The Apostle Paul understood probably better than anyone that the key to being a champion for Christ was to be surrendered to Christ and live the crucified life of yieldedness and obedience. Paul writes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)
How is it possible for a person to practically live a surrendered, yielded, and obedient life for Christ? First you must come to a place in your life where you realize that you are a sinner and that Christ died for you to pay your sin debt. Then you must accept Christ's offer of forgiveness by praying and confessing that you are a sinner and ask Christ to come into your heart and save you. At that moment when you invite Christ to be your savior you become crucified with Christ. Theologically speaking everything that Christ accomplished on the cross we as believers have also accomplished through his death as well. He not only died for me, but he died as me. He not only was resurrected for me, but as me. I too can walk in newness of life. It is a theological fact that every believer has been crucified with Christ. The problem, however is that we as believers at times struggle in our faith and often vacillate from faith to failure and are anything but champions for Christ. The reason so many believers never live a victorious Christian life is because they can never grasp the fact that we have been crucified. Before you can be a "champion for Christ" you must realize that you need not seek to live the crucified life by some work of the flesh, some good deed, or something you can do to merit the favor of God because you cannot through mere human effort alone live the yielded, obedient Christian life.
We live the crucified life through faith in Christ. It is a fact that when I received Christ as my Savior I was at that moment united with Christ in His death burial and resurrection. I was crucified with Christ and nothing will ever change my standing, but how do I practically live the crucified life by faith while still residing in a sinful body with a sinful nature? The Apostle Paul, the same author who gave us Galatians 2:20 gives us the practical application in Romans chapter 6.
If we are to be a champion for Christ and live the yielded, obedient Christian life, by faith we must not yield to sin. "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin..." (Romans 6:13) The word yield means present. We must not present our bodily members as instruments of unrighteous. Do not permit our eyes to look and lust. Do not permit our ears to listen to gossip. Do not permit our tongues to say vile, wicked, or unkind things. We are responsible for the way we use our bodily members. The believer must yield to the will of God. It is not enough just to make a resolution that you will not sin. It is not enough to try to turn over a new leaf and try to think positive. An obedient and yielded life to Christ involves at least three biblical principles that we must appropriate into our lives.
1) We must give in to God's will if we are to be champions for Christ. " ..But yield yourselves unto God" (Romans 6:13) It is only as we give in to God and present our lives to God that we receive the victory. It requires the believer to be totally surrendered to God's will and totally yielded to the leading of the Holy Spirit. "Submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you." (James 4:7) The reason so many people wrestle with temptation, addiction and works of the flesh is because they have never submitted themselves wholly and totally to God. As long as you hang on to some work of the flesh, some pet sin, you will never be a champion for Christ. Only as we submit and surrender does God liberate us from the shackles of sin.
2) Take hold of God's word. Appropriate the promises of God's word to your life. "For sin shall not have dominion over you." This is a promise of God that we must appropriate and apply to our lives. God's original plan for man was to have dominion over the earth. Sin corrupted that and sin then came into the world and had dominion over Adam and Eve instead of them having dominion over sin. Jesus came back and defeated our old enemy (satan) on the cross and restored our lost dominion. "If the Son shall therefore make you free, you shall be free indeed," (John 8:36) Sin shall not have dominion over you because we have been crucified with Christ and the power of sin over us has been put to death.
3) We must depend upon the abundant supply of God's grace to live the obedient, yielded Christian life. "For ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Romans 6:14) Continued victory over sin for the liberated believer does not depend upon our own efforts. You will wear yourself out trying to do it in your own strength. Victory depends upon the abundant supply of Gods grace. It is available to all believers who will "come boldly unto the throne of Grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need". (Hebrews 4:16)
It is only as we yield and obey God that we open the door for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to give us victory over sin and to live a life of surrender to God as a champion for Christ.