Death to self is the heartfelt desire of all who have experienced the new birth. We desire to see the self-for-others nature of God manifested in everything we do, say, and think.
How then does one know when he has truly died to self?
It’s easy to think of dying to self in terms of what we do or don’t do. Since childhood, we’ve been taught to focus on our actions. We gained our parent’s approval if we behaved a certain way. As adults, we have success in life if we perform in a certain manner.
When it comes to spiritual performance, however, no matter how hard we try, no matter long we go at it, we are never quite satisfied with our efforts. There’s always one more thing that needs to be taken care of. It becomes an endless struggle to do and to become.
Thankfully, as believers, dying to self is not something we have to attain to. We died to self on the cross with Jesus Christ. “You have died and your life is hid with Christ in God.” It’s something that has already happened.*
By Alex P. Cohen
This is the saints legal status. Paul however reminds us of our experiential standing and the saints struggle with self at the end of Romans 7 where Paul admits to his the battle with self. All saints all suffer with the experiential self. Scripture speaks of being saved past tense, being saved present tense, and being saved future tense. In the same way the saint is dead, is dying and will die. The dying is ongoing and Jesus will deal with the problem of dying to self the same as He dealt with the first and will deal with the last death. The faith of the saint deals with the two deaths and the third problem of dying trusting the Spirit of Jesus will help with the dying to self by laying whatever troubles you have at the feet of Jesus. Deciding to do good, but don’t really doing it; deciding not to do bad, but then is doing it anyway is every saints dilemma. My solution was that I have given my life to Jesus including my problems so with Him is where I’ll do my dying.