Yield Yourself to God
(6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
(7) For he that is dead is freed from sin.
(8) Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
(9) Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
(10) For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
(11) Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(12) 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.
In this passage of Scripture, the Apostle Paul is discussing the subject of Christ’s death and how it relates to sin in a Christian’s life. In verse six, Paul says, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” Paul goes on to explain that just like Christ died to sin, we need to think of ourselves as completely dead to our sinful “old man” (v. 9-11). If we do this, we will not “let sin therefore reign in our mortal bodies.” However, the question remains: how do we think of ourselves as dead to sin on a daily basis? How do we not obey the lusts (desires) of our flesh? Before we go any deeper, let’s review a few important truths:
As Christians, we are commanded to “abstain (turn away) from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Pet. 2:11). The reason for this command is because all forms of lust are rooted and grounded in the flesh; whether it be the lust for pleasure, the lust for money, or the lust for power–they all appeal to the carnal (worldly) desires of our old nature before we were saved. At this point, you may still be wondering: how do I turn away from that which my old nature so desperately wants and desires? The answer is found in verse thirteen of our text:
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.
~Romans 6:13 (KJV)
The word “members” simply means a body part; the Bible is saying that we are not supposed to yield our body parts as “instruments of unrighteousness unto sin.” This means that we should not submit our bodies to sinful desires, which eventually turn into sinful actions. This commandment goes far beyond fornication. It includes every sinful deed, including what comes out of our mouth. In fact, the Bible says more about the tongue than it does any other body part. The Bible states that our tongue can (and will) commit sin (James 3:8). Furthermore, James calls it a “little member” that is “set on fire of hell” and causes a “world of iniquity.” That puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?
Getting back to our subject, the solution for us not to use our body for sin is to do the opposite: yield ourselves to God! The logic behind yielding ourselves to God in order to avoid sin is simple: without the power of the Holy Ghost, we cannot prevent ourselves from committing sin. It is part of our sin nature to desire things that are contrary to God’s Holy Law. For the lost person, sin has dominion (power) over them, because they do not possess the Holy Spirit; this is not so for the believer. Praise God! Romans 6:14 proclaims:
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
As born-again Christians, we have the power to overcome the desires of our flesh through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. On the contrary, the devil desires for us not to yield ourselves to God in daily prayer and Bible reading so that we will be powerless and defeated against sin and temptation. This is why it is so critical for us to follow God’s instructions for resisting the devil as recorded in James:
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
~James 4:7 (KJV)
Notice that James doesn’t just say to resist the devil; he says to “submit yourselves therefore to God.” In order to overcome any sin, we MUST submit ourselves to God. Ephesians 5:18 proclaims:
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess: but be filled with the Spirit.”
We must be filled with the Spirit of God day in and day out in order for us to stamp out the desires of the flesh and proclaim victory over sin.
Secondly, we must resist the devil. James says that if we simply submit ourselves to God and say no to the devil, he will flee from us. You might be thinking: that sounds too easy. Perhaps you have forgotten what the Apostle John reminded us of in chapter four and verse four of 1 John:
1 John 4:4
(4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
When we submit ourselves fully to Jesus, the Holy Spirit of God enables us to be bold, and say no to the devil. Therefore, it is imperative for us to pray and read our Bibles daily, so that we will be fully yielded to God, allowing Him to work through us for His glory.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
~Romans 12:1 (KJV)
Submitting ourselves to God not only helps us overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, but it is our reasonable service to God. May God bless you today as you desire to yield your members unto God and submit yourself to Him for His use and His service.