YIELD – Romans 6:12-14

                The part of our progressive sanctification that has to do with the victory that we have in Christ is seen here in Romans chapter six. There are three key words: Know, Reckon, and Yield. We know that we are dead to sin and alive in Christ. Because of this, we should no longer serve sin. Sin has no power unless we give it power by feeding our flesh. We are to reckon these facts to be true in our lives by taking the practical steps of submitting, surrendering, and strengthening. We are to submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ and to the filling of the Holy Spirit. By submitting to Christ, a requirement is then placed upon us to surrender those things the keep us from submitting to Christ. We are empowered to both submit and surrender by strengthening our faith through the Word of God. In addition to all of this, in order to live in the victory that we have in Jesus, we must also yield ourselves to God. This yielding of ourselves to God is seen in verses 12-14.

Verse 12 says: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”[1] This is an imperative command. We are commanded to not allow sin to have dominion over us. We must not obey our sin nature. This command rests upon the fact that we are in Christ. Apart from Christ, it is impossible to live such a life that is free from the dominion of sin. We must be careful to not separate the two. Justification and Sanctification go hand in hand. The New American Commentary says, “Sanctification separated from justification encourages legalism, while sanctification fused with justification assumes that God will do it all. The imperative challenges us to become what we are. In Christ we have died to sin and are alive to God. So we should base our daily lives on that truth and live out our days from that perspective.”[2] Therefore, this command is not so much as a command to do but a command to be. We are to be who we are in Christ. “Sin is personified as a sovereign ruler who would make us obey the cravings of our bodies that are destined for death. But in Christ we have died to sin. Sin no longer has the authority to enforce its demands. Death has severed the relationship.”[3]

Verse 13 tells us: “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”[4] Since we are in Christ, then we should live like it. Instead of yielding to the flesh, we should yield to God. The term ‘members’ refers to our actually bodies. We are to use our bodies to glorify God rather than to serve sin. “A related passage is Paul’s exhortation, “Offer your bodies as living sacrifices … to God” (Rom. 12:1). Because they were once dead in sin (cf. Eph. 2:1) but have been given new life (Rom. 6:11) believers ought to live for God. Their bodies should be used not for sin (v. 12) or unrighteousness (v. 13) but for promoting righteousness (cf. “bodies” and “body”; 7:5, 23; 1 Cor. 6:15).”[5]

Verse 14 says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” [6] R.C. Sproul writes, “To be under sin means to be under the bondage of sin, under the pressing weight of sin and under the curse of the law. Previously, we were groaning under the weight of the law. But now, grace has come into our lives and has replaced the awful threatening judgment of the law. As Christians we live under grace. We began the Christian life in grace, we continue to live the Christian life in grace and the Christian life will be completed by grace. The grace of God is to rule our lives.”[7] Since the grace of God rules in our lives, sin cannot have dominion over us.

In light of the commentary given on these three verses of scripture, there is a practical application that we can glean from the context of this passage. As believer’s we have a three-fold problem. However, with each problem there is a solution.

Problem: The World – Solution: Flee. As believer’s, we must be aware of the fact that though we are not of the world, we are still in it. The world is cursed with sin. Therefore, the lure of the world is always with us. Though we are free from sin, the temptation to sin is real and must be dealt with. 1 John 2:15-17 gives us a very convicting thought. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”[8] John very plainly tells us that if we love the world, then we are not truly saved. A true believer in Christ cannot love the things of this world. A legalist view would say that we are to have no love or enjoyment in any of the material things of the world. However, this is not what the scripture is saying here. As you read on, you find what it means by loving the world. The world system, of which John is referring to here, is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. This threefold aspect to the world system is not of God and should not be seen in the life of a believer. You do not have to venture far from your home to be tempted with the lust of the flesh, the lust of eyes, and the pride of life. It is all around us. This is the problem that we as believers have. The lust of the flesh refers to security. It is filling our appetites. It is the lure of money and financial security. We think that if we have money then we will be happy. We have a tendency to envy those who live in luxury. We seek fulfillment in the possession of things. This is the natural tendency of the sin nature that haunts us. The lust of the eyes has to do with sex. We live in a sex crazed world. You cannot escape from it. No matter where you go, there is the temptation to indulge in sexual fantasies. Sex is a beautiful thing created by God to be enjoyed within the boundaries of marriage. However, the world has a distorted view of sex that is enticing even to the most mature believer. The pride of life has to do with our status. There is a craving in all of us to be accepted. We like the idea of fame. We want to be recognized. We want people to think good of us. We envy those who are popular and who have a great following. All of these aspects of the world are inviting even to the believer. This is the problem that we face. We are to yield ourselves to God and not to the unrighteousness of the world; however, the enticement of the world is ever present with us.

