Sin Shall Not Be Your Master!
Romans 6: 11-14
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 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. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Ok, so how are we to grow beyond issues of the flesh? How will we change to be like Christ? What makes this process work? Let’s begin by assuming that the Holy Spirit will convict you of sin. As you learn about God, as you learn about Jesus, as you grow in life experiences you will see areas of your life where the Holy Spirit will call for change.
Do not compare yourself to others, listen to the Holy Spirit and read the Bible seriously. Think in terms of your home life first, then work life and church and friends and community life. Work on your attitude when you are driving, shopping, eating out etc. When you find yourself in need of patience, kindness, love, forgiveness etc, then move in faith and obedience.
What does Paul say here?
- Do Not Let Sin Rule Your Life v.12
God does not give us commands that He will not accomplish through us. We are told to not let sin rule in our lives because we are not meant to be ruled by sin, we are meant to be ruled by the Holy Spirit, to reflect the image of God. And if we will focus our lives on the positive and not feed on the negative, then we can rule over the sin that is in us. The Holy Spirit lives in every person who is a follower of Jesus Christ. We have the power of God and the imprint of His image in us. As we pursue that, we defeat the power of sin in us! Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.
- Sin desires to have you
Genesis 4: 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
What we do without thinking is called a habit. When we do negative things all the time without thinking, then sin has done more than crouch at the door, it has us in its power.
- You must rule over sin
From the very beginning, this is what God told Cain. I think if we really understood the trouble that is passed down from generation to generation because of sin we would seek to rule over it in our own lives.
Realize that when we seek to rule over sin, we will find ourselves in a fight with our own desires. This is why it is easier to sin when we are tired, hungry, or upset. Think about it, why would that be the case? Why is it that positive habits take energy to get started? It is because we are twisted and broken by sin, by our own sin, and by the sin of those who came before us. If our parents were greedy, we will have to fight against greed. If our parents were fearful, we will have to fight against fear. If our parents were sensual, we will have to fight against sensuality, and if our parents were proud and put others down, then we will have to fight against viewing others meanly. Rule over the sin in your life or you will pass it on to your children as well.
- When you see the sin in you choose against it
Ephesians 4: put off, be renewed, put on!
- You have died to sin.
- Sin shall not be your master.
- You are not under law, but under grace.
So use the law to fight against sin from a position of strength!
Giving for greed. In every manifestation of greed, we say that it is not in the holding of this thing that I have what I want, but instead, it is in God holding me and giving to me as He pleases that I am truly free.
Prayer for pride: Prayer is an immediate acknowledgement of our dependence upon God. Prayer of thanksgiving is an immediate acknowledgement of all that God has done in blessing our lives. It keeps us from competing with others. Prayer is how we discover as Jesus did that it is not my will that is best. It is through prayer that we discover that the Apostle Paul did that God’s power is made manifest in our weakness! The truth is that when we are weak, then we are strong!!
Fasting for sensual indulgences. If you really like it and it feels good, then spend time without it on purpose. Learn to appreciate the reality that you can live without a certain pleasure, but also realize that it is God that made things pleasurable. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. We are not called to be ascetics! Self-control is NOT THE AVOIDANCE OF PLEASURE. Self-control is pleasure in its proper perspective.
- Offer the Parts of Your Rescued Body to God
This means sacrifice! That is what an offering is. This means that in the moment you may not want to do this. Do it anyway. If you believe that ultimately that your desires will change, then you will have hope and faith that the sacrifice is not just building up pressure. Once you start a different pathway, then you will discover a different life down that pathway.
- Offer your eyes
There is a connection between eyes and desire. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus says something similar in…
Matthew 5: 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
- Offer your hands
Obviously, this is also included in that verse from Matthew 5 about adultery. But, what else do we do with our hands? A shoddy job? Do we reflect laziness? Do we harm others? Do we harm the environment? Paul specifically reflects on theft in Ephesians 4: 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
- Offer your mouths
Phil 4: 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I Thes 5: 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Power of the tongue in James.
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks– Jesus
- Offer your minds
Phil 4: 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Phil 2: 5 Have this attitude in yourself that was also in Christ Jesus.
Don’t be self-centered. Consider the needs of others in your life. Don’t merely look out for your own interests.
Col 3: Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Romans 12: 1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
III. Sin Shall Not Be Your Master
This is not a maybe! If sin is your master, then make the Holy Spirit your master. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, to fill you, to empower you to do God’s will. Then turn from the negative actions that you are drawn toward. Begin by doing nothing, and then find positive actions to replace the negative behaviors.
- God wants to be your Master
This is our created relationship. He is potter, we are the clay.
- God is committed to your best life
John 10: 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Phil 1: 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Phil 2: 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Paul does not state this as if you will be losing. Not at all. There is a struggle to be had, but when we realize that we meet God in the struggle, that we know God better, that we discover His love, that we find His power, then we will overcome!
- You are not under law, but under grace
Having been forgiven, we have confidence in our relationship with God in spite of our struggles. There is every reason to believe that we will overcome, and not over the power of our enemies without, but over the power of the habitual sin that is in us.