By Neil Anderson
Romans 6:12, 13
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God
In Romans 6:1-11 Paul uses the past tense to emphasize that we died to sin the moment we placed faith in Christ. For example: “We who died to sin” (verse 2); “Our old self was crucified with Him” (verse 6); “For he who has died is freed from sin” (verse 7). Since these verses are past tense, indicating what is already true about us, we can only believe them.
On the basis of what Romans 6:1-11 instructs us to believe, Romans 6:12, 13, tells us how to relate to sin. Sin is a taskmaster which demands service from its subjects. You are dead to sin, but you still have the capacity to serve it by putting your body at sin’s disposal. It’s up to you to choose whether you’re going to let your body be used for sin or for righteousness. Satan, who is at the root of all sin, will take advantage of anyone who uses their body as an instrument of unrighteousness. For example, it is impossible to commit a sexual sin and not use your body, and sin will reign in your mortal body.
To further illustrate, suppose your pastor asks to use your car to deliver food baskets to the needy, and a thief asks to use it to rob a bank. It’s your car and you can choose to lend it however you want, for good or for evil. Which would you choose? There should be no question!
Your body is also yours to use to serve either God or sin and Satan, but the choice is up to you. That’s why Paul wrote so insistently: “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1). Because of Christ’s victory over sin, you are completely free to choose not to give yourself to obey sin as your master. It is your responsibility not to let sin reign in your mortal body.
Prayer: Lord, I renounce every use of my body as an instrument of unrighteousness, and I yield it to You today as a living sacrifice.