April 21, 2013

Romans 6:13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

This is an enormously important Scripture, especially in current society. There are many who tell us that our purpose is physical pleasure: if it feels good, do it. They even push us to do things that initially don’t feel good, and try to teach us to take pleasure in them. At the same time, they have managed to create an environment, at least in the US, where it is not “politically correct” to say that any of that is wrong. Our physical bodies were created by God, and as such are beautiful and good. However, the devil hates God and hates us because God loves us, and he does all he can to contaminate and destroy that which God created. How we use our bodies is our choice, and is not “genetically determined.” This is what Paul is talking about here. We have all sorts of impulses from various sources, but whether we act on them is our choice. The devil doesn’t want us to know that! This isn’t all negative, either. We aren’t simply not to offer our bodies to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, we are to actively offer our bodies to God as His instruments of righteousness. The results are worlds better! And believe it or not, they are ultimately far more satisfying and, yes, enjoyable than the results of rebellion against God. “Party animals” actually live very empty, unpleasant lives even in this world, and of course, the outcome is eternal desolation and death. In contrast, someone who is actively committed to God has peace, joy, and satisfaction that others only dream of, and an eternity in heaven to look forward to.

This is something I’ve experienced from both sides (except for the “eternity” part!). I’ve experienced the peace, joy, and satisfaction to the point that someone who is active in a non-Christian religion has repeatedly brought people to meet me because he “wanted them to meet someone who enjoyed living.” That’s certainly not to say that I haven’t had problems, and sometimes plenty of them; we all live in a fallen world. However, I have certainly experienced what Jesus said in John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” I have no trouble recommending being “instruments of righteousness” to anyone! However, I find that the “offering” part is not simply a one-time transaction; it needs to be daily, at least. I personally have Communion every morning, taking a crumb of unleavened bread before drinking tea or coffee or cola to get my eyes fully open. As I receive the bread, I thank Jesus for giving His body for me, and I renew the commitment of my body to Him, and then I receive the drink as the new covenant in His blood. I’m very thankful the Lord led me to start doing this years ago. (If unleavened bread is not available, I use whatever is.) I know that in my weakness, this has been a real help in keeping me on track.

Father, thank You yet again for Your grace. Thank You for meeting me where I am, loving me as I am, and drawing me to be what You created me to be. May I be an effective instrument of righteousness in Your hands, working Your works for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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