Romans 6:12, 13 - Being A Christian Is A Matter Of Life Or Death; part 2

Romans 6:12, 13 (NIV) Therefore do not let sin reign in your 
mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.  Do not offer the parts 
of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer 
yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and 
offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 


Free Will: It is no sin to be tempted; the sin lies in the 
yielding. ... Satan himself cannot force you to sin. Until he wins over your 
will, he cannot bring you into subjection.... Let God have your wills; 
always keep them on His side. ... Satan cannot force the will, and God 
will not. Indeed, it would cease to be will if it were forced by 
either. It is essential to its being that it is free. (Adam Clarke 

One of the greatest motivating factors for people throughout the 
world today is the quest for freedom, for self-determination. Armies 
fight for it. Nations vote for it. Individuals work for it. 
But here in Romans 6, Scripture teaches that, ultimately, no one 
is ever totally "free." In the end, everyone serves either God or 
sin. In fact, Paul uses the word "slaves" to describe the 
relationship. We are either slaves of righteousness or slaves of sin. 
What does that imply for our understanding of the nature of 
freedom? Is complete autonomy possible? Is there such a thing as 
self-rule or political self-determination? Yes, in a limited sense. But 
here as elsewhere, Scripture describes real freedom as a change of 
masters: being set free from slavery to sin in order to become slaves to 
righteousness instead. 
All of us are enslaved to sin from the moment of conception. Our 
only hope is Christ, who is able to emancipate us from that bondage 
(7:24-25). Then, having saved us, He enables us through His Holy Spirit to 
do what we could not do in and of ourselves--live in obedience to 
God's law (8:3-4). Therein lies true freedom. [Word In Life SB] 

Who or what you obey is your master. By nature we obey sin. The 
Christian is dead to sin and alive to God. Sin is no longer our master, 
for we are under grace. We have voluntarily become obedient from the 
heart to a new Master. [Disciple SB] 

We Have a Choice: The good news is we're no longer captives of 
sin. We have a choice. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

We have a choice. We have been given new life by God; thus, our 
bodies are to be given to him to use for promoting righteousness. We 
are to refuse sin and instead be wholly committed to living for God. 
We make these choices moment by moment. Later, Paul will return to 
this thought by saying, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of 
God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and 
pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship" (12:1 NIV). (Life 
Application Commentary) 

We all have two choices. We can reign over sin, or we can let 
sin reign over us (v. 14).... The exhortation "Do not let sin reign in 
your mortal body" implies that sin is still present there. Our 
unredeemed bodies are thus a kind of weak point, a vantage point from which 
sin still opposes us and fights against us and tries to conquer us... 
Most bodily desires are not evil in themselves, but only become 
so when they are not kept within the boundaries of God's laws. The 
very point of sin is to let these desires flow unchecked and 
unrestrained, as if we were no more than animals.  
The very fact that we are exhorted to prevent this shows that if 
we do not take charge of ourselves and our bodies, and if we do not 
make a deliberate effort to resist sin, then it is possible for sin 
to regain dominion over us and reign in our bodies. If it were not 
possible, this exhortation would be a sham.  
At the same time, the very fact that we are exhorted not to let 
sin reign shows that we can do this. Unlike animals, we are spirit 
as well as body and thus are more than bodily desires. And unlike 
unregenerate sinners, our spirits have been infused with new life and new 
power by which we can and must rule over these bodily desires and keep 
them within their God-imposed boundaries. Thus we are not helpless; 
we are able to prevent sin from reigning in and through our bodies. 
This is the point of this exhortation. [College Press NIV 

We are to keep reckoning or considering ourselves to be dead 
indeed to sin and living for God. The fact that we must continue to 
reckon ourselves dead to sin shows that the possibility of sinning is 
ever present. But our reckoning is more than negative. We reckon 
ourselves to be alive (to be constantly living) for God. [Wycliffe Bible 

We are "dead to sin," in some ways just like Jesus. His 
encounter with sin was a once-for-all victory; when it was over, it was 
over. He left it behind him. Likewise we must realize that we too have 
died to our old life; we have left it behind us. We have moved on to 
something better; we are "alive to God" (Col 3:1-4).  In this new life we 
look upon sin as our hated and defeated enemy, we look upon God's law 
with loving reverence, and we regard obedience to his law not only as 
our duty but also as our delight.... "For the Christian to choose to 
sin is the spiritual equivalent of digging up a corpse for 
fellowship," says Mounce (153). [College Press NIV Commentary] 

Christians who deliberately sin are people who have yielded 
themselves to the old nature instead of to the Holy Spirit. They are living 
beneath their exalted position in Christ. They are living like slaves 
when they could be reigning like kings. [Wiersbe Expository 

Instead of presenting your bodily members to King Sin for 
unrighteous purposes, present them to God as instruments or weapons to be 
used for the cause of righteousness in daily obedience to his will... 
The actual overcoming of sin and walking in righteousness are 
possible only through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (8:13-14), 
as chs. 7 and 8 show. But what we made-alive Christians can do is 
present ourselves and our bodies to God and allow him, in the person of 
his Spirit within us, to empower us for righteous living. We can lay 
ourselves before him and trust him for strength to overcome temptation and 
to grow in holy virtue.[College Press NIV Commentary] 

We who were joined to ("baptized into") Christ were so truly 
united with Him that His death was our death--a death that frees us from 
the power of sin in our lives (6:1-7). More, His resurrection is our 
resurrection. Sharing that life, we now are able to live to God (vv. 8-10). We 
can experience this spiritual reality--by faith. We count ourselves 
dead to sin on the basis of God's Word, we choose not to let sin 
rule, and we offer every part of ourselves to God as His instruments 
to be used for righteousness (vv. 11-14). 
Now Paul digresses briefly: What we experience depends on what 
we choose. If we choose to sin, we will be slaves of sin. If we 
choose to obey God, we will serve the ends of righteousness (vv. 
15-18). And what a difference the choice makes! The outcome of obedience 
is a holiness which pays eternal dividends. But the only wages sin 
pays is death (vv. 19-23). [Victor Bible Reader's Companion] 

Humans are depraved. That means our entire personalities and 
beings are trapped in slavery to sin. The Christian identifies with 
Christ's crucifixion, accepting His death as victory over sin. As 
symbolized in baptism, the old depraved self is dead for the Christian, who 
becomes a slave to Christ rather than a slave to sin. God accepts the 
Christian and forgives sin because of Christ's death and His grace. The 
Christian continues to struggle with sin, repenting and seeking 
forgiveness for sins committed; but the direction of life is obedience to 
Christ and death of sin. The resurrection is the sure proof that God 
has power over death and sin. To live in slavery to sin means to 
deny the power of Christ's resurrection. We have earned sin's wages 
and deserve to die. In His love and grace, God has given us eternal 
life through Jesus Christ. When the power of His resurrection works 
in our life, we conquer sin and its temptations, living for God's 
righteousness. We will sin, but we must not easily excuse sin. God has provided 
the power to live for Him and not to be enslaved to sin. We must let 
that power rule our lives. [Disciple SB]