"What the world calls virtue, without Christ, is a name and a dream. The foundation of all human excellence must be laid deep in the blood of the Redeemer's cross and in the power of His resurrection." -Robertson
We must realize that without Christ, we are nothing. Even our righteousness is filthy rags before Him. When we excel, and we do not do it for Him and His glory, then we have done nothing. It is only when we die to ourselves and our desires, that we can really excel, because He is glorified when our flesh is swallowed up in His Spirit. (1Co 6:20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.)
When we, knowing that Christ died and rose again to make it possible that we can live a life that truly means something, decide instead to live for ourselves....we are denying that His death and resurrection means anything.
Romans 8:11 "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."
Eph 2:1 "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,"
Eph 2:4-6 "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,"
I love this passage in Colossians about what Christ did for us on the cross!
Col 2:13 "And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it."
What should our reponse be since Christ has made us alive?
Galatians 2:20-21 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
Col 3:2,4a "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God....therefore put to death your members which are on the earth."
1 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed." "That we might live for rightoeusness!"
It is my prayer that I never "get away" from the cross, may it loom ever before me, reminding me of His sacrifice, which is the reason for my daily sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2). The Christian life is one of daily death and resurrection, putting to death (mortifying) even wicked thought and action, that it becomes "not I, but Christ who lives in me."
2Co 5:14-15 "For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again."
May we all die today, that we may truly live!