The More Abundant Life

Pursuing an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ

Dan Augsburger

Part 3 of 5 on the More Abundant Life

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1. The Promise of a More Abundant Life
2. Understanding the More Abundant Life

Understanding the More Abundant Life: If so, what is it? B

The Emptying Phase: Dying to Self

We Persevere, Acknowledging Our…
…Need of Pardon
…Need of His Righteousness
...Need to Die to Self

F. B. Meyer
“The most bitter experience with most believers is the presence of sin in their lives. They long to walk through this grimy world with pure hearts and stainless garments. But when they would do good, evil is present with them. They consent that God’s law is good; they approve it; they delight in it; they endeavor to keep it. (Yet), they seem as helpless to perform God’s law as a man whose brain has been smitten with paralysis is helpless to walk straight.” Some Secrets of Christian Living, p. 99,100

Mead MacGuire
“There is a great deal of modern preaching which presents, as a remedy for sin, love, social regeneration, culture, self-development, etc.. According to the Scriptures, the only way to deal with sin is to begin with death. Undoubtedly the great difficulty with the majority of believers is that they are trying to live Christ’s life without first having died Christ’s death…. It is much more popular these days to talk about life than death, but not more necessary, for death is the way into life. Many have not seen or understood the necessity of this death; and others, having seen it, are afraid or unwilling to die…. It is the daily dying of self that makes room for the living of Christ.” The Life of Victory, p. 33, 35, 37

Romans 6:1,2
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

Romans 6:3
“Or did you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death.”

Romans 6:4
“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Romans 6:6,7
“Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.”

Romans 6:11
“Likewise you also reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Luke 9:23
“If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up His cross daily, and follow Me.”

John 12: 24
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it produces much grain.”

Galatians 6:14
“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

SDA B. C., Vol. 6, p. 1075
“The new birth is a rare experience in this age of the world. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptized, but they were buried alive. Self did not die, and therefore they did not rise to newness of life in Christ.”

S.T., November 21, 1892
“We cannot retain self and yet be filled with the fullness of God. We must be emptied of self. If heaven is gained by us at last, it will be only through the renunciation of self, and the receiving of the mind of Christ. Pride and self-sufficiency must be crucified, and the vacuum supplied with the Spirit and power of God. Are we ready to sit down and count the cost, and conclude that heaven is worth the sacrifice of dying to self, of having our will brought into perfect conformity with the will of God? Until we are willing, the transforming grace of God will not be manifested upon us. When we present our emptied nature to God, he will by his Holy Spirit supply the vacuum made by the renunciation of self, and give us of his fullness.”

Satan’s Trap #5
The Lie
The old “self” can be improved; work on it!

The Truth
There is nothing worth improving in the old self; it is only fit to die.

We Persevere, Acknowledging Our…
…Need of Pardon
…Need of His Righteousness
…Need to Die to Self
…Inability to Cast Out Self

How do we die to self?

Romans 7:18
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.”

Romans 7:24
“O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

John 15:5
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

Christ Object Lessons, p. 159
“No outward observances can take the place of simple faith and entire renunciation of self. But no man can empty himself of self. We can only consent for Christ to accomplish the work. Then the language of the soul will be, ‘Lord, take my life, for I cannot give it, it is thy property. Keep it pure, for I cannot keep it for thee. Save me in spite of myself, my weak unchristlike self. Mold me, fashion me, raise me into a pure and holy atmosphere, where the rich current of thy love can flow through my soul.’ It is not only at the beginning of the Christian life that this renunciation of self is to be made. At every advance step heavenward it is to be renewed.”

Youth Instructor, September 9, 1897
“He is knocking at the door of your heart, asking for admittance. He longs to renew your heart, filling it with a love for all that is pure and true. He longs to crucify self for you.”

God orchestrates the circumstances
that bring about our dying to self!

Hebrews 5: 8
“Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience through the things which He suffered.”

