Romans 6:12, 13 - Being A Christian Is A Matter Of Life Or Death; part 3.

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. 


In this chapter Paul announced the believer's freedom from sin 
through union with Jesus. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

We cannot live our physical life unless we are in the air and 
the air is in us; unless we are in Christ, and Christ is in us, we 
cannot live the life of God. [Barclay Commentary] 

Our union with Jesus is in fact a real (not merely symbolic) 
union. We were bonded to Jesus so that His death was ours, and His 
resurrection ours as well. In this union our "old self" died to sin. A new 
self was created that is "alive to God in Christ Jesus." [Victor 
Teacher's Commentary re vv. 1-14] 

If we would know what Christ wants to be to us, we must first of 
all know Him as our Saviour from sin.  When the angel came down from 
heaven to proclaim that He was to be born into the world, you remember 
he gave His name,  "He shall be called Jesus, for he shall save his 
people from their sins."  HAVE WE BEEN DELIVERED FROM SIN?  He did not 
come to save us in our sins, but from our sins... 
Let us look at Him as He hangs upon the Cross, and see how He 
has put away sin.  He was manifested that He might take away our 
I have little sympathy with the idea that God comes down to save 
us, and then leaves us in prison, the slaves of our besetting sins.  
No; He has come to deliver us, and to give us victory over our evil 
tempers, our passions, and our lusts.  Are you a professed Christian, but 
one who is a slave to some besetting sin?  If you want to get 
victory over that temper or that lust, go on to know Christ more 
intimately.  He brings deliverance for the past, the present, and the 
future. D. L. Moody [Time with God SB] 

Faith opens to all the door of relationship with Jesus, and that 
relationship is the source of our new life... Our bond with Jesus is so 
intimate and close that in God's sight we died with Jesus on Calvary, and 
when Jesus was raised from the dead to new life, we were raised with 
The implications of our identification with Jesus are stunning. 
If we died to sin, then sin has no more power over us. 
This does not mean that sin has no influence. We still are 
tempted. We still feel sin's pull. We are often all too aware of our 
desire to do what we know is wrong. But when the urge to sin comes, we 
do not have to commit sin! We cannot say, "The devil made me do 
it," or, "I just couldn't resist the temptation." In Jesus our 
freedom of choice between what we know to be good and what we know to be 
evil has been restored! 
What's more, if we have been raised to life in Jesus, that same 
resurrection power which raised Him lifts us to life as well. We are not left 
alone to struggle with sin. We are called to choose. In our choice of 
obedience it is His life that flows through us, His will that animates us, 
His strength that enables us to be instruments of righteousness" for 
our God. 
It is at this point that Paul begins to answer the question that 
has troubled many Christians. "I know that union with Jesus makes it 
possible for me to live a godly life. But what do I do?" Paul's answer is 
summed up in a series of active verbs: know (6:6), count (6:11), offer 
(6:13). Paul's prescription can he summed up in three steps. 
1. Know: grasp what union with Jesus means. Our crucifixion with 
Jesus ended sin's dominance, and our resurrection with Him provides 
power for righteous living. 
2. Count: consider what God says to be true. Count on God to 
make real in our experience what He promises. 
3. Offer: or as other versions more appropriately say, "present 
yourselves to God." That is, act in accord with what you understand to be 
His will. 
So often we make the simple difficult. It is God's genius to 
make the difficult simple. 
This is certainly true when it comes to living the Christian 
life. Some pray desperately for strength. Some emphasize commitment. 
Some struggle to find and follow rules. Some seek a special word of 
direction from God. Some speak of strengthening our will. But Paul reminds 
us that all living in harmony with Jesus requires is the simplest 
of simple faiths. 
Are we simple enough to take God at His word, and believe we do 
not have to sin? Are we simple enough to believe that God will do 
what He has promised in our lives today? If we are, then all we have 
to do is step out in faith, act on what we know is right--and 
Christ's power will lift us beyond ourselves, and His righteousness will 
be lived out in our daily lives. [Victor Bible Background 
Commentary re vv. 1-14] 

