Crucified With Christ
Yield Yourself To God

In a Brief Survey of the Epistle of Paul to the Romans
Based on sermons preached in PCC Worship Services, July 2003 to Sep 2005
Part 25c of 83


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” (Romans 6:12-14).

[The theme of the Epistle of Paul to the Romans is justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. This doctrine teaches us that Christians are accepted by God not because of their righteousness but because of the righteousness of Christ imputed to them. But if this is true, then does it mean that Christians are free to sin? Paul begins chapter 6 by addressing this question.  It is unthinkable that those who are dead to sin should continue to live in sin. But due to the remnant of corruption, it is not as easy to live the justified life as we desire. So Paul proceeds to exhort us on how we ought to think and to walk. In particular, he wants us to do three things: (1) he wants us to know that we are dead to sin (v. 3-10); (2) he wants us to reckon ourselves dead indeed to sin (v. 11); and (3) he wants us to yield ourselves unto God rather than unto sin (v. 12-14).

We have already considered the first two points in the last two bulletins. In this third instalment, we continue with Paul’s call to yield ourselves unto God. —JJL]      

3.  Yield

a. Paul wants us to yield. The Holy Spirit who inspired Paul’s words wants us to yield. What does He want us to yield? He wants us to yield ourselves unto God rather than unto sin. We are not just to know and reckon that we are dead unto sin and alive unto God. Our knowledge must translate to actions.

Paul says:

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.

The natural man has no choice. Whatever he does is sinful. His heart is sinful. His inclinations are sinful. Therefore whatever he does, say or think is sinful. He cannot not sin. He is addicted to sin. He is bounded to sin. He has to sin!

But not so the child of God! The child of God is dead unto sin and alive unto God. The child of God is able not to sin. He is freed from the bondage of sin. He has the power not to sin. To put it simply: He can choose either to sin or not to sin. He can refuse to obey his old man, for the old man is as good as dead.

This is a fact. This is a reality. Our experience may sometime tempt us to think otherwise, but we must not live according to subjective feelings. We must live according to the truth. What then must we do?

b. Paul teaches us to do three things:

First, we must not allow sin to reign. “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” (v. 12) he encourages.

Our old man is dead. His body of sin was nailed to the Cross. Sin has no legitimate power over us anymore. Why should we let sin reign over us? Why should we obey his commands?

You know what sin does don’t you? Even as he lets out his last sigh he is not willing to let you go. He looks at you with a pitiful face, and say “look at me old friend, hold my hand, have pity on me. Will you just let me die without comforting me?” So your old man tries to rule over you. Switch on the TV; Go to that pornographic website; ignore the Word; ignore the Sabbath; hit back at the guy who hurt you; spread the gossip; go ahead and shout at your wife; go ahead and cheat; go ahead and disobey; go ahead and let loose, no one needs to know.…

But oh beloved child of God, will you listen to your old man? Will you obey him? You need not obey him! He has no power over you! Do not let him rule over you. Remember that you are dead to sin and alive unto God.

The next time your old man tempts you, look at him in the face and say: You are not my friend. God is my friend. I love Him; but I hate you. I will neither obey you nor be tempted by you.

But secondly, Paul teaches us that we are not to “yield [our] members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin” (v. 13). What are our members? They refer to every part of us. They refer to our minds, our will, our emotions, our hands, our feet, our tongues, our ears. Whatever belongs to us, we must not yield as instruments of unrighteousness.

What is it to yield? To yield is to give or to present. You are in a spiritual battle. Your old man and Satan are constantly seeking to trick you into giving your members to serve as instruments of unrighteousness against Christ: “Use your tongue: words break no bones”; “Use your mind: your fantasies cannot hurt anyone”; “Use your eyes: looks are harmless”; “Use your hands: how else can you show affection”; “Use your ears: enjoy the music, don’t worry about the words.”

Oh beloved Christian, do not yield. Do not give in. Do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin.

Yield your members rather, as instruments of God unto righteousness. “Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (v. 13) says Paul.

You have died unto sin and are alive unto God: Yield yourself unto God. Press yourself into the service of God, as Paul will say later:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom 12:1)

The word “present” is the same as the word “yield.” Instead of giving yourselves and your members to the service of Satan, you must give yourselves unto God as instruments of righteousness.

