Thursday, March 2, 2017

Romans 6:12 – 23 Both Dead AND Alive!

Our last lesson finished up with verse 11 - So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. This serves as an indicative – we Christians are dead to sin and alive to God. We pick up in verse 12, where Paul explains what he meant, giving us two negative commands and one positive one, imperatives; followed by the promise and rationale.

Romans 6:12-14 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

First command: do not let sin reign in your mortal body. Second: Do not present your members to sin. Third: Present yourselves to God. None of these imperatives are possible for anyone that is not dead to sin and alive to God, the indicative in verse 11.

Take note of the difference between the first two commands and the third: the negative commands relate to our physical being – our mortal body, our members. The third command relates to our whole being, including our souls – present yourselves. If one is in Christ, he can give his mortal body and its members – all that is fleshly – to sin for a season. But he is ever of the Lord and cannot give himself over to sin. The Christian can and will want to give himself – all that he is – to the Lord Who redeemed him, though sin lurks and temptations abound.

Paul does not here speak of our mortal body as if it were the body of sin that has been put to death. He recognizes that as long as the Lord tarries, we are bound to space and time in a body that is weak and vulnerable. This is why he spoke elsewhere that flesh and blood (meaning that which has not been glorified) cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 15:50). 

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