12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. 13 And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. 14 For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under the law but under grace.
Did you know the Bible forbids Christians to let sin reign in their lives? How does sin reign in our lives, and how do we follow this biblical mandate?
The book of Romans was written by the Apostle Paul to the Roman house churches. After an introduction, he discusses the universal need for justification and the imputation of righteousness, which brings new life to everyone who submits to the Lordship of Christ. Romans 6:12-14 expressly commands the Christian, “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body.” Instead, we are to “offer ourselves to God.” But how is this done?
First, we need to know what sin is and how it affects us. The Bible defines “sin” in 1 John 3:4: “Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law; sin is the breaking of law.” In other words, when we act, say or think something that is contrary to the teachings of the Bible, we have sinned. For example, the Bible teaches us not to covet, that is, to desire something wrongfully without due regard for the rights of others. When we see a friend’s new car, and we find ourselves wanting that new car for ourselves, we are coveting.
Next, we need to understand that Romans 6:12-14 prohibits the “reign” of sin in our lives. We are all human, and we all make mistakes. When we covet a friend’s new car, we must afterward confess that sin to the Lord and ask for forgiveness. Permitting sin to reign means you know what you are doing is wrong, but you refuse to confess and repent for doing it, instead allowing that sin to remain in your life.
When we become Christians, we become a new person. We are saved by the grace of God, and we are taught that as followers of Jesus Christ, we must act and behave differently. As Christians, we must be different from the rest of the world. We must have new priorities. We must pick up our cross and follow Jesus daily. We must confess and repent of our sins daily. Let us be ever vigilant in purging our lives of sin, regardless of how big or how small the sin.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Where are you letting sin reign in your life?
- What are some things you need to purge from your life?
- Do you have an accountability partner to confide in?
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