12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.
13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. – Romans 6:12-14
Paul moves in to the application of being dead to sin but alive to Christ (Romans 6:8). He starts this passage with the word “let“. We have to act. We have a responsibility to behave in response to the new life we have been given. Yes we are saved by grace. Our salvation is secure through the promise of God that the blood of His Son has paid for our sins. But grace is not a licence to sin. We are now free from the slavery of sin. But, just as prisoners sometimes have a hard time adjusting to being out of prison, so we often continue to act as if we are still subject to the control of sin. Paul uses the illustration of using parts our body (your members) as tools to commits sin (instruments for unrighteousness). In fact the Greek word translated as “instruments” can be translated as “weapons”. Our mouth can be a weapon for destruction or a weapon of blessing. Our hands can be a weapon for causing hurt or a weapon for protecting and healing. Our eyes can fuel our desire or see another person’s need.
We know we are redeemed and have an eternal destiny but in this world we have to act in response to the salvation we have been given. Sin does not dominate us. We are now under grace not under the law. For the Jewish people in the first century the law was the only way to be right with God. But Christ came to fulfill the law:
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. – Matthew 5:17-18
Christ fulfilled the law so we do not have to live by its standards to please God. But, as we are under grace, we do have to respond to the revelation of the love, compassion and forgiveness of God through obedience to Him .
We cannot continue in sin once we have tasted the free gift of God. We cannot habitually continue in sin, if we do we need to question our conversion:
6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.
7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.
8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. – 1 John 3:6-9
We are born of God by grace and we will be with Jesus in glory by grace. Let’s not continue in sin.