Ministry of Healing, p. 488
“The Father’s presence encircled Christ, and nothing befell Him but that which infinite love permitted for the blessing of the world. Here was His source of comfort, and it is for us. He who is imbued with the Spirit of Christ abides in Christ. Whatever comes to him comes from the Saviour, who surrounds him with His presence. Nothing can touch him except by the Lord’s permission. All our sufferings and sorrows, all our temptations and trials, all our sadness and griefs, all our persecutions and privations, in short, all things work together for our good. All experiences and circumstances are God’s workmen whereby good is brought to us.”

Bible Examples
Joseph, Moses, Daniel

George Müller
“‘There was a day when I died’; and, as he spoke, he bent lower, until he almost touched the floor. Continuing, he added, ‘Died to George Müller, his opinions, preferences, tastes, and will; died to the world, its approval or censure; died to the approval or blame even of my brethren or friends; and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God.’” Born Crucified, p. 60

Graveyard Religion: Impact on Person
  • Person has no needs.
  • Loss of control.
  • No thinking.
  • Disassembly of one’s life.
  • No movement; no talking.
  • No worry; no ability to worry.
  • Total dependence.

Dying to Self Versus Self-denial
Self-Denial: We are in charge
Denying Self: God is in charge

Satan’s Trap #6
The Lie
Dying to self is something I do.

The Truth
Dying to self is something
God progressively brings about,
as I accept the way He is working in my life.

Satan’s Trap #7
The Lie
Problems disappear when you have died to self.

The Truth
You die; the problems don’t.
But problems become blessings
as you accept them as from God’s hands.

Satan’s Trap #8
The Lie
When you have died to self, you stop being tempted.

The Truth
You die; temptations don’t.
But since dead people don’t fall to temptations,
you don’t have to either.

We Persevere, Acknowledging Our…
…Need of Pardon
…Need of His Righteousness
…Need to Die to Self
…Inability to Cast Out Self
…Need to Choose

What Can We Do?
  • We can make choices!
  • We can exercise our will!

Steps To Christ, p. 47
“Many are inquiring, ‘How am I to make the surrender of myself to God?’ You desire to give yourself to Him, but you are weak in moral power, in slavery to doubt, and controlled by the habits of your life of sin. Your promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand. You cannot control your thoughts, your impulses, your affections. What you need to understand is the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man, the power of decision, or of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will. The power of choice God has given to men; it is theirs to exercise. You cannot change your heart, you cannot of yourself give to God its affections; but you can choose to serve Him. You can give Him your will; He will then work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus your whole nature will be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ; your affections will be centered upon Him, your thoughts will be in harmony with Him.”

Satan’s Trap #9
The Lie
Will power is like backbone; choose,
then strive as much as you can!

The Truth
You can only choose to
let Christ do what you cannot do;
He does the doing.

The Filling Phase: Receiving Christ

We Persevere, Acknowledging Our…
…Need of Pardon
…Need of His Righteousness
…Need to Die to Self
…Inability to Cast Out Self
…Need to Choose
…Need to Receive Christ

1 Corinthians 1:30,31
“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption — that, as it is written, ‘He who glories let him glory in the Lord.’”

1 Corinthians 15:22
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”

Galatians 2:20
“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.”

Ephesians 3: 19
“…that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”

1 John 4:4
“You are of God little children, and have overcome them; for He that is in you is greater than He that is in the world.”

Steps to Christ, p. 70.
“By faith you became Christ’s and by faith you are to grow up in Him,—by giving and taking. You are to give all,—your heart, your will, your service,—give yourself to Him to obey all His requirements; and you must take all,—Christ, the fullness of all blessing, to abide in your heart, to be your strength, your righteousness, your everlasting helper,—to give you power to obey.”

That I May Know Him, p. 78
“The Lord Jesus loves His people, and when they put their trust in Him, depending wholly upon Him, He strengthens them. He will live through them, giving them the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to the soul a vital transfusion of Himself. He acts through their faculties and causes them to choose His will and to act out His character.”

