Dying to Live by Bob Smith
Index To The Appendix
A. Spiritual Principles in Counseling a chart of the various problems encountered in counseling, with their biblical solutions. (by Paul Leavenworth)
B. Sins and Solutions Listing of problems with the redemptive answers documented with scripture reference. (by Charlotte Mersereau)
C. Saul and David: The Man of the Flesh and the Man of Faith a biblical illustration of two different ways of life. (by Brian Morgan)
D. Repentance--The False and the True, As Seen in Saul and David a graphic picture of the results of repentance. (by Brian Morgan)
E. How's Your Mental Health? a self-evaluation with scoring sheet.
P. Further Facts about the Flesh
The fine work of Charlotte Mersereau, Paul Leavenworth and my fellow pastor, Brian Morgan, is much appreciated. We want to express our thanks for permission to use their materials and for helpful insights gained from others of my Christian friends in our mutual learning experience.
|1. Guilt|| Forgiveness
1 John 1:9
Philippians 3: 13-14
Ephesians 1 :6, 6:10
Colossians 2: 10a
2 Corinthians 12:9
|3. Blame shifting||
1 John 1:9
Psalm 51: 1-4
|4. Slavery to self, world system, "things"||Family relationship|
1 John 3:1-2
|5. Depression||Riches in Christ|
1 Corinthians 4:8
James 4:7a, 8a, 10a
1 Peter 2:13
|7. Frustration and futility||Peace|
1 Corinthians 14:33a
|8. Operation "feeling"||Facts|
2 Timothy I :12
|9. Doubt||Assurance (Security)|
Jude 1:1, 24
Romans 5:8, 9; 8:38-39
1 Peter 1:3-5
2 Timothy 3:16-17
|11. Suffering||Healing/restoration, Truth Self-judgment (disciplinary)|
1 Peter 1:6, 7; 4:12- 13, 16
James 1:2-4, 12
1 Peter 4: 17-19
1 Corinthians 11:31-32
|12. Spiritual death||Life, Salvation|
John 1:4; 3:36; 5:26
2 Corinthians 5:17
Ephesians 2:1, 5
|13. Physical death||
2 Corinthians 5:1-8
1 Corinthians 15:42-
2 Corinthians 5:1-8 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18
Psalm 84:1-2, 4
Revelation 14: 13,
2 Corinthians 3: 17
John 8:31-32, 36
Philippians 4:6, 7
|16. Submission||Obedience||Colossians 3:18-20, 22, 23|
17. Wall building
|18. "Lovers of Self"||Dying with Christ||2 Corinthians 4:10-12|
|19. Temptations/ trials||
|1 Corinthians 10:13|
|20. Awareness of good and evil||
Colossians 3:1-3, 16
|21. Identity crisis||True identity|
Colossians 2 10
|22. Living in a world of illusion||Reality/truth|
|23. Isolation/loneliness||Communication; God Communication; Man|
1 John 1:7
1 Corinthians 13
|24. "Cop out" to escape consequences||Confession|
1 John 1:9
|25. Ego trip||Truth: death of old man|
2 Corinthians 5:15;
4:5-7, 10-12; 3:5
1 John 3:1-2
|Colossians 3:15, 17|
1 Thessalonians 5: 18
· The flesh takes the activity of God and keeps it outwardly religious but interjects the principles of the world within (1 Sam. 8:5; 2 Tim. 3:5, 9).
· The desire of the flesh is to use God for its own advancement rather than to serve him (1 Sam. 10:16-21).
· A life of failure and defeat because of the dominance of the flesh is usually due to disobedience, not ignorance (1 Sam. 9:25; 10:13; Rom. 1:18).
· The flesh can look great in the beginning with external glory, but that glory ultimately fades away (I Sam. 10:23-24, 11: 15; 2 Cor. 3:11).
. The flesh thrives on outward security and favorable circumstances (2 Cor. 4:18).
· The man of the flesh depends upon himself until he gets in trouble. Then he calls upon God, but still does not fully desire God's way; he only wants help to alleviate the circumstance (I Sam. 13:8-14).
· Upon rejection by God and a loss of authority, the flesh responds by stirring up all kinds of religious activity and involvement (1) to cover up the rejection and (2) because it believes that outward activity has some kind of power in and of itself (1 Sam. 14:3, 24, 35; Gal. 3:1-3).
· The flesh presumes to find good in what God has called utterly bad (1 Sam. 15:9).
· The flesh will applaud itself and take credit for the activity of God (I Sam. 15:12).
· The flesh, in an attempt to keep something which God has denounced, will dedicate it to God. It will do anything to stay alive--even be religious (1 Sam. 15:15).
