2 Corinthians 13:4
“For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.”
Many years ago, I was preaching for a friend who pastored in an area where many Mennonite people lived. The pastor knew one Mennonite who was an expert taxidermist, and who also had a display to show some of his handiwork. The pastor took me over to this man’s museum, and I came across one piece that was of a deer running from two wolves. The work this man did on this display was amazing. One thing this man did with each display was to name them. When I read the name of that display, it read, “One must die so another may live.” What a wonderful representation of the Christian life.
The Christian has to battle the flesh daily. Just because a person gets saved doesn’t mean they will stop committing sin, because we live in a sinful flesh. In order for the new man to live in victory, the old man must be crucified daily. In other words, one must die so another may live. They both can’t live together. Every day one is going to have to die so that the other can live. Whichever one dies will determine whether you live the victorious Christian life on that day.
The verse above says that Christ was crucified, but that He lives “by the power of God.” Jesus had to die so that you and I can have the opportunity to live through Him. If Jesus never died, you and I would be on our way to Hell; however, the death of Christ and His ability to overcome death gives us hope that we can be saved and live in the new man. Three thoughts can be learned from this truth.
First, you will always have to die before having a resurrection. We want to live the resurrected life, but you must die in order to live it. Many people want the blessings of God without a death, but that can never happen. Most blessings you have ever received came after something died. My friend, you can fight the hardships you face, but you must remember that they come so that you may die; however, if you die to self, you will find there is a resurrection of blessings the LORD has for you.
Second, you will always have to be weak before He can strengthen you. It was in Paul’s weakness that the power of God was seen, and it will be in your weakness that God’s power can begin to work. We often look at our weaknesses at liabilities when in reality they are an asset. They are an asset because God’s power can work through our weakness. When you realize that you are too weak to be able to do something for the LORD, it is at that point when God’s power steps in and does what you cannot do. My friend, you can either rely on your own power, or you can be weak so He can strengthen you through His power.
Third, you will always have to be crucified before you can live. If you are going to live in Christ, you are going to have to crucify your flesh. Let me ask you, are you willing to put your flesh on the cross so that you can live through Christ? You will never enjoy the victorious Christian life until you are willing to crucify your flesh. The flesh must die before Christ can live through you.
Always remember that Christ works through your negative. What is negative for you is positive for Christ. You will always find the greatest victories come when Christ can work through your negatives of life.