Grace Living (Romans 6:13-14)
Romans 6:13-14 (NASB) 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.
The memory verses for this week are a reminder that while we will still sin—sin is not the master of our life because we are now under grace. The point Paul is making in this chapter of Romans is that believers are Dead to Sin (6:1–14) and Enslaved to Righteousness (6:15–23). It is a call to holy living.
Paul first teaches that believers died to sin with Christ at his crucifixion (6:2, 6, 8, 11) and were buried with him at their baptism (6:3–5). In a previous blog on this chapter, we learned that in our baptism we died to sin, and we came out of the water to live a new life. What has changed since you became a Christian? You no longer serve the old master (sin), but you serve a new master (righteousness). In verse 12 the Bible states, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts”. New Testament scholar Douglas Moo says it this way, “Do not let sin’s reign—which leads to obedience to the body’s sinful passions—occupy your lives.” The battle is a spiritual one and each day we must decide how to use our bodies. Until we are fully redeemed, we will continue to be subject to the influences of this age. Now that we understand ourselves to be “dead to sin, alive to God” (v. 11), we must constantly avoid using our abilities and resources in the service of sin.
The believer is under grace, not under law. God is not a judge hovering over the believer to punish him every time he sins by breaking a particular law. The believer is not under such frightening dominion: he is not under law, but under grace. What does this mean? It means that the believer accepts the grace of God demonstrated in Jesus Christ. That is, the believer accepts the righteousness, the sinless perfection of Christ as his own righteousness. The believer identifies his life with the life of Christ, and God takes the believer’s acceptance of Christ and counts his acceptance as righteousness. God credits righteousness to the believer when the believer accepts the righteousness of Christ. God counts the faith of the believer as the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
How does the believer keep from serving sin? How can a believer grow in grace day by day? First, the believer should study the word of God by reading the Bible so that the knowledge of God’s will is always on the mind and the heart. Second, guard the heart from sinful media by choosing wisely what we see and what we hear. Flee from sinful passions. Third, commit scripture to memory so that the word of God is in your inner most being. Fourth, keep company with fellow Christians that can hold you accountable and strengthen you in times of weakness. Finally, call on the Holy Spirit, through prayer, to guide you in your daily choices. Seek the face of God and desire to please Him in all your actions and thoughts.