul, and all that concerns us, to Him, for Him to look after as He knows best. It is a devotion that comes from a conviction of His love for us, and also His complete ability to handle every intimate detail. It is an act of faith, trust, and heart-felt love, all bound into one.


7)    How do I yield?


“In the life of the disciple John true sanctification is exemplified. During the years of his close association with Christ, he was often warned and cautioned by the Saviour; and these reproofs he accepted. As the character of the Divine One was manifested to him, John saw his own deficiencies, and was humbled by the revelation. Day by day, in contrast with his own violent spirit, he beheld the tenderness and forbearance of Jesus, and heard His lessons of humility and patience. Day by day his heart was drawn out to Christ, until he lost sight of self in love for his Master. The power and tenderness, the majesty and meekness, the strength and patience, that he saw in the daily life of the Son of God, filled his soul with admiration. He yielded his resentful, ambitious temper to the molding power of Christ, and divine love wrought in him a transformation of character.” AA 557.


# Yielding is a decision, moved by a desire of the heart. At an intersection on a road in the US, instead of having a ‘Give Way’ sign, they have a sign which says, ‘Yield’. What the sign wants you to do, is LET the other traffic go past first before you. It is the same in your Christian experience. To yield to Christ, is to let Him go before you as your Lord, to have Him as your righteousness.




I hope that these few quotes and thoughts have helped answer these questions for you. The Lord understands your concerns, and will show you more from His word. He will make these things so precious to you, that they will not leave you. He will make Himself part of you, and you will find an experience with Him like nothing you have known before. I pray that the Lord will make His face to shine upon you, and that His presence shall bless and keep you.

                                                                                                Your brother, and fellow traveller to the kingdom,

                                                                                                                                    Michael Shea.