Acting On Our Union With Christ: Romans 6:12-23 -- By: Zane C. Hodges

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 22:43 (Autumn 2009)
Article: Acting On Our Union With Christ: Romans 6:12-23
Author: Zane C. Hodges

Acting On Our Union With Christ: Romans 6:12-23

Zane C. Hodges1

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey it with its lusts, neither turn over your body’s members as instruments for unrighteousness, but turn yourselves over to God as people who are alive from the dead, and turn over your body’s members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin shall not have authority over you, because you are not under the Law but under grace (Rom 6:12-14).2

In view of the spiritual reality expressed in the previous verse (v 11), believers should not only consider themselves to be “alive to God,” they should actively reorient their behavior in the light of that truth. Whereas formerly, in their unregenerate days, they had allowed sin to reign in their mortal body so that they obeyed it with its lusts, they are to do so no longer.

This previous obedience to sin’s lusts had been put into effect by their turning over their body’s members as instruments for doing unrighteousness. The body’s members (that is, its eyes, arms, legs, etc.) had been used in the pursuit and enjoyment of sinful aims and activities. This kind of behavior should now cease.

The new lifestyle is to be marked by conscious commitment to God and to His will. Now they are to turn themselves over to God as people who are alive from the dead. They are not to think of themselves any longer as subjects reigned over by sin and death. Instead they should see themselves as people who have been raised from the dead to walk in newness of life (see 6:4). Their attitude of heart should be, “Here I am, Lord, alive from the dead and prepared to live for you.”

The Greek verb rendered here by turn over (parastēsate), the same basic word as in the earlier part of v 13 (paristanete), signifies that something is made available for some purpose, that is, it is “put at someone’s disposal” (see BDAG, p. 778, 1.a.). Paul’s point is that, although they previously put the members of their body at sin’s disposal, they should stop doing so. Now they should put themselves and their bodies at God’s disposal.

The attitude expressed when they turn themselves over to G...

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