Romans 6:13
Do not present the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and present the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness.
Sermons
Alternating Between Amendment and RelapseRomans 6:13
Christians Serving God as Those that are Alive from the DeadM. Jackson.Romans 6:13
Gospel ServiceT. Chalmers, D. D.Romans 6:13
Self-Devotion a Christian DutyJ. Benson.Romans 6:13
Surrender Must be CompleteJ. Harris.Romans 6:13
Surrender Must be UnconditionalRomans 6:13
Surrender of the Soul to GodJ. Cook.Romans 6:13
Surrender to GodU. R. Thomas.Romans 6:13
Yield unto GodR. Walker.Romans 6:13
YieldingJ. Wells, M. A.Romans 6:13
Yielding the Members as InstrumentsT. Robinson, D. D.Romans 6:13
Yielding to GodEmilius Bayley, B. D.Romans 6:13
Yielding to GodT. Robinson, D. D.Romans 6:13
Yielding to GodJ. Wells, M. A.Romans 6:13
Yielding unto GodBaptist Noel, M. A.Romans 6:13
The Practical Power of the ResurrectionC.H. Irwin Romans 6:1-14
Alive unto GodW. Birch.Romans 6:11-14
Christians Dead unto Sin and Alive unto GodW. Jay.Romans 6:11-14
Dead But AliveC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 6:11-14
Dead to Sin and Alive unto GodT. Chalmers, D. D.Romans 6:11-14
Dead to Sin and Alive unto God Through ChristC. G. Finney, D. D.Romans 6:11-14
Dead to Sin, Alive to GodCanon Vernon Hutton.Romans 6:11-14
Death a DutyD. Thomas, D. D.Romans 6:11-14
Dying to Sin and Living to GodMarcus Dods, D. D.Romans 6:11-14
Dying to Sin and Living unto GodD. Moore, M. A.Romans 6:11-14
Dying to Sin and Living unto GodJ. Lyth, D. D.Romans 6:11-14
Holiness the Church's LifeT. W. Jenkyn, D. D.Romans 6:11-14
Life in DeathSt. J. A. Frere.Romans 6:11-14
The Burial of the PastBp. Temple.Romans 6:11-14
The Transfer of Life to GodJ. Hamilton.Romans 6:11-14
The Two DominionsT.F. Lockyer Romans 6:12-14
The Reign of GraceR.M. Edgar Romans 6:12-23


A renewed application of the subject just discussed. The reign of sin; the reign of grace. I. THE REIGN OF SIN.

1. The self yielded to sin. Man's higher self - reason, conscience, and will - should dominate over the "soul" and the "flesh," the mere passions and lusts; man's spirit should be king. But the true self has been discrowned, and the lower self - the lusts - has gained the mastery. And in this false mastery of the flesh, sin reigns. Oh, degradation! we are led in chains, and sin lords it over us!

2. The members yielded to unrighteousness. Man's lower nature should be the instrument of the higher, for the working of all that is just and good. In Paul's philosophy of human nature the "body" is synonymous with all the active life; and is not the activity of our whole life to be used subordinately to the dictates of the enlightened will? But the activity of life is yielded to the usurping power of sin, instrumental to unrighteousness.

II. THE REIGN OF GRACE.

1. The self yielded to God. Man is not an irresponsible ruler of his own nature; his sovereignty is delegated by God. And only in absolute devotion to God does he realize a true self-conquest. God claims again possession of the spirit which has been torn from him by the power of sin. The claim is one of authority; but the authority is the authority of love.

2. The members yielded to righteousness. God requires the homage of the heart; he also requires the service of the life. Only through the heart can the life be rightly swayed. "Not under law." A resurrection, and a resurrection-power. Yes, because he lives, we may live also! But the appropriation of this power is of man: "Present yourselves." Here is the marvellous gift of human freedom, which may be a freedom unto death; but there is the boundless power of love and life! Therefore choose life, that thou mayest live! - T.F.L.









Neither yield ye yourselves as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God.
Yielding is an image carried over from the world of matter into the world of mind. In every case of yielding you have pressure meeting with resistance and overcoming it. Note then —

I. THE PRESSURE. There are many kinds of pressure. When your shoe pinches you it presses upon one small point only, but the kindly pressure of the air is upon every part of your body. And such is Heaven's gentle pressure upon your soul. God presses us through —

1. The experiences of life. These Romans before their yielding were great pleasure seekers, and Paul asks what they had gained by it all. The answer is, nothing but shame and death (vers. 21, 23). They were like their own Caesar, who, when at the height of his glory, asked, "And is this all?" tells us that the pressure of disgust at heathen pleasures brought him to the yielding point, and that many young men in his day had the same experience. And life is the same in every age. At a Jewish wedding the priest places an empty wineglass on the floor, and the bridegroom, setting his heel open it, splinters it into fragments. The strange custom is meant to remind the newly married pair that their earthly happiness is just as fragile. If so, we must ask whether there is no cup for mortals that call never be broken. Thus life puts upon us a strong pressure which should make us yield unto God.

