Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 3 Study # 2
October 17, 2006
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.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
1901 ASV Translation:
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof:
13 neither present your members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace.
- I. Paul's Second Imperative.
- A. The command is to refuse Sin the position of "king" in one's mortal body.
- 1. The reality: the body is unredeemed.
- a. Paul calls it "mortal". The word he uses is used whenever he wishes to communicate the fact that something is subjected to the processes of death.
- b. He also teaches a future redemption of the body (Romans 8:23) that, because it is future, is somewhat of a complication at the present.
- 2. The second reality: the body is predisposed to permit "The Sin" to be "King".
- a. It is the essence of "The Sin" to grasp for dominion -- to do whatever it can to try to force submission.
- b. Paul claims that we "can" refuse "The Sin" what it seeks, but he does not mean by his claim that we have this "ability" in ourselves, of ourselves. In Romans 8:11 and 13 he teaches that the Resurrecting Spirit dwells in our "mortal bodies" for the purpose of giving the ability to "live" to these mortal bodies. In other words, what the body lacks in the realm of "Life Power" (it is subject to Death Power at the present), the Resurrecting Spirit provides -- but not for the body (it remains subject to death). Rather, the "Life Power" is provided so that the person "wearing the body" (2 Corinthians 5:4) has the ability to "buffet the body in order to keep it under submission to the dictates of righteousness" (1 Corinthians 9:27, ASV), and to mortify the deeds of the body (Romans 7:13).
- 3. The third reality: the predisposition is generated by "lusts".
- a. "Lusts" are "strong desires."
- b. "Strong desires" come and go according to the immediate condition of the body.
- 1) If the body has been kept from water long enough, the "lust" for a drink grows in strength.
- 2) If the body has been kept from food long enough, the "lust" for food grows in strength.
- 3) If the body has been kept from sex long enough, the "lust" for sex grows in strength.
- c. But, as all can testify, there are "lusts" that have no link to "need."
- 1) There is a "thirst" that is not satisfied; there is a "hunger" that is not satisfied; and there is a "sexual lust" that is not satisfied.
- a. Beyond "need" there are multiple "triggers" in the body that produce pleasure.
- b. It is these "triggers" that must be denied.
- 2) Whence these lusts?
- a) They have nothing to do with the needs of the body.
- b) They have everything to do with the dominion of "The Sin." Once we "commit sin" we become the "slaves" of it (Romans 6:16). In other words, if we permit the natural appetite of need to be the spring-board for excess, we will find ourselves in bondage to excess. Instead of "eating to live" we "live to eat." Instead of exercising to be healthy, we exercise to satisfy the "pleasure" which the body produces as a result of the exercise. Instead of "resting" to recover our vitality, we become "couch potatoes" who "rest" to keep from having to "work."
- c) Hedonism is the mentality that enthrones "pleasure" and, once enthroned, pleasure pursues excess to the destruction of the whole person...fleshly lusts war against the soul -- 1 Peter 2:11.
- B. The Refusal Relates Directly to "Obedience".
- 1. The issue of "obedience" is two-fold.
- a. First, there is the issue of "hearing".
- 1) What are the "arguments" that are set forth?
- 2) Are they true?
- b. Second, there is the issue of "placing oneself under the authority of the arguments."
- 1) This is where the entire issue of "success/failure" rests.
- 2) This is where the issue of "deception" is most effective.
- a) Paul said that "Sin deceived me ... and slew me" in his later explanation (Romans 7:11).
- b) The only solution to this "deception" is the Holy Spirit. Paul, in his 'bondage' cries out "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:24) and then claims that "the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the Law of Sin and Death" (Romans 8:2).
- 2. The issue of "yielding".
- a. That "obedience" is the heart of the issue is revealed by Paul's move directly into the actual process wherein a "person" gives the members of his/her body to "The Sin" instead of to "The God".
- b. There is, in every case, a "yielding up of the 'member' that is going to be used to perform the action."
- 1) "The Sin" cannot express itself except through the members of the body.
- 2) This evil element cannot do that without the "personal permission" of the person who has the final say over the body.
- 3) The problem is that the "yielding", though clearly involved, becomes more or less "automatic" whenever it is done regularly and the sense of personal control is lost. Note that the apostle taught, in Galatians 5:23, that this "control" is an aspect of the "Fruit of the Spirit." One of the "major" deceptions of "The Sin" is that one cannot, by any means, regain the ability to say "no".
- II. Paul's "Rationale".
- A. He claims that this "process" actually "works" for one reason: we are "under Grace."
- 1. Being "under Grace" means being that we have been placed "under" the activity of God, Who acts on our behalf.
- 2. Anyone who is "under Grace" has sufficient power (the power of God) to block the use of one's members by "The Sin."
- B. But, the antithesis to this position is being "under the Law."
- 1. This is a position that we must deny.
- a. We do not deny it to those who are not "under Grace."
- b. It is clear that all those who refuse "the faith" remain "under Law" and will not escape the eternal consequences of that refusal.
- 2. This is a position that has a fundamental thesis: God is the enemy of those who do evil and will condemn them because of their evil.
- a. God, by Grace, refuses to "impute" evil to those who are justified.
- b. By that, the God of all Grace refuses to condemn those who are "in Christ" no matter what their actual behavior turns out to be like.
- 3. It is precisely this fundamental thesis that provides "The Sin" with the ability to "deceive" those who stumble. No one turns to their "enemy" for the ability to do that "enemy's" will.