· The flesh rationalizes sin and will even make conditional repentance but will never fully repent--i.e., to call sin, sin; for to do so it would have to die (1 Sam. 15:25, 30).
Allowing a little flesh to live in our lives will lead to further disobedience, rebellion, and rejection of God's Word and authority on our part, and on God's part a grieving of his Spirit and a withdrawal of his power, authority, and truth in our lives (I Sam. 15:35).
The flesh will always come in conflict with the Spirit (1 Sam. 18-30; Gal. 4:29).
The man of the flesh may be melted by the love of another, but often it is only an emotion: emotion that does not lead to obedience is useless and will lead to deeper sin and rebellion (1 Sam. 24:16-22, 26; 17-25).
In the course of time the man of the flesh (knowing of his doom) will ultimately come into open rebellion against God and battle God to man's death (I Sam. 20:31, 22:7; 2 Tim. 3 8-9).
The man of the flesh is sorry for the consequences of sin, will fear them and even try to manipulate them, but is never sorry for sin itself (I Sam. 28:5).
· The end to which the flesh leads is utter depravity, barrenness, witchcraft, and finally suicide. When we submit to the flesh we are in fact for that moment committing spiritual suicide. "The wages of sin is death" (1 Sam. 31:4, Rom. 6:23).
· God's chosen are recognized by their heart response to God, not by outward appearance or activity.
· The man of faith is not put on the throne immediately but is tested by struggle and adversity until at last he learns the principle that man can do nothing on his own, learning the fullness of God's provision even in exile.
· Faith never looks at outward circumstances but upon God for victory.
· The man of faith does not work out God's program on his own or take things into his own hands, but waits for God to work it out and keeps entrusting himself to God to judge his circumstances rightly.
The man of faith will hold to God's promises even when circumstances seem exactly the opposite to them.
The man of faith can sin and fail, but the difference between him and the man of the flesh is real repentance and submission to God to be Lord of his life.
(A Personal Inventory)
Check one space to answer each question:
(1) Not at all (or "it's not") (2) Sometimes (or "just fair") (3) Pretty consistently (or consistently good) (4) None of your business.
I. How well can you take rejection? (1) _ (2) _ (3) _ (4)
2. How does your love hold up in the face of rebuffs?
3. How panic-proof are you in the face of pressures?
4. How well can you take injury without resentment?
5. How well can you handle praise without pride?
6. Do you generally have a good sense of personal worth?
7. How realistic is your assessment of your own importance?
8. Are you able to relate objectively to the needs of others?
9. Are you available to be part of the solution in most every problem situation?
10. Are you at rest in the midst of a world in turmoil?
11. Are you steadfastly committed to right causes and right actions?
(1) _ (2) _ (3) _ (4) _
(1) _ (2) _ (3) _ (4)
(1)_ (2) _ (3) _ (4) _
(1)_ (2) _ (3) _ (4) _
(1) _(2) _ (3) _ (4) _
(1)_ (2) _ (3) _ (4) _
(1) _ (2) _ (3) _ (4) _
(1) (2) _ (3) (4) _
(1) _ (2) _ (3) _ (4) _
(1)_ (2) (3) _ (4) _
(1) _(2) _ (3) _ (4)
12. Are you cheerfully optimistic
even when all seems lost? (1) _ (2) _(3) _ (4) _
13. Do you have a clear sense of direction in a confused world? (1) _ (2) _ (3) _ (4) _
14. Are you free from guilt (either real or false)?
(1) _ (2)_(3)_(4)_
15. Are you free from being plagued by regrets?
16. Are you free from being blackmailed by fears?
17. Are your priorities generally in order?
18. Do you have a good sense of humor (especially when the joke is on you)?
19. How well do you "hang in there" when the going gets tough?
20. How non-defensive is your attitude?
21. How open are you to correction?
22. How emotionally stable are you?
23. Are you a confident person?
24. How well do you handle suffering?
25. How teachable are you?
26. How vulnerable are you willing to be?
27. How transparent and open are you?
28. How good is your balance between liberty and license?
29. How well do you "keep going" without encouragement?
30. How submissive are you to authority?
31. How effective is your leadership?
32. How fulfilling is your value system?
33. How well adjusted is your attitude toward the opposite sex?
34. How free are you from indulging in emotional thinking?
35. How willing are you to forego your rights?
No fair peeking at the scoring sheet the questions"
(1) _ (2) _ (3) _ (4) _
until you've answered all
· Add up all the l's, 2's and 3's, using the number values; that is, if you checked 3, add 3; if you checked 2, add 2, and so on. If your total score is between 70 and 100, you're doing great --keep it up! If you scored between 35 and 69, you've got a lot of learning and growing to do!
