Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
“I die daily.”
1 Corinthians 15: 31
Self-sacrificingness may be defined as a separation from what is common and ordinary and is a continual dedication of one’s self to God.
Whose self-sacrificingness is acceptable to God? To state it negatively, it is not the world, because they are under condemnation and are unfit to be engaged in self-sacrificingness. Although the justified are invited to self-sacrificingness, until they consecrate their lives to God, their self-sacricingness is unacceptable to God. So, to state it positively, it is the consecrated whose self-sacrificingness is acceptable to God. Although this would primarily include the Little Flock, in principle it would include the Great Company, the Youthful Worthies and the Consecrated Epiphany Campers.
Elements of Self-Sacrificingness
Of what does self-sacrificingness consist? First of all, a daily surrender of one’s human all to God. In the next place, it indicates: (1) self and world denial (Matthew 16: 24) (Matthew 10: 37-39); (2) study and meditation on the Lord’s Word (2 Timothy 2: 15); (3-4) watchfulness and prayer (Matthew 26: 41); (5) spreading the Word (2 Timothy 4: 2); (6) practicing the Word (James 1: 22); and (7) suffering for loyalty to the Word (2 Timothy 2: 12).
Symbol of Self-Sacrificingness
What is the symbol of self-sacrificingness? Being baptized in water in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. In immersion, the one to be immersed lies as it were helpless, inactive, in the hand of the baptizer, who then lowers the person down under the water and lifts him up again after he has been completely covered by the water. The immerser represents God and the one immersed represents the one undergoing self-sacrificingness. This is a wonderful picture of the burial into Christ and into newness of life.
Attributes of Self Sacrificingness
What are the attributes of self-sacrificingness? They are shown in Romans 12: 1: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” By the word living, an energetic work is meant, which is covered by the word power; by the word holy, love is meant, for that is the real spirit of holiness; by being acceptable, we see the harmony between our self-sacrificingness and justice; and by the reasonableness of this sacrifice, wisdom is meant. Thus, we see all four of God’s great attributes in this passage – power, love, justice and wisdom.
Possibility of Self-Sacrificingness
Is self-sacrificingness possible? It is not possible by our own strength as we read in Ephesians 2: 8: “By grace are ye [being] saved through faith; and that not of yourselves.” This passage shows that it is all a matter of grace, God’s favor to us, and that it is through faith and not of ourselves, proves that it is not by our own strength that we are able to accomplish this. But the Heavenly Father’s strength enables us to do, as we also read in Ephesians 2: 8: “It is the gift of God.” Our salvation is thus a gift of God.
Advantages of Self-Sacrificingness
What are the advantages of self-sacrificingness? (1) It gives us fellowship with God and Christ (1 John 1: 3); (2) it gives us fellowship with the faithful brethren (Psalm 133: 1); (3) it gives us an insight into the characters of God, Christ and the brethren (Matthew 5: 8); (4) it prepares us for our future office in God’s coming Kingdom; and (5) it gives us the best life now, and that to come (1 Timothy 4: 8).
Daily Renewal of Self-Sacrificingness
Bro. John Edgar was highly favored by God as a faithful servant of His. When he was on his death-bed, he was determined that he would make his final hours as profitable for God as possible. Surrounded by his wife, children, brother and sister, he kept saying to them, “Dearly beloved in the Lord, daily renew your covenant of consecration and daily seek to carry it out.” Bro. John Wesley had a similar death-bed experience. He led a prayer meeting the whole last night that he spent on earth.
Let us, beloved brethren, earnestly strive to overcome, earnestly encourage one another to overcome and press on in our narrow way, relying upon our loving Heavenly Father, the God of absolute perfection in wisdom, justice, love and power, and relying also upon the merit of our Lord Jesus for acceptance.
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