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The Daily Power of Justification

Part Seven

Instruments of Righteousness

Romans 6:13

     When the Lord God justifies someone by faith in Christ Jesus, significant changes happen instantaneously, while other changes will take time.  Instantly, the new believer has peace with God, but over a lifetime the power of justification by faith alone exerts more and more influence over our lives.  Each day we will be making decisions about how much power God will display in our lives, particularly as we struggle with fleshly lusts, seeking to control us.

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Romans 6:12-13, Present Yourselves to God
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you 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.

       Do Not Let Sin Reign.  In Romans 6:12,  we see that sin has been reigning in our mortal bodies.  Take a moment and consider what Jesus reveals to you here.  In your mortal, physical body, sin has been taking continuous advantage of you.  But, at the moment of salvation, God placed new power not to sin in your life, and gave you new power to control your body.  Furthermore, God also destroyed the reign of sin in your mortal body.  As we watch television, or browse the internet, we see constant appeals to our bodies.  We must make them look beautiful, and be careful how we treat them, and, well, you know how things go.  Rarely do we hear any talk about breaking the reign of sin in our mortal bodies.  In this passage, God tells us that sin no longer has to reign in our bodies.  We no longer have to be subject to the lust (“ἐπιθυμίαις“) that springs from our bodies.  Sin reigns (“βασιλευέτω“) in us, and through our lusts it seeks to control our bodies.  In fact, it reigned over us until Christ came into our lives and set us free. 

       Instruments of Unrighteousness.  Now let us look more carefully at the process of how sin reigns within us.  In Romans 6:13, Paul lets us know how we can break the bondage of sin.  Let me set out Paul’s points in order.

       1.  Normal Life Before Christ.  Before Christ justified you by faith alone, sin reigned in your mortal body, and you followed your lustful passions anywhere they wanted to go. 

       2.  Justification by Faith Alone.  Now that Christ justified you by faith alone, you now have choices to make regarding your lusts and the reign of sin in your mortal body.

               a.  Choice One: Continue To Live in Sin–Like Before.  If you do nothing to grow in Christ, and instead just cruise through life doing what you want, then you will continue to let sin reign over you, particularly through your lusts in your mortal body.  You can keep on following the familiar patterns of presenting your bodies to sin as instruments of unrighteousness.  You know what that means.  You give your body to sinful pleasures, you lust in your mind about what you want to do with your body, and you think unrighteous thoughts and do unrighteous things; or

                b.  Choice Two: Present Your Members to Christ Every Day.  You see, you have a choice now in Christ.  Instead of choosing to live under the reign of sin in your mortal body, you can now present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead.  You can choose to give your body to God as an instrument of righteousness.  God indwells every believer, and He wants full control over your body, and He will help you overcome your lusts.  Notice that we must choose and “present” (“παραστήσατε“) our members to God.  We have that choice to make every day.  Paul commands us to present our bodies to God, and to do so without holding back, but rather in full commitment.  He means a once and for all commitment.  Have you ever noticed that so many times you only present some areas of your life to Christ, but hold back others?  Some lusts have a greater hold on you than others.  Paul uses the term “present” here to mean a total act of presentation–nothing held back.  We give up every aspect of lustful living and give our bodies entirely to God.  Sin can no longer be our master.

Romans 6:14, Under Grace
For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

       Grace as Master.  Paul tells us that sin (“ἁμαρτία”) no longer has to reign (“κυριεύσει“) over us.  You may think that you will never be able to forsake persistent sins in your life, particularly sins of the body.  Paul gives us great news here.  God intends for us to live with the absolute certainty that we no longer have to submit to the reign of sin in our bodies.  Because we have been justified by faith alone, the power of justification now frees us from the reign of sin in our lives, and we no longer have to live under the dominion of lust in our lives. 

      We Live under Grace.  The Law continually showed us how much we needed a Savior, by reminding us of how sinful we are.  Everyone who lived under the Law would be condemned by the Law, and the Law could not save anyone.  In this darkness of sin and condemnation, the grace of God appeared, bringing righteousness in Christ to every one who has faith in Him.  When we became Christians, we began to live in grace (“χάριν“).  Grace means that God gave us something we do not deserve, but God gave us the gift freely, but at great cost to Himself.  He paid with the life of the Son of God.  Because we live in this grace in which we stand before God (Romans 5:2), we live in triumphant assurance that nothing can disturb our peace with God, and God will now use His power to control our lives.

       So we learn more about the power of justification today.

   ●  Sin no longer reigns in us, but we can act as if sin rules us by presenting our members to lustful passions.

   ●  Through the power of justification by faith, sin no longer reigns in us, and we now live under grace.

   ●  I will make choices today about how I live.  Jesus commands me to present my entire body to Him today, so that He may reign in me.

Application for Today

As I live today, I will present my body to Christ, once and for all.  I will hold no part of my body back from Christ and His Lordship.  I want to live in grace with God today, and experience the fullness of His power over the lusts of my life.  Will you once and for all present your body to the reign of Christ today?

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