· Now add up all the 4's.
Any score over 12 indicates that you are probably defending these areas, not letting Christ be Lord. You may find it helpful to review each of the questions on which you marked 4 and consciously yield that area to Christ for correction.
If you have a score of 70 or more as a total of all your 4's, you should question whether you have ever made Christ your Lord.
Perhaps you've noticed that on all these questions Jesus Christ scored perfectly--100 percent! He is the model of perfect mental health, always poised, unhurried, loving and confident. Since he lives in every Christian, he will supply the motivation and power in each of his own to respond rightly with increasing consistency. Mental health is simply experiencing the normal Christian life.
For example, regarding question number 1, the Lord Jesus was "despised and rejected by men" (Isa. 53:3), and "forsaken by the Father" (Ps. 22:1); yet "he trusted to him who judges justly" (I Peter 3:23), and by faith handled total and utter rejection.
We are to follow in his steps (1 Pet. 3:21). You can think it through in regard to every issue.
"...we have the mind of Christ" (I Cor. 2:16b).
Scoring is purely arbitrary and is designed simply to help you assess your responses--then turn to the Lord for the indicated correction and strength.
We need to observe that dealing with the flesh involves two steps: a negative and a positive. It is putting off and putting on, and we must take the negative step first. Often we do it wrong by trying to move to the positive first. We have a problem with the flesh and say, "I'll just leave it with the Lord; I'll trust the Lord to handle it." Then we wonder why we are not helped. First you must put off, then put on. In both Ephesians and Colossians we have instruction to "put off the old man and to put on the new man." It's just as if we were divesting ourselves of an old garment that is tattered, dirty, worn, and outmoded and were putting on a new garment. The Scripture is consistent that the negative precedes the positive. Note the order in Romans: "Our old man died with Christ" (Rom. 6:6), but he also "lives with Christ in resurrection power" (Rom. 6:8). The negative: Romans 6:6, "We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed." The positive: Romans 6:8, "But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we also shall live with him." It is "life out of death"--dying in order to live. It isn't dying just to die. Nobody's dying to die, but we are dying to live, and that's what God has in mind. So the old man dies and the new man lives--with Christ. The old man died with Christ--that's for real; when Christ died, I died. The new man lives with Christ, because he is raised from the dead and lives in me. Now we live together, and whatever we do, we do it jointly. So I am to act on the basis of this truth. "Consider yourself to be dead to sin": negative--and "alive to God": the positive. Romans 6:14, this is the "walk of faith." The first step is dying with Christ; the next step is living with Christ--in the newness of his resurrection life. A walk is two steps repeated: thus the walk of faith. We keep doing this all through life.
"Do not yield your members to sin, yield your members to God" (Rom. 6:13): negative and positive. To cap the whole thing, one little phrase describes it so well, "...as men who have been brought from death to life" (Rom. 6:13). That should describe us: "from death to life."
The same thought is captured in 2 Corinthians 4:10, "always carrying in the body the dying of Jesus that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our body." Notice the negative and the positive again. This is to be our attitude. This is the way we approach life, a standard operating procedure. In other words, we are not to insist on our own way, to seek to achieve our own personal ambitions and goals; instead we are to let Christ set our ambitions and move under his direction. The dying of Jesus describes what he did in facing into the cross and giving his life; he gave up any plan and ideas of his own in favor of his Father's will. Remember his words in the garden: "Not my will, but shine, Father." Whenever you think of the dying of Jesus, that's what it means. We're to be always carrying this attitude. But the idea is life out of death--"that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our body." So the end result is LIFE! Then, 2 Corinthians 4:11 describes the action that God is taking, "for we are always being given up to death." This says there is no escaping this process; if you think there is a back door clause, there isn't. God is committed to putting the flesh out of business. So even if we have trouble adopting this attitude, God is going to hem us in anyway. He will put us into the circumstances which constitute "being given up to death," in order that the life of Jesus may be shown forth in bodies that are still subject to death. This is the glory of our Christian life; we have bodies that are dying (it's rather obvious to most of us), but in these bodies that are dying, frail and fragile and subject to all the physical and psychological and spiritual ills, God's aim is that the life of Jesus might be shown. This is that treasure-in-earthen-vessels idea from 2 Corinthians 4:7: "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us." A vessel is just an old pot, but the life of Jesus is that treasure that the pot holds, and that's what God wants to show forth. So here is the theme verse to land on. And notice, we end up on the positive: the display of the life of God in the Christian. But in order to accomplish that the old man has to be put to death consistently. Apart from this kind of action we don't act like Christians so we spoil the beauty of God's plan. The illustration on the final page helps us to visualize this action.
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