How do we “present ourselves?”

Because we are not under law, but under grace, “What shall we say then?”

The Apostle Paul was addressing the Roman church regarding this question. It takes place in Romans the sixth chapter.

To all believers everywhere this is a very good question. This is not only for the “Roman church” back then, but this is for us in the 21st century as well.

The Question?

“Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?”

I hear believers say all the time, things like, “we are all just sinners”. “I sin all the time”. “I am just a sinner saved by grace”

Paul continues on…….. “God forbid!” Does this sound like sin is the rule, or could it be the exception? How is it taught where you attend church? Sad to say, but if it is taught as the rule, then there is no power operating.

He states, “we who died to sin”, “how shall we live any longer in it?” (vs 2). In verse 3, he reminds us that, weren’t we “baptized into Christ Jesus?” and doesn’t that mean that we “were baptized into His death?” (vs 3).

In verse 4, it states, that if this is indeed the case, shouldn’t “we also walk in newness of life?” What is this “newness of life?” A life continuing to live in sin?

We continue on and he explains what it is.

Now we must stop here and notice that there are once again many “If’s”. So, just like in many places found in God’s word, it puts forth the conditional “if”. This is a very little word, but it must not be overlooked.

“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His (Christ’s) death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,”. Now for those who think that he might be possibly talking about the final resurrection here, you must continue on through the chapter to understand this “resurrection”.

Now in verse 6, he begins to get into the “meat” of this understanding, or teaching. “knowing this,” (Do we?) “that our old man was crucified with Him,”. This is the very foundation that we must get, we must understand, before we go any further.

I must jump over to the book of Galatians for a minute. Because Paul, in addressing the Galatian church with all it’s problems, has a very important issue that he is addressing here that goes along with the Roman church. Just out of pure curiosity, how much of this type of teaching should be addressed in today’s churches?

The Galatian church was wanting to return to the law. I won’t get into that subject here, but it is note worthy.

In chapter 2 of Galatians, Paul states, “For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God”. Now here is what I was wanting to get into from our study in Romans. Here is the Key. “I have been (past tense) crucified with Christ;” He goes on to explain what that means. “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;”. This here is crucifixion. Dieing to self. Being dead. Having died with Christ on that cross. That old man of sin was supposed to have died there. Did it? Good question isn’t it?

Continuing on….. “and the life which I now live (currently) in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” This is Key. Living by faith in Christ. Taking by faith that He took that old man of sin upon his shoulders and there it died with Him. That old man died, point blank.

And to quickly finish here in Galatians, he said, “I do not set aside the grace of God;” All this is only made possible by God’s unmeasurable “Grace”, period. Righteousness comes only through faith in Christ, and thus only possible through God’s grace. Period.

Returning to Roman’s the 6th chapter, verse 6, he finishes that verse by saying what was supposed to have died on that cross with Christ? The “body of sin”. “that the body of sin might be done away with,” or “rendered inoperative”. Wow did we get that? The body of sin rendered inoperative? Wait a minute! How is that possible!

By the finished work of Christ on the cross! The only problem is, do we believe it? Do we by faith take hold of it for ourselves? If not, it is no wonder that we continue in sin and live accordingly to the flesh. Period.

Paul finishes this verse to explain what it is that this “crucifixion” is for. “that we should no longer be slaves of sin”. See, we believers should not be slaves of sin. Period.

In verse 7  he says basically, if you have been truly crucified with Christ (died), then you are freed from sin. Does this mean that we are free to live presumptuously upon the grace of God? We shall see……. “God forbid!”

“Now if (there is that “if” again) we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him”(vs. 8). If we died with Christ on that cross, then because of His resurrection power we can live a life not having to be a slave to sin.

So, if I believe by faith in my dieing on that cross with Him, I have the power to resist sin. Why? Because of Christ conquering “death, sin” on that cross. We shall see more here in Romans. 

Check this out for reassurance. Verse 9, “knowing”. This is faith! I know! Why or how? Because He has revealed it by His Holy Spirit! Point blank!

“knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more.” No need for Christ to keep dieing for us. He died once for all! “Death no longer has dominion over Him”.

