“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

What our Lord wants us to present to Him is not goodness, nor honesty, nor endeavor, but real, solid sin; that is all He can take from us. And what does He give in exchange for our sin? Real, solid righteousness. The imperative need spiritually is to sign the death warrant of the disposition of sin, to turn all emotional impressions and intellectual beliefs into a moral verdict against the disposition of sin. Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ; I have been identified with Him in His death.”

When I come to such a moral decision and act upon it, then all that Christ has wrought for me on the cross is wrought in me. The free committal of myself to God gives the Holy Spirit the chance to impart to me the holiness of Jesus Christ. It is not just a question of giving up sin, but of giving up my natural independence and self-assertiveness and this is where the battle has to be fought. It is the things that are right and noble and good from the natural standpoint that keep us back from God’s best. To discern that natural virtues antagonize surrender to God is to bring our soul into the center of it’s greatest battle. Very few of us debate with the sordid and evil and wrong, but we do debate with the good. It is the good that hates the best, and the higher up you get in the scale of natural virtues, the more intense is the opposition to Jesus Christ. It is going to cost the natural in you everything, not something.

Adapted from Bread and Wine (Oswald Chambers)