Topic: Believer’s Responsibilities in Sanctification
Text: Romans 6:11-23
Memory verse: Romans 6:22
From our previous study on the theme of Sanctification, we learnt that the Christian’s secret of victory over the old sinful nature is found in our obeying those three commands from God. These are knowing, reckoning and yielding. The Knowing responsibility has therefore been explained. It was discovered that the first key to walking in victory over sin is knowing who we are in Christ. That is the believer is dead to sin (verse 2), the old nature has been crucified (verse 6) and is also freed from sin (verse 7). Today’s lesson continues the theme of Sanctification with particular emphasis on the role of reckoning and yielding.
To reckon simply means to consider, count, calculate, take into account. It is not enough merely to know our new position in Jesus. We must, by faith, reckon it to be true in our own lives. Reckoning is simply a step of faith that says, “What God says about me in the Bible is now true in my life. I am crucified with Jesus.” Reckoning is faith in action, resting upon the Word of God in spite of our circumstances or feelings. God does not tell us to crucify ourselves, but rather to believe that we have been crucified and that “the old man” has been put to death. We cannot crucify ourselves – we must be crucified by another. Reckoning is that step of faith that believes God’s Word and His promises and acts upon them.
To yield means to present/offer one’s self. If believers truly reckon themselves dead to sin, then they will prove their faith by yielding themselves to God. This is step three in the process of getting victory over the old nature. Notice the stern words “Do not let” in verse 12. This yielding is an act of our own will, a step of obedience to the Lord. It is not enough to know this wonderful doctrine, or even to reckon on it. We must take this final step of yielding the members of our bodies to Jesus the Lord.
In verses 16-23, Paul gives the example of master and slave. No man can serve two masters. Before we were saved, we regularly yielded [“presented” or “offered”] ourselves to sin, and were slaves to sin. Consequently we received the “wages” of sin—death (verse 23). But now that we have received Jesus as Savior, we have been made free from sin. Thus, our new position in Jesus gives us a new Master as well as a new nature.
We are now slaves to righteousness instead of slaves to sin. As we yield the members of the body to Jesus as His “tools” (“instruments”- verse 13), then He comes to control our lives, and we bear fruit to holiness (verse 22). The believer who deliberately yields himself to sin will commit sin and reap sorrow. Why should sin be our master when we have died to sin? Why must we be obedient to a master that has already been defeated by the Messiah, the Lord of all?
Believers who deliberately sin are people who have yielded themselves to the sin nature instead of to the Holy Spirit. They are living beneath their exalted position in Jesus. They are living like slaves when they could be reigning like kings.
It is important that we keep these three steps in order. We cannot yield to God and get victory over the sin nature unless we first reckon ourselves to be dead to sin and alive in Jesus. But we cannot reckon ourselves dead unless we know our position in Jesus. Satan does not want us to live up to our high position in Jesus, so he tries to confuse us about our victory. He does not want us to know who we are in the Lord Jesus and what our position is in Him. It is not enough to know that the Messiah died for us. We must also know that we died in Him. It is not enough to know that we have a new nature within – we must also know that the old nature was crucified on the cross.
From Romans Chapter 6, we have learnt that the responsibilities of knowing, reckoning and yielding are three steps that lead to daily victory over the sin nature. We are slaves, not of sin, but of righteousness. We enjoy life and find our true freedom in the Lord. The answer to the problem of sin is not simply determination, discipline, reformation or any other human effort. Victory comes through crucifixion and resurrection and that is what Jesus has done for us. For that reason, the sin nature has been crucified.
- Explain the statement that, “It is not enough to know who we are in Christ. We must reckon.”
- What makes believers sometimes become slaves to sin?
- Believers who deliberately yield to sin are living like slaves when they could be reigning like kings. Do you agree?