Now in verse 10, he explains this death and this resurrection. “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but (now lets not forget this) the life that He lives, He lives to God.”

Now we must get these next verses. They are key to understanding and being able to live as we ought.

Paul now says, “Likewise you also”. Now he is talking to us. Not only the Roman church, but the church of today. Do we sometimes wonder why we don’t see the power of God individually and collectively? Here is the answer.

Verse 11, “Likewise you also, reckon (sounds like he might have been back east) (it means, “consider or render”) yourselves to be dead indeed to sin,” Do we? Do I wake up each morning, and by faith, take hold of this? Do I consider myself dead to sin today? Do I want to?

Here is the power again. “but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord”. By His power of His resurrection, it is possible!

Now Paul states in verse 12, “Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it’s lusts”. Oh, did we forget that this “body of sin” was supposed to have “died” on the cross?

Now to the question, “HOW DO WE PRESENT OURSELVES?”. The Apostle Paul has the answer.

Verse 13, “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.” Did we get that? Present ourselves as “being alive from the dead”. I am alive from the dead man of sin! I am alive because of Christ! I am not dead in sin! What is the very essence of sin? We shall see……

This is the rule, not the exception. “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace”(vs.14). There is no power in law! It is only through grace!

So Paul says, “What then? (here comes the question) Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? God forbid! (Certainly not!)” (vs.15)

Come on, don’t you know this? “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (vs.16) We have two choices as to which we are going to present ourselves. Slaves to sin, or slaves to righteousness. That is it.

He goes on to say, “you were slaves to sin” (past tense) (vs.17). But what has happened? You have obeyed this teaching that I (Paul) am giving to you again. And thus, “having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” (vs.18). I can hear the Apostle John saying, “He who sins is of the devil,” (Read 1John 3:4-9)

Now Paul, knowing our weakness of the flesh, gives us more sound teaching. “For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness (you once walked or lived in this), and of lawlessness,” So now here is what to do……. “so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness” (for the ongoing process of sanctification)(vs.19). We are to be made unto sanctification. Ongoing progression of being set apart from sin, for God.

Here he goes again, “For when you were” (past tense) “slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.” (vs.20) What fruit did you have in all these formal ways of living in sin? “For the end of those things is death.” (vs.21) Even with us believers, if there is known sin in our lives, there is a measure of death in us. And then we wonder, as to why we are powerless to overcome? There is no power in death!

Here comes another key. “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness (sanctification), and the end, everlasting life.” (vs.22)

Now this is the bottom line. “For the wages of sin is death,” This being so, if I have unconfessed and unforsaken sin in my life, I am abiding in death, not life. How can there be life in sin if it is death?

We must receive and live in the “free gift of God” which is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (vs.23) We must abide in Him. It’s not a one time deal, this abiding in Him, is moment by moment.

“Likewise you also, consider yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (6:11)

The body of sin should be rendered inoperative. Sin renders us powerless.

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12 Responses to “How do we “present ourselves?””

  1. cindyinsd Says:

    Good exposition on a kinda difficult passage! And it all comes down to that bit about being salt and light, doesn’t it? Because light that’s covered (by sin?) or salt that isn’t salty isn’t much use to anyone.

    The counter-intuitive thing is that we don’t stop sinning by trying real hard. We do it by looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. So we do have something to do, and it’s essential. We have to nudge up close to Him and then He will come close to us. Then we will have the strength (His strength) to resist the devil and see him flee. Yay! God is good!

    Blessings, Cindy

  2. Richard Says:

    Hi Cindy!
    Thanks for stopping by. I wasn’t counting on getting a lot of comments on such subjects as this. Most don’t want to hear this kinda stuff.
    Yes, only by His strength is it possible!
    What was a true blessing to me in this study, was that the “old man” died with Christ. The problem here is that we don’t consider it “done” or “crucified”. When the old man raises up, he needs to be reminded that he died. There is No coming out of the grave with his clothes on. No he is dead! He needs to be reminded daily!
    Bless you sister!