Resolve to do so now. Begin this day. Think! Decide at every juncture in your life:

·  Will what I am going to do promote the kingdom of God, or will it promote the kingdom of Satan?

·  Will I be yielding my members unto unrighteousness or will I be yielding my members unto righteousness?

Begin to put this exercise into practice immediately. Resolve now: I will yield my members unto righteousness. I will seek to do that which pertains unto righteousness.

I will do that which is good for my soul. I will do that which is good for the Church of Christ. I will seek the glory of Christ. I will not be selfish. I will not gratify the lust of my old man. He is dead. I will beat him to death. I will not allow him to rule over me again.

c. Beloved, if you are a child of God, you can be assured of victory. Paul says (v. 14)—

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

You are not under the law as a means of salvation. You are under grace. Do not think that since you cannot be perfect, you may as well give up. No, no; you are under grace. Your failures (because of the remnant of your corruption) will not be counted against you. But you have a responsibility to live unto God even as you are dead unto sin and alive unto God. Beloved child of God, fight back like the Jews in Esther’s days.

Conclusion

We must conclude. I have been addressing believers who have been justified in Christ. Let me conclude by addressing two special groups of people. Chances are: if you picked this article up on your own accord you do not belong to these two categories. If so, I want to urge you to give this article to someone who belongs to them. This article is as relevant to them as it is for you. So if you were urged by your parents or a Christian friend to read this article, please know that it is because they care for you and they want you to experience the joy of salvation that they have experienced. So please read on.

I want to address you first of all, if you are a covenant child. It does not matter whether you are very young or whether you are a teenager. Let me ask you: Do you understand what the apostle Paul is saying? He is saying that as Christians, we are dead to sin and alive unto God. This truth is as much for the adults as it is for you. You have been baptised too. You belong to Christ. You do not belong to Satan. Remember: There are two armies in this world. Every one of us, whether young or old belong to one army. One is the black army. It is the army of Satan. The other is the white army. It is the army of Christ. Whose side are you on? You belong to the kingdom of Christ. You belong to the army of Christ.

Therefore do not fight for Satan. How do you fight for Satan?

Whenever you disobey your parents you fighting for Satan.

Whenever you grumble when you are ask to do anything you are serving Satan.

Whenever you tell a lie you make Satan smile.

Do not serve Satan any more. If the Lord Jesus Christ is your King, serve Him. Honour and obey your parents. Seek to use every part of you to do God’s work.

Use your eyes to read the Bible and good Christian books, not to watch useless videos are read meaningless Facebook posts.

Use your ears to listen to good sermons and to the explanation that your dad makes at family worship. Do not use them for worldly music that drowns your conscience and mould your heart into worldliness.

Use your hands to give out tracts or collect the psalters after service. Do not use them to fight or to steal.

Use your tongue to sing praise and to witness for Christ amongst your friends. Do not use it to murmur or to tell lies.

Above all, use your mind to learn about Christ and His Word. Use your heart to love the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not use them to fulfil the lust of the flesh. It is foolish to simply follow after your heart if your heart is not held captive to the Word of God.

But finally, I would address you if you are still outside Christ. What I have been saying throughout this article will probably be quite meaningless to you if you are still an unbeliever. But you must know that if you are still an unbeliever, you are serving Satan with all your members. You are serving Him with your words, deeds and thoughts. This is because all that you do is sinful. This is not my opinion. It is the declaration of God.

Unless you are united to Christ, all that you do are sinful and wicked in God’s sight. You are not only failing to serve God. You are serving Satan and his kingdom. Oh will you not flee from him? Don’t be fooled by Satan. He is the father of lies. He knows how to mislead you into thinking that his ways are the ways of freedom and joy, but the reality is that it is the way of pain and sorrow that will lead to eternal destruction and the wrath of God. Flee from him. Flee to Christ. Call out unto Him to save you. He will not cast out anyone who comes unto Him. If you go to Him as a sinner, He will not only save you from the wrath to come. He will save you from your sin. He will make you useful unto God. Will you not go to Him now?  Amen.

—JJ Lim