I remember when I was born again 15 years and two days ago, September 11.2001. At the time I had just come out of Buddhism and new age. So I was used to the idea of dying to self, in Buddhism and new age I had often heard teachings on how to become free of ones desire and self by becoming stoic and almost stop existing. So when I first read how the Bible said I was to count myself dead to sin I thought I understood what it was talking about. But I was soon to find out the difference between the Bibles understanding of being dead and the new age understanding of being dead.

Jesus our Lord is an emotional man, He is not afraid of showing emotions. When He walked this earth He cried, He laughed, He was angry and He loved the people around Him. The Bible says that when He returns He returns as a judge and as a warrior. A Man who feels, a Man with emotions and we are created in His image. So the Bible does not condemn emotions and our expression of emotions.

Jesus is not scared of telling our Father what He wanted in life. He prayed and asked His Father when He had a need. But He always submitted to His Fathers will. If His Father did not agree He accepted it and bowed to His Fathers will. So the Bible is not against us having needs and desires as long as we accept a no from our Father.

This is the biggest difference between New Age, Buddhism and being a child of God. In New Age and Buddhism we where encouraged to not feel anything and not have any desires. We where encouraged to just sit under a tree and meditate until we reached nirvana. But this is not how the Bible wants us to die from ourself.

When the Bible tells us we are to count ourself dead to sin, dead to ourself, it is in fact telling us to believe Jesus died for us. And this is one of the more liberating truths in the Bible.

Jesus died for your sins 2000 years ago on a cross in Israel. You where not born at the time, but God is not limited by time and space. God is everywhere always. He is in the past, the present and the future at the same time. Thats why He is God. So when Jesus died for 2000 years ago, God knew you would be alive today in 2016. God knew you would be alive because God is the one who gave you life, He made you and He decided you would be born and be alive in 2016.

God is not limited by time and space. There is no past, present or future in His mind. In His mind its not 2000 years ago that Jesus died on the cross. In His mind it is still happening because He is in the past, the present and the future. Of course He knows we understand our reality as past, present and future. But His reality is not limited by past, present and future. So in His mind Jesus is dying right now on a cross for our sins.

You are a spirit who has a soul living in a body. You are not your body, you are a spirit having a human experience. Your spirit, the real you, is eternal and will go on and live for ever in hell or heaven depended on what you believe.

If you believe Jesus died for your sins, your spirit becomes one with Jesus. When that happens God sees you hanging on that cross together with Jesus. At that moment, God sees you dying together with Jesus. At that moment, God sees you being buried with Christ after suffering on a cross for your sins together with Christ. At that moment, God sees you being raised to a new life with Christ.

Of course you did not hang on a cross 2000 years ago. So you could not pay for your own sins. Jesus did all of that, His blood payed for your sins. But Jesus is God, and God is a spirit. So Jesus is God having a human experience in a physical body. Of course God did not die on a cross because God cant die. But Gods physical body died on that cross, and Gods physical human blood payed for our sins.

But because God is a spirit and Jesus is God, that makes Jesus a spirit. And if you are a spirit as well, we have two realities. The physical reality we understand as past, present and future and the spirit world which is the real world where time does not exist.

And in the spirit world, the moment you decide to believe Jesus died for your sins, you become on spirit with Jesus. God sees you as hanging on that cross together with Jesus and His blood becomes your blood. God sees you as being buried with Jesus Christ and raised with Jesus Christ to a new life, a life without the old man because the old man died on the cross.

This is what we call being born again and this is what the Bible calls dying to ourself.

So what we are actually saying when we believe Jesus died for our sins is that we believe we died with Jesus. We believe Jesus died for us, then we believe we died with Him and we believe we where buried with HIm. We believe Jesus died for us, then we believe we where raised with Him to a new life where our old man is dead.

This is what is means to believe Jesus died for our sins, this is the message of the cross and this is what we call being born again. This is what the Bible calls dying to ourself, and it has nothing to do with having no emotions or no desires. Because we are one with Him who cried, laughed, became angry and had desires. He had a personality and when we believe Jesus died for our sins, His personality becomes one with us filtered through our personality. So when we die with Jesus we are still allowed to be who we are.

The Bible does never say we are to stop being who we are, but we are to allow Jesus and His personality to purify our personality. This can only happen when we choose to believe Jesus died for our sins. Then we become one with Him, we die with Him, we are buried with HIm and raised with Him to a new life where His personality comes through our personality and purifies us by constantly reminding us that we are dead so everything sinful in our lives died with Him. But not just the sinful parts of ourself, also the problems, challenges and consequences of our sins.

When Jesus died for our sins it was not just to give us forgiveness of sin, it was to provide for our entire life. So in His death He gave us healing, provision, protection, guidance and forgiveness of sin. Everything we need for this life, and the next one, is found in His death.

This life has its challenges, we can all agree on this one truth. Poverty, sickness, loneliness, violence, abuse, wars, famines, the list is endless sometimes and we are all exposed to these things during our lives. These things comes to us as a consequence of sin, our own sin and other peoples sins.

People sin against us and we are exposed to the effects of it. We are hurt, and we struggle to forgive. But we sin as well and we are exposed to the effects of our own sin when we choose to lie, we choose to hate , we choose to not forgive. The list is endless of how sin affects us in one way or the other.

Sin is not just a problem that keeps us out of heaven, its something that affects our life here and now as well.

When Jesus died on a cross for our sins He died to take care of the sin problem in every shape, way and form. So when we believe Jesus died for our sins, we are dead with Him. But if we are dead with Jesus, then we are dead to the effects of sin, the consequences of sin and the power of sin.

We do not become perfect, so this is not about sinless perfection. But sin looses its power over our life because we are dead with Jesus, and sin has no power over a dead man or dead woman.

Allow me to repeat myself, sin has no power over a dead man or a dead woman.

Of course the Bible does not teach suicide, you are still alive and breathing and you are supposed to stay that way until the Lord takes you home. But your spirit, your true you, dies with Jesus the moment you believe Jesus died for your sins. And if your spirit dies, then sin looses its grip on your spirit. Sin has no power over a dead man or a dead woman.

So what does this actually mean?

It means that the moment you choose to believe Jesus died for your sins, your spirit dies with HIm. The moment you choose to believe Jesus died for your sins, sin looses its grip on you because sin has no power over a dead man or a dead woman. The moment you choose to believe Jesus died for your sins, you become free from sin and the consequences of sin.

Then it becomes easy to rest in Him, because you are dead so what happens in your life is no longer your business. It now becomes His business and He lives in you because you are raised with Him to live His life. But to be raised with Him to live His life you first have to die with Him.

So if you are raised with Jesus to live His life, His personality will be filtered through your personality. It will purify your personality but you will still be you, only a better version of you because it will be His personality purifying you.

And then you have no reason to worry about life anymore, because you are dead, you died with Jesus so this is no longer your responsibility. Now it is His responsibility because He  lives in you.

Tomorow I will show you the practical implications of this by sharing some of my own personal life and how this has changed the way I deal with my own challenges and trials.