2. His law. This Epistle is full of this pressure. It says, You are under God's law and you ought to obey it. But you are ever breaking it. What, then, are you to do? Escape from its terrors there is none but by yielding. The law drives the law breaker into the open arms of the Law fulfiller.

3. His love. Paul has very great faith in the power of this pressure. He states all the facts of Christ's life and death, and shows how they all reveal God's kindness to sinners. He does everything to win attention to Christ's redeeming love, for he knows how it can bring the soul up to the bending temperature. Often the quietest and gentlest influences conquer resistance that defies all other pressure. Arctic explorers frozen in amid blocks of ice would fain set themselves free by main force, but in vain. But the sun at length smiles upon the stubborn snow mountain, and grim winter lets go his hold and quietly yields. Thus the resistance of our frozen hearts is melted away by Divine love.

4. In pressing a man towards Christ the Holy Spirit often unites these three and other kinds of pressure.

II. MAN'S RESISTANCE.

1. There is a resistance called vis inertia, i.e., the power of doing nothing. That rock which came thundering down the hill, and now blocks the highway by its dead weight, overcomes all the pressure one hundred men can bring to bear upon it. And some offer a rock-like resistance to God. Their habits are all against God, and they won't consider whether their habits should be changed. Habit is the Latin word habet; it has them. They are slaves with a wish to be free.

2. But others resist of set purpose. The murderers of Stephen were of this class. Some do this who are outwardly respectable; theirs is resistance without violence. Others do not care to hide their resistance. "I hated the gospel," one confessed, "and my soul hissed against it as cold water hisses when it meets fire." The resisting, defying power of man's will is awful. Milton in "Paradise Lost" makes this the explanation of Satan's character. I have read that the physician who attended a dying nobleman, famed for his genius and godlessness, one day overheard him saying, "Shall I yield? Shall I pray?" The physician held in his breath for the answer, as the dying man was not aware that anyone was within earshot. After a pause, the dying poet said, firmly, "No, no weakness!" Ah! there it is; yielding seems weakness to the unhumbled heart. Think of it — a weakness to yield to God and Christ, to eternal truth and mercy!

III. THE YIELDING POINT. That point is reached when man's resistance gives way under God's pressure.

1. The Christian life begins with an act of yielding. The Christian does not yield as the defeated soldier yields to his foe who slays him, but with the consent of all that is within him, as one "alive from the dead." Often a small thing, as it seems to us, makes the happy day that fixes the choice on the Saviour. The turning points of life are like the water partings of great rivers, where a raindrop's destiny is often decided by a breath of wind. While the gentlest touch may make the pressure greater than the resistance, there must be a yielding in every case, and it must be a yielding of the whole man for the whole life. A rich Australian in his youth was a poor plough boy. A free passage was offered to him. By faith in that offer he left his native land, crossed the deep, began life anew, and so became a rich landowner. That offer was to him "a faithful saying and worthy of acceptation," but his belief of it did him no good till he had yielded himself to it in every possible way.

2. The Christian life from beginning to end is a yielding. The Roman Christians had yielded in conversion, and Paul wishes them to rise to the highest life, and his message to them is still, "Yield." They are the best Christians who are best at yielding and who are always, in the yielding mood.