How is the believer who feels a temptation to sin to respond? 
Paul's answer is, with faith. For salvation is a matter of "faith from 
first to last" (1:17). 
We are to consider ourselves to be dead to sin (6:11). In other 
words, consider what God says about the "death" of your sin nature in 
respect to its power over you to be true. Realize you do not have to 
surrender to your temptations. Then, with full trust in the life that 
Jesus has given us, actively yield yourself to God, surrendering all 
to Him for acts of righteousness. In essence, we are to step out 
and do what is right, confident that as we obey the Lord, He will 
strengthen and enable us. 
Donald Grey Barnhouse used to give this analogy to explain. He 
told of a crew whose captain went mad and was replaced in mid-voyage 
by the first mate. Now the old captain had no authority; the new 
captain was the one to be obeyed. Yet Barnhouse suggested that the crew 
might very well find itself jumping to obey when the old captain 
shouted out his orders. What the crew had to do was to constantly 
remember that the old captain need no longer be obeyed, and learn to 
respond to the voice of the new. 
It's like this with us, Barnhouse suggested. Our old natures 
will keep on shouting out orders. But they have been stripped of all 
authority over us. We can obey them, but we do not have to. What we must 
do is to listen for the voice of our new Captain, Jesus, and choose 
to obey Him. He and He alone is to be obeyed,... 
The truths that Paul presented here in these early verses of 
Romans 6 do promise us a victory and freedom of which many have only 
dreamed. And the practical implications of this teaching are 
The past is now powerless. One of our greatest bondages has been 
to our past. In a very real way, our pasts determine our futures. 
The habits we've developed and the tastes we've cultivated have 
"programmed" our personalities. Each time we surrender to a temptation, we 
make it harder to resist the next time. Each sin in which we have 
indulged has paved the way for the next. 
But that whole cluster of programmed responses was dealt with on 
the cross! We still feel the pull. But our future choices are no 
longer determined by those bad decisions we made in the past. "I can't 
help myself" is no longer true! 
We have so many ways to talk about the bondage we experienced in 
the past. "I can't stop myself" is a cry that expresses 
hopelessness. So is, "The temptation is more than I can bear." No matter how 
true such statements may have been once, they are no longer true. 
Now, at last, there is release and hope. 
On the solid basis of God's own Word I am assured that the power 
of the past over my present has been broken by Jesus. And I choose, 
by faith, to act upon that good word. 
The next time inner conflict comes, I will present myself to God 
and let His righteousness find expression in me. [Victor Teacher's 
Commentary re vv. 11-14] 

Imagine being thrown in jail on suspicion of a charge, left 
there, virtually forgotten while the system, ever so slowly caught up 
with you. You get sick. You're treated harshly. Abused. Assaulted. 
Would you begin to entertain that feeling of lostness and 
Back to the question: "How shall we who died to sin still live 
in it?" Who would volunteer to be dumped in a jail for another 
series of months, having been there and suffered the consequences of 
such a setting? His point: Then why would emancipated slaves who have 
been freed from sin and shame return to live under that same 
domination any longer? . . . 
We have been programmed to think, I know I am going to sin, to 
fail . . . to fall short today. Since this is true I need to be ready 
to find cleansing. You have not been programmed to yield yourself 
unto God as those who have power over sin. 
How much better to begin each day thinking victory, not defeat; 
to awake to grace, not shame; to encounter each temptation with 
thoughts like, Jesus, You are my Lord and Savior. I am your 
child--liberated and depending on Your power. Therefore Christ, 
this is Your day, 
 to be lived for Your glory. Work through my eyes, my mouth, and 
through my thoughts and actions to carry out Your victory. And, Lord, do 
that all day long. (From The Grace Awakening by Charles Swindoll) 
[Inspirational SB]