“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 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. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.”
We cannot continue in sin for more grace
The Apostle Paul tells us how the righteous should live after being saved from sins in Romans chapter 6. He clarifies ‘the faith’ again with Jesus’ baptism. Our sins were forgiven once and for all through the faith in the baptism, the Cross and the resurrection of Jesus.
We cannot be full of God’s righteousness and salvation without the baptism of Jesus. If Jesus had not taken away all our sins when He was baptized, we would not be able to say that we are righteous after receiving the remission of sins.
We can confidently say that we are righteous because all our sins were passed onto Jesus and because He was crucified and judged for all our sins. Romans chapter 6 teaches both of the salvation by faith and the practical lives of the righteous. He says, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1) He says in the previous passages, “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:20-21). The sins of the world cannot exceed God’s love and righteousness, however grave they may be. Our sins were forgiven by God’s love and righteousness through the faith in the true word.
The Bible says that we cannot continue in sin that grace may abound even though we who live in the flesh have received the remission of all our sins. “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him through baptism into death” (Romans 6:2-4).
We are buried with Jesus through baptism into death
Our old selves were crucified with Jesus. This means we are dead to sin. All our sins were passed onto Jesus and He died in our place. Therefore, the death of Jesus is our death to sin. “Therefore we are buried with Him through baptism into death.” Our old selves of flesh were buried with Him through baptism into death.
The Lord took our sins on Him through His baptism and died on the Cross in the place of sinners. He was without sin by nature. However, He took all the sins of sinners onto Him and was judged in their place. Do you believe this? He Himself did not need to be judged, but we who were sinners were judged in Him, for we were baptized into Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul put a great emphasis on the baptism of Jesus. We also preach about the baptism of Jesus. It is not wrong to preach about His baptism from a faithful point of view. Jesus took away the sins of sinners through His baptism and died for them just as a sinner passed over his sins by laying his hands on the head of the offering and slaying it in the Old Testament age.
John the Baptist baptized Jesus, the Lamb of God. He took all the sins of the world onto Him when He was baptized as the sin offering. Therefore, His death was our deaths and all believers’ deaths. All who were baptized into Jesus Christ were buried with Jesus Christ. Those who are not baptized into Jesus can neither be saved, believe, deny themselves nor overcome the world.
Only a person who believes in the baptism of Jesus Christ knows that he/she died on the Cross in Him. This person reigns and overcomes the world, denying himself/herself. He/she can rely on God’s word and believe it. Only those, who believe that the baptism of Jesus is the indispensable method for Him to bear all the sins of the world, receive the remission of sins, that is, His perfect salvation.
The gist of the salvation through the remission of sins is the baptism and the blood of Jesus. If Jesus had not taken away the sins of sinners through His baptism, His death would have had nothing to do with our salvation. The kernel of salvation is the baptism of Jesus. All the sins of the world were passed onto Jesus when John the Baptist baptized Him.
We came to live with God and walk in newness of life
The Apostle Paul says, “We were buried with Jesus through baptism into death” (Romans 6:4). All those who were baptized into Jesus Christ have redemption by faith, were buried within Him and had new lives within Him. This faith is a great faith. The faith in His baptism is the faith that is established on solid ground.
“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Romans 6:4-5). We can be united with God by the faith in Jesus’ baptism.
Now those who believe in Jesus Christ can walk in newness of life. Our old selves who existed before being born again died, and we became renewed, and are now able to do new works, live in new ways and live by new faiths. A born again person does not live in the old lifestyle and way of thinking. The reason why we have to deny our old ways of thinking is because our old selves died on the Cross with Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 states, “Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” The Lord was baptized in the Jordan River to take away our sins, was crucified and rose again from the dead. Thus, He saved all sinners from their sins to make them walk in newness of life. Our old ‘things’ like misery, hardness, bitterness and wounded hearts have passed away. Now our new lives have begun. Being saved is the starting point of our new lives.
God told the people of Israel to keep Passover after they escaped from Egypt and entered the land of Canaan. The exodus from Egypt symbolizes being saved from sins. God told the people of Israel, “Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, ‘This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire─its head with its legs and its entrails. You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover’’’ (Exodus 12:1-11). We must remember that God commanded them to eat the flesh of the lamb with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs in the Passover feast.
There are many bitter things to come after being saved from sins. Bitter herbs represent denying oneself. There is certainly hardship, yet we must remember that we are buried with Christ. “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin; but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:10-11).
This is the heart of being united to Jesus. We become united to Jesus by believing in His baptism, the Cross and resurrection, which He fulfilled. His ministry includes His birth, receiving baptism from John the Baptist, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension and His coming again to judge the dead. Believing in all those things is the true faith, that is, the faith in salvation, judgment, and the righteousness of God.
Romans 6:10 states, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all.” Jesus did not wash away our sins at two separate intervals. Jesus blotted out the sins of the world all at once. Romans 6:10-11 states, “But the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We are indeed dead to sin but alive to God. Now, we are alive to God. We have new lives and have become new creatures.
“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 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. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace” (Romans 6:12-14).