3. The passage (vers. 12-23) is full of military images. The last verse means, "The soldier's wages — the rations — of sin is death," it is not merely a punishment in the future. And the exact meaning of our text is, offer yourselves as volunteers unto God, and all your faculties of mind and body as soldiers' weapons in the cause of holiness. When war breaks out many an officer who might enjoy every luxury at home, who is even an heir to a peerage, offers to serve his country on the battlefield. He offers himself by an act of the will, and the spirit of that act is carried into his whole service. His heart is stirred to its depths by soldierly ambition. Rome was a city of soldiers, and every Roman would thoroughly understand the apostle when he urged them to be the courageous and devoted soldiers of Christ. You see, then, that this yielding is not an abject, spiritless, lazy thing. It is the beginning of a life of great energy. "Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead." Have you ever spent an hour with the convalescent, "alive from the dead"? Did you ever see such zest in the work and enjoyments of life? Well, that should be the spirit of those who have devoted themselves to the service of their God. Almost every verse in this chapter testifies to the apostle's anxiety that they would be whole-hearted in the service of Christ. When Moshesh, the chief of the Basutos, received the missionaries, he advised his chiefs to have one foot in the Church and the other out. But one chief became an earnest Christian, and said to Moshesh, "I put only one foot in the Church at first, as you advised me, but the love of Christ soon drew in my whole body." The apostle counsels each Roman convert to give his whole soul and body. For he who does not yield everything really yields nothing. The true yielder moves together when he moves at all. Calvin chose for his seal and motto a hand holding a heart on fire, with the words, "I give thee all. I keep back nothing." The apostle (ver. 19) pleads with them to serve Christ now as they used to serve Satan.

(J. Wells, M. A.)

I. THE DUTY ITSELF.

1. In general it implies, that whatever we possess, all that we are, or have, or can do, should be consecrated to God, and devoted to His service and honour. The being which we have is derived from Him; every blessing which we enjoy is the fruit of His bounty; every talent with which we are distinguished was freely bestowed by Him. To Him, therefore, they ought to be entirely surrendered, and in the advancement of His glory at all times employed.

2. More particularly, we must yield to God our immortal souls, with all the intellectual powers which they possess.(1) We must dedicate our understanding to the Father of Lights, to be illuminated by Him with saving knowledge, to be employed in contemplating His nature and perfection; above all, to know Jesus, and Him crucified, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.(2) We must dedicate our will to that holy rule of resignation which David expressed when he said, "Here I am, let the Lord do unto me what seemeth good in His sight," and which David's Lord expressed in circumstances infinitely more trying, "Father, not My will, but Thine be done."(3) We must consecrate our memories to be treasures of Divine truth, our affections to the pursuit of those things which are above, our senses to the salutary discipline of self-denial, and our members as instruments of holiness to God.

3. All our possessions and enjoyments must be devoted to God.

II. FOR WHAT PURPOSES WE ARE THUS TO YIELD OURSELVES UNTO GOD.

1. We are to yield ourselves to God, to do whatsoever He commands; in all instances of duty, to give a prompt and cheerful obedience to His authority.

2. We must yield ourselves to God not only to do but to suffer His will. We are already in the hand of God, by our essential dependence; let us likewise be so by our own consent and choice. This is the true balm of life. It is this that softens adversity, and alleviates the load of sorrow. In this we unite the noblest duty which we can perform, and the most precious benefit which we can reap.

3. We must yield ourselves to God, to be disposed of by His providence, as to our lot and condition in the world.

4. As we must be resigned to the will of God with respect to our outward lot, so we must be satisfied with His disposal, as to the measure of spiritual gifts which He is pleased to bestow on us. Should He make us but as the foot, we must be as well contented as if He had made us the hand or the head, and rejoice that we are found qualified for being even the least honourable member in Christ's mystical body.

III. THE MANNER IN WHICH WE OUGHT TO PERFORM THIS DUTY OF YIELDING OURSELVES UNTO GOD.

1. Before we can perform this duty in an acceptable manner, it is necessary that we have just views both of God and of ourselves. We must yield ourselves to God like condemned rebels, who cast themselves on the mercy of their sovereign. Yet, while sensible of our miserable state, we must also have a view of those riches of mercy which are open to the chief of sinners.

2. We must yield ourselves unto God with serious, attentive, and awakened minds. We must remember that yielding ourselves to God will involve in it the renouncing of many favourite engagements, the performing of many difficult duties, and the mortifying of many desires, which hitherto, perhaps, it has been the whole plan of our lives to gratify.

3. In yielding ourselves unto God, our hearts must be humbled with deep repentance, for having so long gone astray from Him and His service.

4. We must yield ourselves unto God without any secret reserve or limitation, imploring that He may take the full possession of our hearts, and cast out of them whatever opposeth or exalteth itself against Him.

5. All this must be done with an explicit regard to the Lord Jesus Christ, through whom alone we have access to the Father.

IV. ENFORCE THE EXHORTATION BY SOME MOTIVES AND ARGUMENTS.

1. Need I represent to you the necessity of this duty? Can you withdraw yourselves from being the property of God as His creatures? Can you evade the dispensations of His providence, or snatch from Him those issues of life and death which are, uncontrollably in His hands?

