"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." Gal. 2:20 Indeed these are some of the most beautiful words ever penned, "I have been crucified with Christ." All of us should seek to die with Christ if for no other reason than to be saved.
To my knowledge no other religion requires that one die to self as Christianity does. But for most this is not an easy task. By nature we are selfish. We want what we want. Self-sacrifice goes against everything that culture encourages us to be. Yet like Paul we too must be dead to self.
Jesus made it clear to all that our freedom as His followers was not without cost. In Jn. 8:31,32 Jesus encouraged a number of Jews who had begun to believe in Him with these words: "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Here we find the key principle to our dying to self; it is to obey or abide in the "words" or teachings of Christ. Our lives must be surrendered to His will. No exceptions.
This principle requires that WE KNOW His teachings. Sadly there are many churches that now refuse to accept some of the Lord's teachings. Some encourage the most common form of idolatry; the desire to have God always subject to our will. Some, especially within the "word of faith" movement, blatantly encourage covetousness. And now, more and more are willing to accept sexual immorality.
Because false teachers abound, as do false churches we must NEVER accept any man or woman's teaching without question. We also must do as the people of Berea did in Acts 17:11 when Paul was preaching and teaching Christ there. Luke says of them, "they searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether those things were so."
With this in mind we all must search the Scriptures to be able to validate or refute what is being offered to us by those who claim to be ministers of Christ. The greatest asset to living a life surrendered to Christ is a sound knowledge of His teachings. So study the Gospels. They are the record of Our Lord's teachings. Preserved so you and I might "know the truth and the truth shall set us free." Study what He taught that you might be "dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom. 6:11 Think about it.