Romans 6: 12-13- Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness. NKJV
In the church, some have really gotten confused about grace. I’m not sure how that happened, but Paul saw it coming and tried to address it before it got out of hand. With wisdom, only the Holy Ghost gives, Paul asked another question:
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?Romans 6:1 NKJV
I wish I could say that this is a dumb question; that we should know better, however, sad to say, it is not! For there are many alive today, who feel that they can do whatsoever they desire to do, then ask God for forgiveness, and He will grant it. And then there are those who believe that once you receive grace, everything is good with you because God’s grace covers sins that are past, present, and in the future. Oh how wearying it is to have a conversation with people who believe that continuous sin is covered in grace! Fortunately for us, Paul answers his own question, again! Should we continue in sin so that we can see grace in operation in our lives, “Certainly not!”
Paul reminds us that those of us in Christ Jesus have died to our sin, and as such, we can no longer live in sin. This is truly hard for people to grasp. I get it! I sinned today! But I also repented today and asked God to help me not to do it again. And I know that God and I are in good standing:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9 NKJV
But I don’t live in sin, for I have died to sin, as Paul stated. Paul lets us know that when we were baptized into Christ Jesus, we were baptized into His death. This brings up the issue of baptism and its purpose. Briefly stated, the word baptism is derived from the Greek word, “baptizo”, and it means “to dip”. When we teach on baptism, we share that when the person is “dipped” into the water, it signifies a spiritual “dying with Christ”. While under the water, they are buried with Christ. When they come out of the water, they are raised with Christ. This is all revealed to us by Paul in this chapter. Paul said that when we are raised, we should walk in newness of life!
I have read of many dramatic testimonies of those who have received Christ, and how their lives were completely turned around for the glory of God, as they entered into the newness of life! People who were heavily addicted with drugs and got set free, never to return to that life. People who were on the verge of killing themselves, or someone else, heard the word, gave their lives to Him, and continued on in the new life. And I have lived it! None of us perfectly, but seriously committed to walking in the newness of life.
In verse 6, Paul continues his thought with these words:
“Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”Romans 6:6 NKJV
No longer slaves to sin. When I was growing up in my denominational church, I was saved. However, no one taught me that I could be free from sin. As a young person, I took the word of those who were teaching me and was bound to the dictates of my flesh, and therefore sin. But as I started reading the word for myself, listening to other teachers in the Body of Christ, and reading books, I realized that I had been made free in Christ and no longer had to be a slave to sin. My favorite verse on the subject is found in Galatians 5:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm,then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.Galatians 5:1 NIV
If there is no power for us to live free, then there was no power available to make us free! Since the Christ has set us free, then He has the power to help us walk free. When Lincoln first signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, it was to give the Union Army the authority to free slaves in states that were considered in rebellion to the Union; it wasn’t to free all slaves. However, it was the beginning of the end for slave masters. In 1865, with the 13th amendment, slavery was officially abolished. But it wasn’t until June 19, 1865, that the last slaves were freed. You can be free, but if no one ever tells you that you are free, you won’t live free! It’s the same spiritually! If no one ever helps you to realize that you can live free of sin, you will never be able to live free of sin! Sin will keep you bound, even though it doesn’t have legal authority to do so! And before you know it, you are entangled again!
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God.Romans 6:8-10 NIV
Paul said this about Jesus, and he said the same thing about us!
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.Romans 6:11 NIV
And again in Galatians:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.Galatians 2:20 NIV
We have been given new life in Christ, therefore, we should live in that truth. Christ living in us and through us is the key to living a crucified life! As we turn our attention back to our key text, Paul tells us that sin should no longer reign in our body!
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness. “Romans 6:12-13 NKJV
That’s our responsibility! Yes, we are dead to sin, but it is up to us to keep sin from reigning in our bodies. If lying was what I did before Christ, it is up to me to check my words before I speak to make sure that I am not lying; and if I do, to repent! If living with someone when you were unsaved, who was not your spouse, was what you did, only you can make sure it stops. You have to move out, or evict your partner! God is not coming to earth and doing it for you; but He will strengthen you in the process. Because He has freed you from a life of sin, God has obligated Himself to see it happen; but that’s completely up to you! Paul said don’t offer any part of yourself! Your physical body, your mind, your mouth, none of it!
How do you do this? Paul told us how! We submit ourselves to God as being alive from the dead, submitting ourselves to Him as instruments of righteousness! He exhorts more on this topic in the continuing verses, but to sum it up, we are dead to sins after we come to Christ, and sin should not rule over us! Just as God told Cain to rule over sin, we are to rule over sin! We can’t just do it as a New Year’s resolution, because it will only happen when we submit to God! Wonderful Jesus!