2. Consider the reasonableness of this duty. If there is reasonableness in acknowledging our debts, and in being thankful for our benefits; if there is reasonableness in submitting to be guided by unerring wisdom, and to be disposed of by infinite goodness; it is that we should yield ourselves to that God who made us, who preserves and hath redeemed us, and hath pledged His faithfulness to conduct all those to happiness who put their confidence in Him.

3. And this leads me to the last argument which I shall use for enforcing this exhortation, which is the advantage with which it will be attended. At the same time that we yield ourselves to God, He gives Himself to us in all the fulness of His grace.

(R. Walker.)

I. YIELD. Present: allusion to entrance on military service.

II. YIELD WHAT? "Your members." The whole man, more especially the bodily members, which are the organs of internal principles.

III. WHAT as? "Instruments" — weapons, arms. The members are weapons used on one side or the other of the conflict between sin and righteousness; employed in the service of one or other of two masters or sovereigns. The body is an arsenal of arms or a warehouse of tools for good or evil.

(T. Robinson, D. D.)

The word "yield" in Luke 2:22 means "present," and so it does in Acts 23:23, 24, and in Ephesians 5:27. "Yielding," then, is to present ourselves to God as His servants, His property, wholly consecrated to Him. Consider —

I. THE REASONS WHY IT IS OUR DUTY TO YIELD OURSELVES UNTO GOD. Because —

1. He is absolute sovereign, and we must do His will. It is obviously, therefore, the greatest folly and danger to have a will opposed to Him in any respect.

2. He is of infinite excellence. He not only must and will rule, but He ought to rule. Who should possess supreme power but that Being who is wise, generous, patient, faithful, true, and infinitely so beyond all His creatures?

3. He has absolute right to rule. For whom ought all our faculties and powers to be employed but for Him who is their Maker? To what can we trace our blessings but to His bounty? He made these faculties and the objects around us so exactly suited to our wants.

4. He has redeemed us. Far less benefit than this bestowed by a fellow creature would make us yield ourselves as debtors to him all our lives.

5. Our best interests in time and in eternity are involved in this step. To refuse to obey this command is to refuse to be enriched by His bounty, to be preserved by His care, to taste of His love, and to enjoy His glory.

II. THE EXTENT OF THIS COMMAND. It does not mean that you are to submit your power, though you must do that. God will not suffer any of His creatures eventually to persevere in opposition to Him; and therefore we are now, before that moment of compulsion comes, called to submit.

1. It is His revealed will that each sinner who hears the gospel should believe on His Son, look for sanctification of his nature through the work of the Holy Spirit, depend on Him to bring him to everlasting happiness, and come to an unreserved obedience to the whole of His law who is our rightful Lord.

2. But this is not all. The passage obviously means, "Present yourselves a living sacrifice to God." While it requires us to resign ourselves absolutely to the whole will of God, it calls upon us to give Him all our faculties, and to devote our affections to Him. He has planted in us the powers of fear, of hope, of desire, of delight, of love: it is His will that all these affections, especially the master affection, love, should be occupied chiefly with Him; we are to love Him supremely, and all the rest will follow. He who yields himself to God, yields all his property, his influence, his time, whatever he possesses, for it is God's.

(Baptist Noel, M. A.)

I. THE PRECEPT. To yield implies that two persons have been opposed one to the other, and that now one submits to the other. This submission may be a willing or unwilling, unreserved or reserved, permanent or temporary.

1. As between man and God, to yield implies that there is a great gulf which sin has caused to exist between man and God. There is no love to God in man's natural heart. Hence the unrest and misery of so many men. They are not at peace with God.

2. Into the midst of this moral chaos God has descended, and in the person of His Son has opened a way by which the sinner may be received back to God. And hence the language of God to the sinner is, "Be ye reconciled." "Yield yourselves unto God."

3. This submission must be accompanied by heartfelt sorrow for, and a determination to forsake sin, and faith in Christ.

4. It must be a willing submission. There must be no reserve, no condition, no hanging back.

5. It must be a permanent submission, not only for the present, but for the future, for time and for eternity.

II. WHY IT SHOULD BE OBEYED. "Yield" because —

1. It is your duty. There is in the hearts of Englishmen a strong feeling of the principle of duty. That famous signal — "England expects every man to do his duty," rings through the hearts of thousands when they hear it. And it is that which carries the Englishman wherever his country calls him. But, alas! there may be a sense of duty as regards man, and no such sense as regards God. But still remember that it is your duty.(1) God is your Creator. Why were you called into being? Go and ask yon tiny insect and yon blade of grass, which, if they could speak would say, "For God." And for what is the most wonderful of God's creatures except to obey Him?(2) God is your king. Satan exercises a mighty power, but his is an usurped dominion.(3) God is your benefactor. Whence your life, health, comforts? Whence the forbearance, the goodness through the mercy of God to you?(4) If you are not yielding yourselves unto God you are yielding yourself to some false god. It is impossible that man can serve two masters.

