I love the book of Romans. It’s my favorite book of the Bible (well, maybe it’s 2nd…the Gospel of John would probably take top honors). Such an amazingly powerful and practical book, one that contains so many essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Paul pulls no punches in this letter, and I’m thankful for that. History tells us that it was time spent in this very letter to the Roman church that spurred Martin Luther on towards his 95 theses, and thus the Reformation…and thus my writing this blog!
I was reading through chapter 6 today, and a couple things occurred to me. Paul had been taking time to explain the difference between our lives before salvation and after; how we should be changed. Before, we were dead; now, because of Jesus’ death in our place and resurrection, we are alive! And not just alive, but given new life, life of a different kind!
We are not who we once were! We have been changed! In verse 7, Paul declares this truth: “He who has died has been freed from sin!” We have died to our old sinful nature through accepting Jesus, being united to Him, and now we are freed from sin! FREE! No longer in bondage to it!
Therefore, in verse 12, Paul tells us to “reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” He goes on to implore us not to let sin reign in our lives as it once did. Remember: you were dead! Now you’re alive!
And then we come to verse 14:
“And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” (Romans 6:14, NKJV)
Well, that’s great. But what does that mean? What does it mean for me to present myself to God, and not to sin?
I’m glad you asked. It means to yield.
That stopped me when I read it. I get that. I know that when I’m driving and I come to a yield sign, I have to look and see if anyone’s coming. If they are, I have to wait and to allow them right-of-way.
What are you yielding the right-of-way to? To what, or to whom, are you giving precedence in your life? Sin? Or Jesus?
There can only be one. You can’t serve to masters. If you’re struggling with sin today, and you’re a born-again Christian, realize that you are yielding the right-of-way to whatever it is. As a Christian, your life is not your own! You’ve given it to Christ! Practically, daily, work that out by yielding to His will.
He died that we might live, free from the power of sin, victorious over it, not so we could live a sort of half-life, trying to follow Christ where He leads us with a chain still wrapped around our ankles. We are in a race, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9…how you gonna run dragging your sin around with you?!
Yield to Christ…let Him take over. Choose to yield. Choose to follow. Choose NOT to yield to sin. Choose NOT to give it right-of-way in your life.
In Romans 12:1-2, Paul tells us HOW to yield to Christ and not to sin:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present (yield!) your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And to not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Yield and renew.
Yield to the Holy Spirit as He guides you. Turn your eyes away from looking at worthless things (Psalm 119:37), turn them towards the things of God. Spend time in prayer. Spend time in the Word. Turn off the phone, the iPad, the TV, the computer…open up the Scriptures and let the Word of God cleanse and renew your mind.
Think about it: in the course of your day, how many times do you yield the right-of-way to something that is sinful, and if not outright sinful, completely worthless? Why not spend that time with the Lord?
Why not yield that time to Him and be renewed?