DEATH PRECEDES LIFE
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” John 12:24
Our Lord uses a law of the plant kingdom to teach a lesson about spiritual life. Unless the grain of wheat is planted in the ground and decomposes, it cannot bear fruit. This principle is as important in the Christian life as it is in plant life. Death precedes life. In order to experience true life, there must be a death. Of course, Jesus was teaching His disciples about His impending death. In order for Him to bring forth the fruit that He was destined to produce, He would have to die. Thankfully, He did die on the cross and rose from the dead, and has since produced eternal fruit in millions of lives.
Jesus never considered any alternative to His death on the cross because His death was required. Our salvation would not have been possible without His death and resurrection. This principle is true in our lives as well. In order for us to be all God wants us to be, we must be willing to die to ourselves. “He that loveth his life shall lose it” (John 12:25). In order to find life, we each must lose our life. The most serious problem that most of us have is asserting our will or demanding our own way. We each must be willing to die to our personal agendas and opinions. Often, God allows adversity or difficulty to come our way that He might further the work of death in our lives.
A fruitful life awaits those who are willing to yield to the work of the cross. When Jesus died on the cross, He died for all of our sins. The Bible also teaches that our old man, our sinful nature, was crucified with Christ. Although this is a promised position, we activate this reality in our experience as we reckon ourselves to be dead to sin. “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:6, 11).
Paul said that he died daily. This is a choice that we must continually make. Are we willing to surrender our will and yield ourselves to God’s will? If we are to bring forth fruit, this must become a way of life. The more we die to self and live the crucified life, the more fruit we will be able to bring forth.