2. It is our life.(1) Forgiveness is life. As long as a man has unforgiven sin upon his conscience, that man is dead in the sight of God. There is free and unconditional forgiveness promised to all who believe in the Saviour.(2) The new birth is life. Have you ever thirsted for this life? It is told us of the wounded upon the field of Waterloo, that what they longed for during that terrible night, was not the relief which surgical aid could afford, not an escape from that bloody field, but simply water to quench their burning thirst. Have you, beneath a sense of sin, a sense of your wounds thirsted for the water of life? "Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters."

3. It is your death if you refuse to yield (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46).

III. THERE ARE MANY WAYS IN WHICH IT MAY BE MET.

1. By obedience. But you may ask, "How am I to do it?" Just as the Lord Jesus said to the man with the withered hand, "Stretch forth thy hand," and the man stretched it forth and it was whole; so, in the same way, if a sinner present feels guilty and helpless, and hears the word of command, and makes the effort, praying for the Divine assistance, seeking to obey the precept, that man will find the needed help afforded him. Just as when Peter was sinking beneath the waves, and cried out, "Lord, save me," and the Lord caught the sinking apostle, do you say, from the bottom of your heart, now, at this moment, "Lord, save me"; and in the effort you shall find that God does save you.

2. By a refusal, "We will not have this Man to reign over us." "I love pleasure; I dislike self-denial and religious efforts." Now, I would not deny that there are such things as the pleasures of sin; but remember they are for a season only. Afterwards, there is "the worm that dieth not," etc. But I doubt whether you do find that those pleasures of sin satisfy you. "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." And though there may be the noisy laugh, and the outward appearance of indifference, yet I believe that no one can hear God's word and remain in indifference, without some qualms of conscience, some dread of eternity. Oh, then, beware how you say, "I will not yield." "See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh," etc.

3. By attempting a compromise; by delay, for example. You wish for time. Now, there is no such thing as neutrality in religion. There may be neutrality as between states; between man and man; but there is no such thing as neutrality in the case of man's service to God. "He that is not with Me, is against Me." Besides, if you now despise the mercy of God, and use the promise of mercy as an excuse for continuance in sin, what right have you to expect that God will continue to show mercy? You may say, "Was there not mercy for that man who entered the vineyard at the eleventh hour, and for the thief upon the cross?" Their case was altogether different from yours. The instance of a delayed repentance is very different from the case of a late repentance. They had not had the invitation and warning before as you have. Besides, how do you know that at any future time you will be one whir more willing? The chances are, humanly speaking, that you will be less willing. It is told of one who gained his livelihood by searching the nests which were built in the cliff, that upon being let down from the summit, he gained a footing on a jutting crag beneath. He suddenly let go the rope by which he had descended. His position was most critical. The rope was swaying backwards and forwards in the air, and each time it came less near to him than before. He saw his danger; he saw the necessity of instant decision. He must either seek to grasp it by jumping from his crag, or it may be lost forever. There was no time; it must be done at once. He did it. He sprang from his crag; he seized upon the rope, and he was saved. And so, if you are conscious that at this moment you are an unsaved sinner, you have but one course open to you. It is that you now yield yourself to God. "Behold, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."

(Emilius Bayley, B. D.)

I. YIELD. Free enlistment to God as our lawful sovereign. No forced service: a willing heart the best sacrifice (2 Corinthians 9:7). Willingness of spirit and weakness of flesh accepted (Mark 14:38). The work done not so much regarded as the will to do it.

II. YOURSELVES. Not merely your estate. The whole man (1 Thessalonians 5:23). The Macedonians first gave themselves, then their substance (2 Corinthians 8:5). Self surrender the fruit of love. Love's language is Psalm 116:16. The heart is man's citadel. That surrendered the whole man yields. All our offerings worthless without ourselves (Proverbs 23:26). Ananias gave his goods, not himself. To yield ourselves wholly to God is the conquest of His grace. Christ's people a free will offering in the day of His power (Psalm 110:3). The means of effecting it, the constraining power of His love (2 Corinthians 5:14).

III. UNTO GOD.

1. Your rightful sovereign.

2. The best of masters.

3. Your Father through Christ. Not to yield ourselves to God is to yield ourselves to sin.

(T. Robinson, D. D.)