“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace.” We have no sin after being redeemed, no matter what weaknesses may be revealed in our lives. We certainly have weaknesses because we still live on in the flesh. However, sin will not have dominion over us. There is no condemnation to us because we received the remission of sins through the faith in the baptism of Jesus and in the judgment of sin through His blood, however weak we may be. Our iniquities are sins too.
It is true that sin cannot have dominion over us. God made the righteous not to be dominated by sin. The Lord cleanly washed away our sins through Jesus’ baptism once and for all so that sin wouldn’t have dominion over us, however weak we may be. He paid the wages of sin on the Cross. Believers are without sin because the Lord had paid off the wages of sin.
The righteous see that many weaknesses and iniquities are revealed in them, but sin cannot have dominion over them and there is no condemnation to them when they rely on the Lord by faith. Therefore, we can always walk in the newness of life.
Present your members as instruments of God’s righteousness
The Lord has blessed the righteous to live new lives everyday. However, can they continue in sin? Certainly not. Romans 6:13 states, “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.”
“But God be thanked that you were slaves of sin.” We were slaves of sin by nature and were good at sinning, but the Bible says, “Yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18).
We who became righteous have been set free from sin and became slaves of God’s righteousness, who can be righteous by grace. We have been completely set free from sin and have been able to be righteous. We became the righteous who can work for His righteousness.
But what should we do with our flesh after having redemption? How should we behave ourselves with the flesh after we are saved? The Bible says, “Now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness” (Romans 6:19). What does the flesh do though we are saved from sins? The flesh usually falls into sin even if we have no sin in our hearts. Therefore, we can escape from falling into sin when we present our flesh as slaves of righteousness. This also means that we should simply present our flesh to righteous works because we have been made righteous.
We need to exercise ourselves toward godliness
Are we sinless, though the flesh is so weak, after we are saved? It is certain that to those who believe in the baptism of Jesus, the Cross, the resurrection, the advent and the final judgment of Jesus, there is no sin. They are sinless. We only have to present our flesh to righteous works and our hearts also want to work righteousness. But the flesh is not good at working for His righteousness. So 1 Timothy 4:7 states, “Exercise yourself toward godliness.” We have to exercise ourselves toward godliness.
It is not done in a short amount of time. When we give away gospel booklets to other people, we may be shameful if we meet familiar people. We may avoid them and come back home at first because we feel shameful. However, if we try to do it several times, thinking, ‘My old self already died,’ and then taking courage saying, “You will go to hell if you do not have redemption, so receive this booklet and read to have redemption!” When you act like that, you can present your flesh to righteousness.
Romans chapter 6 tells us to present our members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. We must present our members as slaves of righteousness. We must exercise it many times. It is not done in a short time. We must try again and again. We will come to know how interesting it is to attend church if we try to attend church. We must not think, “I believe it, but I would like to believe everything at home. I obviously know what my pastor will preach.” Both the flesh and the heart should be at church. Faith grows in the heart only when we present our members as slaves of righteousness.
We must present our members to the work of righteousness. Do you see what I am saying? We must not keep ourselves away from gathering together and meeting leaders. When you go to the market, you’d better drop in at church and open the door saying, “I’m dropping by on my way to market. What’s up?” To drop by at church often is to present your member as a slave of righteousness.
Then a leader will say, “Sister, let me see, can you please clean this up?”
“And, please come back this evening.”
“We will have Youth Fellowship this evening.”
“O.K. I’ll come back tonight.”
We are busy in the world, but to where do we have to present our flesh first when the people of the world ask us to attend their meetings?
We must present ourselves to church. We have to attend church, though we are asked to dine with our company colleagues. We should not let our flesh be in a restaurant though our hearts are in church. If we make our flesh escape from the world and let it be in church, both our fleshes and hearts will get comfortable.
What do you think? If your flesh frequents some other carnal places, you will become enemies against God against your wills even though your heart wants to be united to the church.
We must exercise the flesh well with the Spirit
We must present our flesh as slaves of righteousness, but it doesn’t mean that the flesh is perfect. We must present our members to righteous works again and again, though our flesh tends to do as it pleases. We usually go a familiar way. It depends on what we present our flesh as slaves of.
The Apostle Paul says, “Present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. Present your members as instruments of God’s righteousness.” It depends on how you tame your flesh. If you tame the flesh to go drink, the flesh automatically goes to drink. As a result, the flesh rushes to a bar while you are in church. If you sit in a bar, the heart feels pain. But if you sit in the church, the heart is comfortable though the flesh is painful.
The flesh also has personality. The flesh depends on how it is tamed by the heart. The flesh says, “I like alcohol,” when we repeatedly drink. But the flesh says, “I hate it,” when we don’t drink. Why? Because the flesh is not tamed. It depends on how we tame the flesh, though the heart is sanctified. The Holy Spirit takes care of our hearts. The Holy Spirit still holds us even though we are out of church. However, we must present the flesh as slaves of righteousness for holiness. So attend church again and again anyway.