  3. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Happy Sabbath bro!
    Been very busy and finally have some time to catch up on some of the sites,lol.

    Your first point “because we are not under the law, but under grace” I hope you understand that to mean we are no longer under the Mosiac law. I agree once we become a “new” person in Christ, we can’t continue to go on living our old sinful life. But the important thing is “what is sin?” Can we look to God’s word (bible0 for the answer? Ofcourse we can. No where in scripture is it as plainly answered as (1John 3:4) “Sin is transgression of the Law” in other words this means sin is “breaking” the Law. We must then ask “what Law is it talking about?” Can it be the Mosiac law, filled with all the sacrifices of animals, rituals, customs, etc? No, it cannot be because Christ fulfilled all that. They only foreshadowed His coming. Then it must be the “Moral Law”consisting of God’s holy 10 Commandments. It’s the only “Law” that can apply, correct? I think the answer is quite clear and if we are “truly” in the spirit as you say, we can NEVER be free to murder, commit adultery, etc. if we are “in Christ” No man can say “Oh, I am free from the Law because I am in Christ” then go out and break those holy Laws. The Holy Spirit cannot guide such things.

  4. Richard Says:

    That’s my brother, and I love him! He can “sniff” the Law out of any post that I write. And then write a comment regarding it.
    Peace brother!

  5. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Lol, you know what I like most of all about your last little comment? You capitalized “Law”;-) Maybe I’m seeing a glimmer of respect and honor for His holy Laws(?) Go Bro! Ps. Any sense made to you by my response?I mean you agree that can be the only “Law” (1John3:4) means? or do you have another “Law” in mind?

  6. Prodigal Knot Says:

    I agree with you on this Richard, when it comes to presumptuous or intentional sin. I know that I am not perfect, but I don’t believe a true follower of Christ wakes up not having the intention of living that day for Christ. Paul says, in Romans 8, that we must be spiritually minded. We have to hunger and thrist for righteousness or we will quickly become a nominal believer. And nominal believers soon become unbelievers.

    Too many write off holy living as being about the Law (and your brother here is correct about what Paul is referring to) and not being required of those in Christ. We are free from the Mosaic Law, but we are slaves of the Royal Law (love God first, then your neighbor, then yourself). Every temptation is a choice and we are given the power and the knowledge to make the right ones…if we choose to.

    I like how John plainly states, “If we walk in the light, as He is in the light (THEN) we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 (emphasis mine)

    Cindy is “spot on” about this being how an unsaved person should be able to see that we are “light” and can tell by our conduct that we are “salt”. We have to be different, because it is all we can do. We can’t save anyone ourselves, but we must point them toward the One who can rescue them by being radically godly in this present wicked world. If we’re like everyone else, then we have failed the One who did not fail us.

  7. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Prodigal Knot. that is so true. There is WIDE spread confusion about Paul’s writings. So many think that Paul is discussing ONLY the “Moral Law”. He, infact discusses BOTH. And when he says things that reference “we are no longer under” and “don’t be bound to” it is in definite reference to the “Mosiac law”. I take real joy in trying my best to “keep” the Moral Law. Why? Because Jesus said we “show” we love Him by doing this AND He said He’ll reveal Himself to us once we do this. The “Gospel” must be preached to all, and His truth must be explained to all so that, we as “Christians” know it clearly and THEN we are in a position to “tell the world” of His truth and supreme sacrafice at the cross.

  8. Richard Says:

    godsloveandlaw,
    Well, I love all of God’s laws. The whole word. Jesus’ laws etc.
    We have been through this many times before bro. It’s way more than just the moral laws. Search the book.
    Yes, sin is “lawlessness”. However, His word also has some other definitions of sin.

  9. Richard Says:

    Prodigalknot,
    Very true. Romans 8 is the key. It’s where we need to live.
    I like! The Royal Law of Love! That was Christ’s laws!
    Amen! We are to be different! Light and salt!
    Thanks brother, I could hug ya!