In 1845 Hugh Miller, as he tells us in his "First Impressions of England," visited Olney, the home of the poet Cowper. It was then a Babel of blackguards. He thought that all the bad-looking fellows in England had been drawn together there. Two prize fighters, named Bendigo and Caunt, were about to fight for the championship and three hundred guineas. After ninety-three rounds Bendigo beat. Hugh Miller saw him after the fight standing at the door of a whisky shop, with his face all bruised. What would Hugh have said if anyone had prophesied that that battered pugilist should be "born again" in his old age, and become an earnest student of the Bible, and worker for Christ? The idea of that man taking to the Bible! Not very likely. Like Sarah, he might have laughed at the prophecy. The scene changes. Thirty years have passed, and Bendigo is now about sixty years of age, and is in gaol for the twenty-seventh time. One Sabbath he hears in prison an address on David and Goliath. Bendigo listened, as the subject was just in his line. He understood it all: Goliath was just another Caunt. He forgot where he was, so interested was he; and at the close bawled out, "Bravo, I'm glad the little 'un won." He kept thinking about it in his cell, and decided that somebody must have helped the little one to kill the big giant. Next Sabbath the sermon was on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He fancied that the name of the third was Bendigo and said to himself, "If one Bendigo may be saved, why not another?" The subject for the following day was "The Twelve Fishermen"; again he was thoroughly interested, as he was a keen fisher himself. The next sermon was about the seven hundred left-handed men in the twentieth chapter of Judges; once more he is all ear, being himself a left-handed man. The Bible seemed to him a very strange book; it was all written for himself! Upon getting out of gaol he found his old companions waiting for him; but he declared that he would never enter another public house. He went to a mission meeting; and that very night, on his way home, he fell on his knees in the snow, and yielded himself to the Saviour. He had been in twenty-one matched fights, and had not been beaten in one; "but," said he, "when I came to the Cross of Christ, I was quite beat at the first round." He was then doing his desperate utmost to master the A B C, that be might be able to read God's blessed book; and he wound up, the reporter said, by declaring, "If God could save Bendy, He could save anybody."

(J. Wells, M. A.)

The apostle has just warned his readers not to surrender their limbs and bodily organs to sin as the conquered surrender their weapons to the conqueror. Now he is pressing upon them to whom they should surrender, not only their limbs and organs, but their whole being, their very selves. We notice that such surrender —

I. FULFILS THE SUPREME DUTY OF LIFE. It is surrender —

1. To the rightful Sovereign of the soul.

2. To the loving Father.

3. To the sacrificial Redeemer, and therefore —

4. To the absolute Proprietor of the soul. So that whatever, other duties a man discharges if this surrender is neglected, or defied, he is unloyal, unfilial, a moral felon.

II. REALISES THE HIGHEST SATISFACTION OF LIFE. A man may yield labour, time, money to God, and find no satisfaction; but if he yields his very self, the needle has found the magnet, the river has reached the ocean, and there is rest. Why? Because in that surrender —

1. The self contradictions of human hearts are harmonised. The harp of human nature is then in the hand of the Infinite Harpist.

2. The intellect becomes the docile scholar of the True Teacher. "Speak Lord, for Thy servant heareth."

3. Conscience has accepted the Perfect Guide.

III. ENSURES THE NOBLEST USEFULNESS OF LIFE. It was this that made Paul what he was. All things answer their highest ends just as they are completely within the realm of law, i.e., just as they are most completely surrendered to God. Conclusion: To those who surrender themselves to God —

1. The enigma of duty is solved.

2. The secret of peace is found.

3. The way to usefulness is discovered.

(U. R. Thomas.)

It is related in Roman history, that when the people of Collatia stipulated about their surrender to the authority and protection of Rome the question was asked, "Do you deliver up yourselves, the Collatine people, your city, your fields, your water, your bounds, your temples, your utensils, all things that are yours, both human and Divine, into the hands of the people of Rome?" And on their replying, "We deliver up all," they were received.

(J. Harris.)

At the battle of Fort Donelson, when ready for the final assault, General Buckner, the Confederate commander, proposed an armistice to settle terms of capitulation. Grant wanted no armistice. He knew his advantage, and replied, "No terms but unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon incomparably superior to their own, the Tusculans were threatened with vengeance by the marching of Camillus, at the head of a considerable army, towards their country. Conscious of their inability to cope with such an adversary, they adopted the following method of appeasing him: — They declined to make resistance, set open their gates, and applied themselves quietly to their proper business, resolving to submit since they found it impossible to contend. Camillus, on entering their city, was struck with their prudence, and spake as follows: "You only, of all people, have found out the true method of abating the Roman fury; and your submission has proved your best defence. Upon these terms we can no more find it in our hearts to injure you, than, upon other considerations, you could have found power to oppose us." Thus the chief inducement for a sinner to submit to God is a persuasion that He is not inexorable, but that there is forgiveness with Him through Jesus Christ.

