This is the final entry in a series on the victorious life.
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. (Romans 6:13, ESV)
Consider yourselves dead to sin – Paul first describes how you should see yourself. Then he tells you one very simple thing, which you consequently should do in order to experience freedom from sin: Do not present your members to sin, present yourselves to God! Members are not just the outward parts of your body like hands and feet or eyes and mouth. Members here also include your mind and imagination. It includes your inner abilities like creativity or the ability to develop motives or that organ that produces your feelings. Members – this includes all your physical and mental abilities and faculties. Sin tries to rule all of them, not just your sinful desires. Sin even wants to control your good faculties, all these inner organs.
As long as you do not consider yourself dead to sin you allow sin to control your members. They then become instruments or weapons for unrighteousness in the hand of sin. Your abilities and faculties, which were given to you to honour God and to help your neighbour, now become tools to harm other people and to dishonour the Lord. Your mind, if controlled by sin, becomes a terrible weapon that forms the ammunition that your mouth fires off. When someone has hurt you, your imagination easily comes up with all kinds of ways to retaliate.
However, if you consider yourselves dead to sin, you can and should present yourselves and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. When you realise that sin controls your imagination or feelings you will say to God, “Lord, I now take my imagination out of the hands of sin and I give it to you. Please take control of it!” It’s that simple and very effective. Don’t be surprised if you then get completely different feelings and thoughts. You may even find yourself defending the person that hurt you.
Paul always had an energetic temper. When it was controlled by sin it was an instrument that raged against God and destroyed the church. The same temper controlled by the Spirit became an instrument that was tirelessly engaged for God and built one church after the other. You probably already know what happens when your temper is controlled by sin. Your temper does not need to change. It is actually just right for what God wants you to do. It only needs to be controlled by God. And great things can happen!
Do I give my imagination to sin as a tool to paint the pictures it likes to paint in me?
Do I present my feelings to sin?
A particular feeling?
Do I give my eyes to sin to become an entrance gate for things I should not see?
Do I give my heart to pride?