Those who are saved must exercise themselves toward godliness. The Bible tells us to obey the word of God and to be led by it. The reason why we should be led by the word of God is because we always like to do as our flesh pleases, thinking our flesh is ours. Because we go shopping, dancing and drinking as we please, it is so hard for us to sit and concentrate on the worship service in church. So, a leader must lead us. “You have a seat down here and listen to the word of God.” “O.K.”
We should be patient, though we get bored of hearing a sermon, thinking, ‘I have to sit here with patience. Why am I so bored, though I can sit down for 3 hours in a bar? Why can’t I stand sitting here for even an hour? Just an hour has passed since I have heard the sermon! I have drunk for 5 hours in a bar and even played poker for 20 hours without taking a break.”
It all depends on taming the flesh. The flesh that usually sits down in church hates to go to a bar. However, to a person who is well tamed in drinking, sitting down in church is like hell. I want you to endure for several days and then you can learn to endure. It is very hard until you tame your flesh. We must spend our time in church when we want to do other things with our time.
We spend our time in church, talking with leaders, brothers and sisters to be tamed. I am so comfortable in church and there is nothing that seduces me there. However, when I walk in the street, many things seduce me! There are many temptations such as clothes in the showcases of clothing stores. It takes me 2 hours to go home when I look around at all the things I want to see and I may go astray in the end.
I go to look at a strange thing if there is something strange over there. Later, I realize, ‘When will I arrive at home? I want someone to lead me home.’ Therefore, do not wander from place to place on your way home. We must go straight home after worship services, ride on the church bus and go straight to our destinations. If you think, ‘Do not pick me up to go to church. I alone will go to church. I have two strong legs, so there is no reason for me to go to church by the church bus.’ You may go astray by being tempted. You should be thankful that you could ride on the church bus to go to church and back home as soon as worship service is over, not having to worry about useless things. You’re better off reading the Bible, offering prayers and going to bed as soon as you get home....
It would be better for you to live like this. A man may think, ‘I have a strong faith. I have no sin. I will prove something to myself. I will not drink even if I go to a bar. Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. I am filled with grace.’ If he thinks like that and goes to a bar, his friend will say, “Hey, have a drink.”
“No, have you ever seen me drinking? I quit drinking.”
“Have a drink anyway.”
“Why don’t you drink just a cup of wine?”
His friend pours wine into a glass and gives it to him. But he thinks, ‘I’m drinking soda, though you tempt me to drink alcohol.” Then he comes to recollect his having drank long ago and thinks, ‘How delicious it will be. Why don’t you offer me wine once more? I will have just one drink.’ He quickly finishes the soda.
Then, his friend becomes aware that he wants to drink and pours wine into the empty glass.
“It is mild. You may drink it as a cocktail.”
“No, I shouldn’t. Don’t you know that I believe in Jesus?” However, he finally drinks a glass of alcohol and his friend knows that he drinks well.
“Just drink today.”
“O.K. I’ll drink today, but you should believe in Jesus, O.K.? I have no sin though I drink. But do you have sin? You should be saved from your sins.”
The important thing is where we yield the flesh
Human beings are like that. They are nothing peculiar. The important thing is where we present the flesh. Present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. Present your flesh to holiness because the flesh is not holy. I used drinking as an example here. But other things are the same as this. It depends on how we tame the flesh.
We are saved by faith in one breath and it is eternal, but the godliness of our hearts and flesh depend on where we present the flesh. We feel that the heart also becomes dirty when we present our flesh to dirtiness, though the heart is clean. Then, we come to forsake our faiths, go against the church, take the name of God in vain and go away from God’s presence, being deceived by Satan. We come to be destroyed in the end.
Therefore, watch yourself lest you should be destroyed. You must be careful. How can we deal with our daily sins after we are saved from sins? “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” The Lord also thoroughly blotted out our daily sins so that we could never become a sinner again, though we may sin many times.
However, we may have a problem if the flesh is veered toward evil again and again. To where should we present our flesh? The flesh should go the designated way. I have spoken until now to make you understand this.
The flesh becomes holy just as the heart is holy, and it becomes the slave of righteousness before God when we present it as a slave of righteousness. We must center our lives on church after we are saved, if we don’t know how to live after we are saved. The Bible says that church is like an inn. We drink water, eat spiritual food and continue in fellowship just as we would drink and talk to each other at an inn.
Church is the same as an inn. We continue in fellowship and talk with each other in the church, so we have to usually go to church anyway. A person who usually goes to church becomes a spiritual person and a person who usually doesn’t go to the church cannot walk in the Spirit, however great of a faith he/she might have before. The person who usually comes to church automatically prospers spiritually, no matter how weak he/she may be. It is due to the spiritual fellowship after having redemption.
There is no place but the church for us to dwell in. I want you to come to God’s church as many times as you can and continue in fellowship with His people. Drop in at the church, attend every worship service, listen to God’s word and consult with the church leaders in whatever you plan to do.
We must center our lives on God’s word and assemble ourselves together. Then, we can have success in the life of faith without failure. We can be used preciously and be blessed by the Lord. I want you to present your flesh and hearts as instruments of righteousness to God.