Mead MacGuire
“It is hard for those who are slaves to sin and evil habits they have long sought to overcome, to believe that by simply accepting Christ and yielding to Him they instantly receive a new nature, and power enabling them to live a new life. Yet this is true, and countless thousands have experienced this mighty miracle.” The Life of Victory, p. 64.

Youth Instructor, May 16, 1901
“God does not ask us to carry forward the work of character-building in our own strength. We are not sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves. The Holy Spirit is our efficiency in this work. When we think ourselves capable of molding our character aright, we deceive ourselves. Never can we in our own strength obtain the victory over temptation. But he who trusts in Christ, and submits to the guidance of his Spirit, will grow daily into the likeness of God. His growth will be proportionate to his dependence on the Spirit's help.…”

Making It Simple

The indwelling Christ is like the higher power of light that overcomes the lesser power of darkness. So long as Christ is dwelling within, His life overcomes the darkness that naturally exists in our hearts. When He dwells in us, we experience the more abundant life. As we daily choose—flip the switch—and allow the power of God to come into our lives, God overcomes the darkness and makes us a source of light to the people around us.

The Outcome

2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

1 Thessalonians 5: 23,24
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”

Desire of Ages, p. 324
“When the soul surrenders itself to Christ, a new power takes possession of the new heart. A change is wrought which man can never accomplish for himself. It is a supernatural work, bringing a supernatural element into human nature. The soul that is yielded to Christ becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept in possession by the heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan.”

That I May Know Him p. 165
“…If you open the door of the heart, Jesus will supply the vacuum by the gift of His Spirit, and then you can be a living preacher in your home, in the church, and in the world.”

J. E. Conant
“Christian living is not living with Christ’s help, it is Christ living his life in us.” Every-Member Evangelism, p. 128

Making It Simple

We can become so dedicated to Jesus that our lives become the simple outworking of His will, akin to the dedication of a cell phone to its owner. The phone and phone plan was carefully analyzed and selected to perfectly meet the needs of the owner. Then the phone becomes totally dedicated to communicating whatever the owner tells it to. If it fails to do so, it is laid aside until it is repaired, at which time it endures a changing of circumstances and a disassembling, until all is repaired. Then it is re-powered for one purpose: to serve its owner.

Hudson Taylor
“I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize this; for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest position He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient…. And since Christ has thus dwelt in my heart by faith, how happy I have been! I wish I could tell you about it instead of writing. I am no better than before. In a sense, I do not wish to be, nor am I striving to be, but I am dead and buried with Christ—ay, and risen too! And now Christ lives in me, and "the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor, Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret

Satan’s Trap #10
The Lie
Victory is a behavior.
Work on your behavior, with Christ’s help!

The Truth
Victory is a person,
whose indwelling changes my behavior.

Persevering: Acknowledging Our…
…Need of Pardon
…Need of His Righteousness
…Need to Die to Self
…Inability to Cast Out Self
…Need to Choose
…Need to Receive Christ

And as a result, enjoy
the more abundant life!

Ian Thomas

“Godliness in action: all that you are—nothing, to all that He is—everything, to the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively… supremely confident…that He is gloriously adequate….” Mystery of Godliness, p.

Ian Thomas
“Godliness is not the consequence of your capacity to imitate God, but the consequence of His capacity to reproduce Himself in you; not self-righteousness, but Christ-righteousness; the righteousness which is by faith.” Mystery of Godliness, p. 135

Ian Thomas
“The One who calls you to a life of righteousness is the One who by your consent lives that life of righteousness through you! The One who calls you to minister to the needs of humanity is the One who calls you to minister to the needs of humanity through you! The One who calls you to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, is the One who by your consent, goes into all the world and preaches the Gospel to every creature through you.” Saving Life of Christ, p. 13

Ian Thomas
To be in Christ—that makes you fit for heaven; but for Christ to be in you—that makes you fit for earth!” Saving Life of Christ, p. 16

Next: Acquiring the More Abundant Life