I. THE STATE OF THOSE HERE ADDRESSED.

1. As the apostle did not speak to disembodied spirits, or to persons literally raised he must refer to a spiritual resurrection. Nor does he speak of such as have escaped great dangers, or been recovered from great afflictions, although these may, in a sense, be said to be "alive from the dead." But he speaks of a resurrection from a death of sin to a life of righteousness. This death is alluded to in Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 2:1.

2. To be alive from this death includes repentance unto life (Acts 11:18); living faith, whereby the just live (Hebrews 10:38); justification of life (Romans 5:18); regeneration; the being "risen with Christ," even from temporal death, and to eternal life, as it respects a title to, meetness for, expectation, prospect, and anticipation of it.

II. THE EXHORTATION GIVEN TO THEM.

1. "Yield yourselves," exhibit, present, place as a sacrifice at the altar. That which we are to present is not merely our prayers, praises, alms, duties, but "ourselves," our persons, souls and bodies, to God, who does not want "ours but us," that we may belong to Him, may be appropriated to Him only. Thus St. Paul (Acts 27:23).

2. But how are we to present ourselves to God? As subjects to a king; as servants to a master (ver. 16); as soldiers to their general — hence the word used for "instruments" denotes, properly, military weapons; as children to a father; as a wife to a husband; as a man's field or house may be said to be at his disposal, to be cultivated or employed as he pleases.

3. Thus we are to yield or present, to God all our members, faculties, talents, time: we should consider they may be "instruments" and weapons "of unrighteousness," employed in the service of sin, fighting for it, and for its master, Satan, against God; or they may be "instruments and weapons of righteousness," employed in the promotion of piety and virtue for God's service and glory, fighting His battles, and opposing the designs of our spiritual enemies.

III. MOTIVES ENFORCING THE EXHORTATION.

1. Justice and reason; we are God's by creation, preservation, redemption.

2. Gratitude to God for His inestimable mercies.

3. Love to man.

4. And even self-interest requires it.

(J. Benson.)

Lady Montagu, in one of her letters, describes in her own peculiar way a stormy passage which she had just made across the Bristol Channel. She tells of a lady on the steamer whose fears were divided between being lost herself and losing her smuggled headdress. She had bought a fine point-lace cap which she was contriving to conceal from the custom house officers. When the wind grew high and the little vessel creaked, she fell very heartily to her prayers, and thought wholly of her soul. When it seemed to abate she returned to the worldly care of her headdress. This easy transition from her soul to her headdress, and the alternate agonies that both gave her, made it hard to determine which she thought of greatest value. This, we fear, is a little picture of many lives as they cross the channel between the two eternities — alternating from amendment to relapse; driven now by some sudden calamity to think of the soul, but with every lull in the dark providence falling back to caress some smuggled habit from the land of sin.

Horace Bushnell was a teacher in Yale College at a time of religious awakening there; and although not an atheist, not an infidel, was greatly disturbed by doctrinal unrest. He was settling his opinions; he was passing through that tumultuous period known in the experience of most diligent inquirers, in which he could raise more questions than he could answer. The pupils under him were profoundly affected by the religious movement in the college. His great manliness, his benevolence, his social feeling, caused him extreme pain in view of the fact that he seemed to stand in the way of the religious reformation of his own scholars. He paced up and down his room, meditating on his personal duty, and finally came to this proposition: "I have no doubt that there is a distinction between right and wrong. I feel sure on that one point; am I willing to act according to my belief? I have perfect confidence that there is a distinction between right and wrong; am I willing to throw myself over the line between the wrong and the right, towards the side of the right, and hereafter consecrate myself irrevocably, utterly, affectionately, to the following of the best religious light I possess?" He knelt down. He consecrated himself to the performance of all duty known to him. He rose with a forehead white, and the light of a star in his soul. Were all his doubts dissipated at an instant's notice? Not at all. But they were like the mighty pines on the mountain tops after the lightning had smitten them. They do not fall, but they cease to grow. They are no longer trees; they are timber. He went on and on, until he came to be a prince with God, one of the leaders of religious discussion, one of the most spiritually-minded of theologians. I do not accept all his speculations; but the element in him that strikes all men who once fairly see it is his spirituality. It strikes even those of a faith opposed to his. I think that our friends in the Liberal school in theology revere the memory of Horace Bushnell for his sermons on the new life as well as for his philanthropic efforts. But the central thing in him, the pillar of fire which led him into the promised land, was surrender to God, or to what he knew to be duty, and to the whole of it. At the instant of irreversible, affectionate surrender, at the instant of that adjustment of the lenses of his soul, God flashed through him.

