by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1 July 31, 2016 Humble, Texas
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. The Follow-up On "Reckoning".
A. The verses of 6:12-14 are a loop, beginning with an imperative respecting the "rule of a king" and ending with an indicative respecting the "rule of a lord". Command with Promise.
B. Stop letting The Sin reign in the "mortal of you body".
1. The present tense imperative implies an on-going reality that needs to be blocked: "Stop letting The Sin rule as a king in your mortal body...".
2. The "mortal body" implies that Paul is acceding to the fact that the body is, itself, unchanged by justification and redemption.
a. This is no denial of the new reality that the mortal body has become the Temple of God by reason of His Spirit's indwelling presence.
b. The problem is that the body is fundamentally unchanged by that new reality because the Spirit does not directly hold dominion over that body by His presence. He resides; but He only "dominates" by His alteration of the loves and beliefs of the "person" for whom the body is a "tent", and that alteration is significantly hindered by a plethora of associated issues. Thus, we have the entire New Testament as "revelation" designed to address that plethora.
3. Paul is also strongly implying that "mortality" is an on-going problem and at least a portion of the root of The Sin's ability to "reign".
a. The "power" of this "reign" is the body's potent tendency to "react" in situations of living without thought because of an insidious commitment to self-preservation.
b. The use of "reign" is the use of a word that is tied to the sovereignty of a "king" who does as he pleases to the limits of his domain and its resources.
c. The problem of all "kings" among men is that they let their authority run in multiple directions that have nothing good in them for the kingdom.
4. The outcome of the reign of The Sin in the mortal body is "unto the obedience to its lusts".
a. The Sin needs a way to express itself: a "body" is the typical means.
b. The permission given to The Sin comes in the form of "hearing and submitting". This means that there is a dogma presented and believed as a person "hears [and places him/her self] under" whatever is set forth in the dogma.
c. Thus, The Lie, in some nefarious detail, is set forth as truth with apparent support [You will not die]. Here it is necessary for a person to know and understand the components of temptation.
1) At the root of temptation, in terms of the body, are a strong aversion to pain and a complementary commitment to pleasure.
2) At the root of temptation, in terms of the soul, are a strong fear of things to come and a complementary commitment to dependence upon "man" for security.
3) At the root of temptation, in terms of the spirit, are a strong aversion to being subjected to humiliation and a powerful preference to exaltation in the eyes of men.
d. The "lusts" of The Sin are all derivations of the above simplicities, but are all the more deceptive simply by reason of the magnitude of their number: as colors are almost infinite in a variation of three basic colors (blue, yellow, and red), so also are the lusts of The Sin.
1) That the problem is "lusts" indicates powerful passions that are disinclined to respond to half-hearted remedies. If this was an easy method, we would not need the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
2) That these "lusts" show up in so many varied forms means that it will be a remarkable reality if a person escapes the sowing of a great deal of "corruption" as he/she moves through the days of his/her living. There is a life to be had, but it is not going to be the experience of the casual and uncommitted. There has to be, and is, a workable method, but it is not without its own demands for steadfastness in faith.
5. The method...
a. No longer be placing your members alongside The Sin as tools of unrighteousness. In other words, stop doing what you have been doing [another present imperative].
b. Rather, in a strong adversarial stance, place yourself alongside The God as one living out from the dead and [place yourself alongside The God and] your members as tools of righteousness. Once again the identity we have in Christ in respect to His resurrection.
c. Clearly, both of these imperatives using the same verb, call for the decision that follows on the heels of legitimate "faith" as it exists as "reckoning". This is not self-effort; faith never is. This is simply taking a firm hold upon the promise(s) of God in active decision making so that we expect His intervention.