  10. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Bro, that’s what I have been trying to show you all along! Christ’s holy Ten Commandments are His Holy Royal Law of love! They are the true Laws of “love”. And you should love “all” of God’s Laws. But when you say “I love all of them” be sure to know “all ” of them and “do” all of them. You are well read in scripture and must know “all” of them, correct? Or do you really mean to say you love “almost” all of them ? think about it. You admit “sin” is Lawlessness(actual trespassing HIS LAWS), then you agree that when we “trespass” the Law, we sin, correct? Amen Rick! you are getting there. Now, if we, week after week purposely trespass, we week after week “sin” based on your own words. They key word I just said is PURPOSELY. Our growth becomes seriously stunted. After we say we “love” them, are we to then “ignore” them, showing our words empty and without truth? No, it is joy in the heart to know them and MOST IMPORTANTLY to DO them. No man can claim such things as being right with God and purposely sin week after week. They will be deceiving themselves and placing their views ABOVE God’s word! You’ve just admitted— “SIN is trespassing God’s Law’s”. The Mosiac laws not included ofcourse. Is it possible today that many “so called” Christians have this view? Absolutely! Many in their heart say “oh I love God and am above His Laws, they are not important” , sadly.

  11. Richard Says:

    godsloveandlaw,
    Well bro, you missed it again. You missed what I was saying here. This is what happens to people like yourself, when they are so bent on one thing. It is all they can see. It is what drives them.
    Here me out.
    The Ten Commandments are not Christ’s “Law of love”. You need to stop and get off the train and go to see what He taught.
    First off, God’s royal law is, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Ja.2:8) It’s not the “ten”.
    Christ taught us what is the “greatest commandment in the law?” “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.
    There you have it. This is the first and greatest commandment!
    Wait! He went on.
    “And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
    Wait a minute. He is not finished.
    “On these two commandments hang (suspend, summed up) all the Law (there is the “Law” again) and the Prophets.” (Matt.22:36-40)
    We obey the “10”, but we don’t just stop there. We follow Christ into love and that of the “greatest commandments”. We also see how He went beyond the “Vail”. It was “rent” in two. He himself gave examples of how he exceeded the “10” in Matt.5:21-28. He even went into some of the “Levitical laws” and how He exceeded them. They were all “laws”. It not about laws, it’s about Christ! He fulfills and exceeds them!
    Praise Him!
    Love ya brother!

  12. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Oh boy my younger bro! Where should I start? First I did not miss anything. I’ll explain. And yes, I’ll address your points because it’s God’s truth we’re after. I don’t ignore your points like you.

    On your first point “the Ten Commandments are not Christ’s Law of love” Ok, so who did write the “Ten Commandments”? And which one of the “Ten” does not show love to God or to man? Yes, I’m aware of that verse about “royal law” but does mean we throw away the “Ten”?

    On your second point YES! Jesus correctly pointed out the FIRST commandments says “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul” this is indeed the first and greatest Commandment, no dispute here.

    Next, Jesus points out that the second is to love your neighbor as yourself” YES! Look at the first four Commandments– they show “love for God” now, look at the remaining 6. They show LOVE FOR YOUR NEIGHBOR! So, if we obey the “Ten” are we loving God and our fellow man as Jesus said when He SUMMED UP His Ten? If you answer no to this, may God truly open your eyes. Yes, your are correct when you say Jesus “summed up” His Ten in (Matt.22:40) But does summed up mean to change into? or eliminate into? Ofcourse not. If I say I have a five dollar bill and five ones, then they sum up to 10 dollars. Does the 5 dollar bill and five ones disappear? NO! they are still in my pocket but I am telling what they add up to, get it?

    Now, on your last point, I really hate to say this, but brother or not, you are lying! You said “I love all of God’s Laws” and “We obey the 10”. No, you are not. You “say it” just like the Pharisees “said it” but you are NOT doing it. Every week you are BREAKING His Law even despite what you “say”. And I don’t have to tell you which one. Before you start trying to justify this breaking read (Matt 5:19) said by the very Lord you profess to “follow”.

    “Whoever breaks the least of the Commandments and TEACHES other to do so, shall be called least in heaven, but whoever DOES THEM and TEACHES other to do so, shall be called great in heaven”

    Your words, not mine “We obey the Ten”

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