Today’s Reading: Romans 6
There is probably not a better chapter in the New Testament that deals with the relationship between Christians and sin than Romans 6. That relationship is—there is no relationship. You have victory because sin is no longer in charge. There’s a new King on the throne of your heart.
C. H. Spurgeon was right when he said, “Sin murdered Christ; will you be a friend to it? Sin pierced the heart of the Incarnate God; can you love it?” We can’t be a friend to sin. We have a new friend and our new friend is now our King:
Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:12-14)
“Do not let sin reign in your mortal body” (verse 12). The word “reign” is a word for a king or royal who is in charge of a nation and has the throne. Paul is saying that when you get saved, sin is dethroned from the throne of your heart. Now King Jesus sits as the sole authority and He has no rivals. There may be fighters, but no rivals. There may be a coup here and there, but no one ultimately defeats this new King.
Sin may be present and sin may fight, but sin will never again be king of your heart. Just because sin fights doesn’t mean it is in charge. Always remember that!
Our sin leaves us in a knot, and we need God’s help to unties it. That’s what happens at salvation. He unravels sin and gives us new life. He undoes the knot of sin. Yet humanity tries to redefine the very thing for which Christ died and set us free.
• Man calls it an accident; God calls it an abomination.
• Man calls it a blunder; God calls it blindness.
• Man calls it a defect; God calls it a disease.
• Man calls it a chance; God calls it a choice.
• Man calls it an error; God calls it an enmity.
• Man calls it a fascination; God calls it a fatality.
• Man calls it an infirmity; God calls it iniquity.
• Man calls it a luxury; God calls it leprosy.
• Man calls it liberty; God calls it lawlessness.
• Man calls it a trifle; God calls it a tragedy.
• Man calls it a mistake; God calls it madness.
• Man calls it a weakness; God calls it willfulness.
Paul goes on to say in verse 13: “Do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” This verse is important for our understanding of the new King in our hearts. Paul tells us three important things:
1. We surrender to a person. We do not surrender to an idea, a denomination, a church, Protestantism, or Catholicism. The Bible says, “present yourselves to God.” No church can fight off sin like King Jesus.
2. We surrender for a purpose. Paul said, “as instruments” not as ornaments. The purpose in our surrender, it leads to something—righteousness. What are the instruments? The members of our bodies. We surrender our minds, our hands, our creativity, our eyes—all to the King.
3. We surrender at a price. Don’t miss the part that says “as those alive from the dead.” There is something costly here. Jesus paid the price for our resurrection. As Ravi Zacharias said:
“Jesus Christ did not come to make bad people good, but to make dead people alive.” We were dead and King Jesus gave us new life. Something sin never did. Listen to what R. C. Sproul reminds us about sin: “I have committed many sins in my life. Not one of my sins has ever made me happy.”
Our new King brings joy to us and tells us sin is not in charge anymore. The Message translation captures the concept of sin being rendered powerless when Jesus comes into our lives particularly well:
You must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and fulltime—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God. (Romans 6:12-14)
Wow! Sin doesn’t get a vote and sin can’t tell us how to live. There’s a new King on the throne.