WONDERFUL WORDS OF LIFE RADIO SERMON September 12, 1976
SINCE YOU ARE ALIVE FROM THE DEAD
Romans 6:11 13
Our death to sin and resurrection from the dead with Christ is a matter of history. We died when He died. We
were buried when He was buried. We were raised when He was raised. The result of this history is that we are
alive unto God; we are alive from the dead. This is the great encouragement to holy living.
What are the implications of such a position? What effect should it have on our daily conduct of life? This is the
question before us. The application of this truth is brief and pointed. "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal
body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of
unrighteous¬ness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your
members as instruments of righteousness unto God."
"Therefore" makes the connection clear. These admonitions are the application of the great affirmation
concerning our position in Christ. These admonitions would be mere folly if it were not for the fact that these
have been crucified, buried, and raised with Christ. If these things have happened to man; if his present
position is one of being alive toward God, then this should be his response. The doctrine leads to duty. The
justification leads to sanctification. Instead of encouraging a believer to continue in sin, God's justifying grace
has just the opposite effect.
SINCE YOU ARE ALIVE FROM THE DEAD, SIN SHOULD HAVE NO AUTHORITY OVER YOUR BODY
"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof." Actually the more
correct reading would be, "Stop allowing sin to reign in your mortal body." The implication of this verbal form is
that some of the believers were still allowing sin to act as a king in their bodies.
The body of the Christian can be a problem to him. The body has not been redeemed yet. In fact, we will not
know the redemption of the body until the coming of Christ. The Apostle calls attention to this truth about the
body by adding the adjective "mortal". It is still subject to death. The body of the Christian is still a dying body.
Earlier he has referred to the body as the "body of sin." "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." By this expression he called
attention to the truth that the body is uniquely subject to sin. He does not mean that sin is associated with the
material or the physical alone, but sin as a terrible monarch does perform most of its deeds of evil through the
body of man. Because of this, the body is called the body of sin. Because of this, it is still a mortal body.
How does sin reign in these mortal bodies? Primarily by appealing to the native appetites and desires of the
body! It prompts a man to give in to the lusts of the body. Sin will offer to man unlawful ways of satisfying the
desires of the body. For instance, the sex drive is a normal, good, healthy drive of the human body. It is
primarily physical. There is nothing wrong with it when it is satisfied in God's or¬dained way. But sin will gain
control in a man's body by offering to him unlawful sex partners or practices.
The desire for rest and relaxation is a normal physical drive. There is nothing wrong with a man having a time of
relaxation and rest. However sin will bring a man into bondage by offering him sinful ways in which to gain this
rest. Sin will cause him to turn to artificial means for relaxation and release of tensions even alcohol and drugs.
Most slaves of these terrible masters began by seeking some momentary release from tensions.
The admonition of Paul cuts across the grain of the modern thought on this matter. We are counseled to give in
to the desires of our bodies. This is the spirit of the age. The motto is, "If it feels good, do it." However, if you
have been raised from the dead with Christ, you should refuse to allow sin to control any part of your body, or
to become the slave to any desire of the body. Who is reigning in your body, sin or Christ? You can best
answer this question by determining what motivates the use of your body. Are you motivated to action by the
desires of the body, or by the will of Christ? Most Americans are pretty much controlled by their bodies. Our
Lord confronted this in His temptations. When the desire of His body for food was so intense, Satan tried to get
Him to put the desire for food above everything else, even above the doing of the will of God. Have you ever
allowed the desire of your body for relaxation to cause you to do something you should not have done? Have
you ever allowed the desire of your body for sleep to keep you from keeping your prayer time and Bible study
time with God? Have you ever allowed the desire of your body for sex to cause you do things sin would have
you do? As one raised from the dead, we should not allow sin to use or control our bodies in any way.
While this admonition is negative, it is followed with a very positive one.
SINCE YOU ARE ALIVE FROM THE DEAD, YOU SHOULD PRESENT YOUR BODY TO GOD FOR HIS USE
The two mighty monarchs who are locked in conflict are put before us in this 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 right¬eousness unto God." In order to understand this
admonition, we need to look at the words carefully. "Members" in this verse are the members of your body.
They are your hands, your feet, your eyes, your ears, your tongue, your mind, etc. The members of your body
are like instruments. "Instruments" is a word that always refers to instruments of warfare in the New Testament.
"Weapons" would be the better translation. The question is will sin or God have the members of our bodies to
use as weapons in the warfare they are raging. Normally sin had pretty complete access to the members of the
human body as weapons. This becomes obvious when you look carefully at "present". When it is used first in
the verse, it means to be in the habit of presenting, handing over to another. It would read like this, "Neither go
on habitually presenting the parts of your body as weapons of unrighteousness unto sin." Just think how many
tongues sin has to use as weapons. Even worse just think how many times he has had your tongue, and mine.
Just think how many eyes sin has avail¬able to him? How many more eyes there are to look at filth than there
are to read the Word of God?
But the admonition is positive. "Yield ye" or present ye. The positive admonition is for a once for all presentation
of yourself, and the members of your body to God for the use in His warfare in this world. As an act of devotion,
finally and conclusively, we are to present ourselves to God for Him to use our bodies in any way that may
The finality and once for allness of this presentation is important. This is the kind of determination that can be
made once for all. Once it is made, there are some things that will never be the same again. When as a high
school senior, I made the determination that since I was a Christian I should not smoke, and committed myself
that this would just not be in my life, I have never been tempted to smoke again. As a teenager, I made the
same kind of determination concerning the use of alcohol as a beverage. Once this commitment was made,
then never again have I had to make that deter¬mination. It has been made once for all. This kind of
determination should be made con¬cerning your total life, and especially the different parts and desires of your
body. It should be determined once for all that not one member of your body will ever be knowingly presented to
sin as a weapon to be used in his battle against God. Furthermore it should be positively determined in your
heart that every member of your body will be reserved for God to use as a weapon in his battle for
righteousness and against evil.
This really brings it right down to you. If you are a Christian, then you are a new man in Christ Jesus. Because
of this, you are in the position to make a choice about the master of your life. The unsaved man has no choice
to make. He is the slave and subject of sin. However, a new man in Christ is in the position to make such a
det¬ermination and choice. As one raised from the dead, as one living in Christ, you have available to you
everything needed to determine who is going to call the shots, who will give the commands in your life. Will they
come from sin or from Christ? Who will reign? The admonition is to make this determination by an act of your will
through the grace of God once for all. Let God have all of your members and faculties to carry on His warfare
Our new status in Christ has something to say about our relationship to sin. It is inconsistent with this new status
to allow sin to control us or our bodies. It is rather consistent that we present ourselves once for all to God. Let
me urge upon you the making of such a presentation right now.