So, what is the solution to the problem concerning the world? The solution is to flee. Notice 1 Timothy 6:11. “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”[9] 2 Timothy 2:22 also says, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”[10] We are to flee or turn away from the lust of eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. We should stay as far away from evil as we possibly can. Sadly, most Christians enjoy living on the edge. They get as close to sin as they possibly can without feeling guilty. However, the scripture teaches us to flee from sin. Most of the time, when we sin, it happens when we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. We allow ourselves to be in situations where we know we will be tempted to sin. To keep from sin, we should not put ourselves in those situations to begin with. With the fleeing from sin, comes a renewed following of those things which are pure. Anytime you take something out of your life, there is going to be a void. There will be something missing. Therefore, as you remove the sin, you must replace it with the things of God. This is made possible only as we feed on God’s Word.

Problem: The Flesh – Solution: Deny. Paul addresses this problem of the flesh in Romans 7:18-14. “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” [11] The description that Paul gives of his life resonated with all of us. As believers, we understand the battle of the flesh. The flesh is always with us. It is a constant fight. The reason for this is the fact that we are cursed with sin. Our flesh, our very bodies; are cursed with sin. We are totally depraved. We are sinful inside and out. Every part of us is tainted with sin. There is not a single part of our life that is not touched by sin. Therefore, we are very much prone to sin.

The solution to this problem of the flesh is to deny the flesh. Romans 6:12-13 says, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”[12] In Romans 8:13 we are told that we are to put to death the deeds of the flesh. “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” [13] The denying of our flesh is not to deny ourselves from the enjoyment of the simple pleasures and luxuries of life. However, the denying of our flesh gives us the freedom to live. When we put to death the sinful deeds of the flesh, we are then set free. We are not free to sin, but free from sin. Christ also rose from the grave to give us life. Therefore, we have the freedom to live a life that is free from sin. In other words, we should embrace the life that God has given to us and enjoy this life. To deny the flesh does not mean we cannot enjoy certain foods, sports, games, entertainment, hobbies, etc. Instead it is just the opposite. To deny the flesh is to enjoy life and all of its pleasures and luxuries that God allows and gives without the bondage of sin. In other words, you can enjoy life without giving in to sin. You can enjoy participating in sports without living in sin. You can enjoy hanging out with friends without living in sin. You can enjoy clean entertainment without living in sin. You can enjoy your favorite hobbies without living in sin. The world tells us that we cannot have those things unless we embrace their ideals of security, sex, and status. But, this is not true. This is a lie straight from the pits of hell. Christians can have fun! We can enjoy all that life is without living in sin. Therefore, the solution to our flesh is to deny our flesh of sin and to live in the freedom that we have in Christ.

Problem: The Devil – Solution: Resist. Satan is the great accuser. He is also disguised as an angel of light. He makes sin look good. He is deceitful and will use all types of trickery in order to lead us down the dark path of sin. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” [14] Satan is a relentless enemy. He is out to destroy you. He will do everything he can to destroy your reputation, your family, your relationships, and your life. This is a problem that we all face and will continue to face until our glorification. He is a nagging foe that is constantly on our backs planting seeds of doubt, confusion, and sin in our minds.

The solution to this problem we have called the Devil is to resist him. 1 Peter 5:9 says, “Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”[15] How do we resist the Devil? By remaining steadfast in the faith. How do we remain steadfast in the faith? By maintaining a daily walk with Christ. The more of God’s Word we have in us, the more power we have to resist.

The Christian life is a warring life. There is a constant battle with the world, our flesh, and the Devil. The only way to have victory is by yielding to God. It is not what we do, but who we are. You cannot have victory by trying to do a lot of good things. You cannot have victory by keeping a list of do’s and don’ts. Victory is found only in Christ. To have victory we must simply be who we are. In Christ, we are free from sin. In Christ, we have died to sin. In Christ, we have a new and wonderful abundant life to live. Stop doing. Stop trying. Just be who you are in Christ.

 


[1] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ro 6:12). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[2] Mounce, R. H. (1995). Romans (Vol. 27, p. 153). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[3] Mounce, R. H. (1995). Romans (Vol. 27, p. 153). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ro 6:13). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[5] Witmer, J. A. (1985). Romans. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 463–464). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[6] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ro 6:14). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[7] Sproul, R. C. (1994). The Gospel of God: An Exposition of Romans (p. 115). Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications.

[8] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., 1 Jn 2:15–17). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[9] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., 1 Ti 6:11). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[10] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., 2 Ti 2:22). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[11] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ro 7:18–24). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[12] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ro 6:12–13). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[13] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ro 8:13). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[14] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., 1 Pe 5:8). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[15] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., 1 Pe 5:9). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s