Romans 6:11–14 ‘Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.’ (v13)
Sin, simply put, is to act outside of God’s intention. It is a condition which affects all humanity, and Paul describes our human dilemma, ‘For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do’ (Rom. 7:15b). This problem is escalated as temptation, something akin to a craving, focusing our attention on the short-term benefit rather than the long-term impact.
The Christian is invited to acknowledge this dilemma. Whilst the condition of sin is addressed through God’s redemptive act, our addiction continually to sin is a reminder that we continue to live in a fallen and decaying world – our mortality providing the clearest example.
So, we cannot through force of will defeat temptation and our consequent sinful actions. Like Paul again we exclaim, ‘What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?’ (Rom. 7:24). Our solution is in the freedom God gives through the Spirit following our redemption by Christ. It’s certainly more roller coaster than straight line, and our inclination to yield to temptation is current and live throughout.
Yet, by adopting certain practices by which we offer ourselves to God, we can walk in the opposite direction to that which our craving for sin demands. This is the road of sanctification, the act of becoming more like Jesus every day, and requires a commitment to walk its path and implement steps to support us in our chosen endeavour.
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Deut. 32:1–14; 1 Chron. 19:10–19; Matt. 16:13–28; Rom. 15:1–6.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: What does offering yourself completely to God look like in practice?
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, thank You that You have made us and we belong to You. Amen.’