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Dead to Sin, Alive to God-Part 4
(Rom 6:12) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. (Rom 6:13) 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. (Rom 6:14) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
We Must Manage our Mortal Body
The Apostle Paul is addressing the Church, i.e. those who have been redeemed from the bondage of sin and translated into the Kingdom of God, Col. 1:14. And he tells them they are going to have a struggle with sin for the remainder of their life on earth. How does he say this? He says our struggle with sin has to do with our mortal body. While we live on Earth, and while we live in a mortal body, we will have to yield our bodies to God. We will never come to the place that we no longer have to yield our physical body, mind/will/emotions, to God.
We Cannot Escape our Mortal Body
Think about it. Every decision, everything we do passes through our mortal body and our mortal body can move us one way or the other. We pray, we worship, we form relationships, we form opinions, we work, we build, we think, we study, and we relate to God and to what He says, all through and influenced by our physical body. We walk out our new life from within the context of our physical body, and the Scripture says it must be managed or it will lead us away from God. The management of our mortal body is an ongoing challenge but we must see it as God sees it. It is our privilege to present our physical body as an enemy of sin and a friend of God.
Is the Mortal Body Inherently Sinful?
No, the mortal body is not inherently sinful. The body does not sin, we do. It does not make moral decisions. In fact, our mortal body makes no decisions at all. For sure, every decision and every choice is potentially influenced by our mortal body, and our body may have its say, but every choice flows from our heart. Our physical body is not responsible for godly living, our heart is. God has given us a new heart and a new Spirit, therefore, our charge is to yield the members of our physical body to God, and it members as instruments of life rather than instruments of death.
Darkness Attempts to Exploit our Physical Body
Remember, when referring to our mortal body we are referring to our body and its members which includes everything connected to our mortal body, i.e. thoughts, emotions, and individual body parts. Here is the problem. On planet Earth we are daily surrounded by sin which appeals mainly to our body and our emotions. In addition, we continue to face spiritual opposition which attempts to exploit our physical and emotional appetites. Because of this ongoing opposition every single Christian is going to experience a lifelong struggle with sin that is related to the appetites of their body and mind. But there is good news. We, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, exercise power over our thoughts, emotions, and physical body. God, through the Gospel, has given us a new heart, through which we have the power to live a good life. Where sin abounds grace does much more abound. Every Christian has the inherent power to yield their mind and body to God for God has given them this power!
The Power to Yield
Yes, we have the inherent power to yield our mind and physical body to God. We are to yield everything, in every way, to God. In Christ, we have the inherent ability to yield our lives to God. We are made new and God is the One who said sin will not have dominion over us. If the Gospel means anything it means victory over sin. Through the death and resurrection of Christ we have very clear and overwhelming victory over the ruling power of sin, whatever the source.
So, Why Do I Sin?
That's easy. We continue to sin because we continue to yield to it. God says, stop yielding your members to sin. Do not allow sin to reign in your mortal body! Learn to rule over your physical appetites. Stop presenting yourselves to sin. Do not yield your heart, your imaginations, your eyes, your mouth, your thoughts, your emotions, or any other part of your body to sin, but yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead. God has given you this power!
If our bodies were inherently sinful, then we would not be able to use them for righteousness. If our bodies were inherently sinful then we would be hopelessly bound by sin. And in addition, if our bodies were inherently sinful God would not, in good conscience, tell us to use our mortal bodies for good. But He does expect us to use our body for good and Ephesians 2:10 says we were created in Christ Jesus for good works. The good works of Ephesians 2:10 are performed by yielding our mortal body to God. Clearly, our body is to be used for good so it cannot be inherently sinful.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Yield Your Members to God
The new man lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. He/she is joined to the resurrected Christ, and for this reason is told to yield the members of their body to God. It is not true that the Christian cannot overcome sin. It is true that the Christian is empowered by God and therefore can overcome sin in their mortal body. The word the Lord uses is yield. People who overcome sin have the same struggles common to man but they yield their members to God because they love Him. Those who do not overcome sin do not yield their members to God because they love their appetites more than they love God.
God bless you.