“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 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.” Romans 6:11-13
You have died and have been brought to new life. The apostle Paul states here, in no uncertain terms, what some of the implications of our new lives in Christ are. Since He died to destroy the power of sin and we died with Him in baptism, we are dead to sin.
I want to specifically draw your attention today to the language used by Paul as he described how we use the parts of our bodies. He wrote that you should “offer every part of yourself to [God] as an instrument of righteousness”. Every part?
It is true that our current bodies of flesh and bone are destined for the grave (but don’t worry, new ones are promised, and they are going to be profoundly better!). Yet, even these bodies can be devoted to the eternal righteousness of God’s kingdom. Every part.
Look at your hands: instruments of righteousness. Stick out your tongue: instrument of righteousness. Those feet of yours: instruments of righteousness. Your ears, eyes, arms – all tools of your Master to be used for His works of righteousness in this unrighteous world. Your hands can serve someone in need. Your tongue can speak words of encouragement and truth. Your feet can carry you to the places the Master would have you go. Your ears can listen to a heavy-hearted soul who needs to talk to someone who cares. Your eyes can be alert and on the look-out for the hand of God in people’s circumstances. Your arms can embrace a precious person who just needs an honest and compassionate hug.
You’re in charge of your body, Disciple. It is meant to serve you, and by the power of the Spirit, you can have self-control. Your flesh no longer calls the shots because you died to sin and are alive to God. Command those parts of your magnificent body to serve your Master’s purposes today. Call them instruments of righteousness and remind them that you don’t work for them anymore. Jesus commands your newly born spirit, and your newly born spirit commands your mortal body. This is as it should be, and, now that sin is being conquered in us, we can live in the freedom we were always meant to enjoy.
As you live your life in service to the true Master, just remember “the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life” (Romans 6:22). What a generous Master we serve!
Training my instruments of righteousness with you,