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.
In Romans 6, Paul makes the Christian’s progression of sanctification very clear. First we must KNOW (6:6) that the old self has died to sin. Then we must CONSIDER (6:11) ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God. And now 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 – KNOW, CONSIDER, PRESENT.
Please, please, please understand that we cannot even begin to think about presenting ourselves to God without first having known and considered what God has done for us in Christ – our co-crucifixion and co-resurrection with him. Presenting always, always, always follows considering or counting. Counting that our relationship to sin is the same as Christ’s. We are dead to it. Only when we trust this greatest of truths can we begin to present ourselves as instruments of righteousness. To present ourselves to God without faithfully believing in our death to sin first, and our resurrection to new life second, will always be a presentation of the self, the flesh, our own good works of self-righteousness.
Our old self has died with Christ, and as we consider our old self to have died with Christ, and been raised to new life in Christ, we are now finally ready to present our bodies to God. To present the old self to God is useless. 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.
Notice that we are not presenting our hearts or our spirits to God. Why not? Because he already has those. He indwells those by the Spirit. Your heart has already been made new in Christ’s imputed righteousness. Your body is the part of you that is still corrupt. It’s the part that must be presented to God over and over again.
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.
Christian, this is what holiness is. Presenting. Holiness 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 your members, or body, to God to be used as an instrument, a weapon, of his righteousness.
In Christ, we are the redeemed possession of God. We consider ourselves alive to God (6:11), not ourselves. We belong to him. The natural outflow of truly knowing and considering our union with Christ, will be that we present all that we do in our bodies to God. My actions and reactions. My work and my play. My striving and my resting. Everything that we do should bring about the righteousness of God. His justice. His peace. His reconciliation. His love and mercy.
Presenting is this third and final step in your sanctification process. And it is an ongoing and repeated process over and over for the rest of your earthly life. We don’t die to sin and self over and over. Like Jesus, our death to sin is once for all time at the cross. But we do present ourselves to God over and over as those who are his possession. This presenting of our bodies to God is true holiness.
But don’t forget that it’s the attitude behind the presenting that actually makes it holy. Good behavior, morality, being nice, piety, scruples, these are all worthless if not part of the heart of presenting ourselves to God for his glory. Presenting ourselves not from works, but from grace through faith.
“To live is Christ” is this daily process of knowing, considering, and presenting. Knowing you are dead to sin. Considering yourself dead to sin and alive to God in Jesus. And then presenting your actions to God as his own actions in the world.
Have you presented every area of your life to Christ?
You in Christ
How does knowing and considering your union with Christ empower you to do this?
Christ in you
What specific behavior do you need to present to Christ today?
Playlist: Presenting Yourself to God