Romans 6:12-13. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 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.
Paul makes the progression of faith filled sanctification clear. First we must KNOW that the old self has died to sin. Then we must CONSIDER ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God. Third, we must PRESENT ourselves to God as instruments of righteousness. There is no other order, and there is no other way to grow in Christ.
Please, please, please understand that we cannot even begin to think about Romans 6:13 without first having appropriated Romans 6:6 and 6:11 (knowing and considering) – notice the word therefore in 6:12. Presenting follows considering. Your relationship to sin is the same as Christ’s. You are dead to it. Only when we trust this greatest of truths can we begin to present ourselves as instruments of righteousness.
Because our old self has died with Christ, and as we consider our old self to have died with Christ and raised to new life in God, we are now ready to present our bodies to God. We are not presenting our old self to God. He already killed it. He has no use of it. We are presenting our new resurrected self to God. The self that is united to Christ.
Here in Romans 6:12-13 Paul is moving us from the faith of dependency to the faith of activity. He is moving us into the volitional side of the Christian life (the will). In 6:1-11 I am depending on my union with Christ. Now in 6:12-13 I am acting upon my union with Christ.
We consider ourselves alive to God (6:11). Not alive to ourselves. We belong to him. We are his possession now. The natural outflow of truly knowing and considering this – applying it to our lives – will be that we then present ourselves to God. If my co-death and co-resurrection with Christ are true, then there is no part of my life that does not belong to him and that I should not want him to have to control.
We must also note that we are presenting our members, that is, our bodies to God. Not our hearts or our spirits. Again, this would be unnecessary because that part of you has already been made righteous and new in Christ. Your body is the part of you that is still corrupt.
Christian this is what holiness is. Presenting. Sanctification means to be set apart. To be presented to God. Holiness is not you trying to stop sinning. Good luck with that. Holiness is you presenting yourself to God to be used for the sake of justice and righteousness, based on your dependent faith in your death to sin in your being (not behavior) and your resurrection to new life in your being. Holiness is much more about what you do then what you don’t do.
But veyond what we do, holiness is found only in the attitude of presenting yourself to God. You can be perfectly moral and not be holy – set apart or presented to God for his righteous will. There may be two identically clean cups, but only one is sanctified for use in the Temple. Oh, and by the way, as you present yourself to God, don’t be surprised if some sins start to naturally melt away.
Presenting is this third and final step in your sanctification process, an ongoing and repeated process over and over for the rest of your earthly life. We don’t die to sin over and over, but we do present ourselves to God over and over as those who are his possession.
There is no faith without knowing. There is not faith without considering. And there is not faith with presenting. You can say you believe that you are united to Christ but without any kind of presenting yourself to God as his possession can’t we doubt that faith?
“To live is Christ” is the daily process of knowing, considering, and presenting. But make sure you get this order correct. To present without knowing and considering is to embrace a fruitless works righteousness, a legalism that will only destroy (more on that tomorrow).
Do you consider yourself the possession of God? On what basis? Have you presented every area of your life to Christ? How does knowing and considering your union with Christ empower you to do this?