(J. Cook.)

I. "AS THOSE WHO ARE ALIVE FROM THE DEAD." This cuts up legalism by the roots. To work legally is to work for life; to work evangelically is to work from life. You are not here called upon to enter the service of God, as those who have life to win; but to enter the service of God, as those who are already alive — as those who can count upon heaven as their own. In this expression there are three distinct suggestions all regarding that new gospel service upon which we enter at the moment of our release from the sentence and state of death.

1. The hopefulness of such a service. The same work that, out of Christ, would have been vain for all the purposes of acceptance, is no longer vain in the Lord. The same labour that would have been fruitless may now be fruitful of such spiritual sacrifices as are acceptable to God through Christ. The same offerings which would have been rejected as an equivalent for the wages of a servant may now be rejoiced over and minister complacency to the spirit of our heavenly Father, when rendered as the attentions of His reconciled children.

2. The principle of such a service — gratitude to Him who had received us. "Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price," etc. It is just yielding up to Him in service that which He has conferred upon us by donation. It is turning to its bidden use the instrument He has put into our hands.

3. The power for the service. The faith which receives Christ receives power along with Him to become one of God's children. The instant of our believing is the instant of our new birth. The same faith which reconciles is also the faith which regenerates; and you, in yielding yourselves to the service of God, will be upheld by the influences which descend on the prayer of faith.

II. "AND YOUR MEMBERS AS THE INSTRUMENTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO GOD." How naturally the apostle descends from the high principle to the plain work of obedience! To yield yourselves unto God is a brief expression of that act by which you submit your person and bind over all your performances to His will. To yield your members as the instruments of righteousness unto God is, in the language of the lawyers, like an extension of the brief. Did you at one time put forth your hand to depredation or violence — now let it be the instrument of service to your neighbour and honest labour for your families. Did your feet carry you to the haunts of profligacy — now let them carry you to the house of prayer and of holy companionship. Did your tongue utter forth evil speakings — let it now be the organ of charity and peace, and let the salt of grace season its various communications. Did your eyes go abroad in quest of foolishness — let the steadfast covenant now be made with them that they may be turned away from every intruding evil. Did you give your ears to the corrupting jest, or to the refined converse that is impregnated with every charm but that of Christianity — let them now be given up to the lessons of eternal wisdom, and to the accents of those who fear the Lord and talk often together of His name. In this way you turn your members into so many instruments of righteousness.

(T. Chalmers, D. D.)

As, then, Lazarus, or the son of the poor widow of Nain, or the saints which arose after the crucifixion of Christ, must have conceived, and felt, and acted, under impressions peculiarly their own; so those who are spiritually alive from the dead, who are quickened by the Divine Spirit, have conceptions, and feelings, and impressions, which distinguish them from the rest of mankind; we may observe, then —

I. Christians, as those that are alive from the dead, are to yield themselves unto God, WITH LIVELY PERCEPTIONS OF THE THINGS WHICH ARE NOT SEEN AND ETERNAL. Had the earthly house of your tabernacle been dissolved, and your spirits permitted to take their flight to an eternal world, and for a season to dwell there; with what vivid perceptions of Divine things should you afterwards have yielded yourselves unto God! Oh, how subduing would be the visions of heaven! And are not you Christians alive from the dead? Has not God quickened you? Has He not given you that faith which is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen? Is not your conversation in heaven? Have you not obtained affecting, realising views of an eternal world? Calculating everything by the standard of God manifest in the flesh, God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, living, and dying, and rising, and ascending, and interceding for men, what impressions do you receive? What an overwhelming evil does sin appear, what an importance attaches to the soul, and to heaven, and eternity, and holiness, and everything connected with the inheritance of the saints in light! By enlightening your understandings, God has given you an impulse, a new nature, and has awakened your consciences, and engaged your affections, and made obedience, and zeal, and devotedness delightful. Then quench not the heavenly light, counteract not the heavenly impulse, resist not the Divine nature, but yield yourselves unto God, by dying unto sin, by living unto God, by glorifying God with your bodies, and with your spirits which are God's.

II. Christians, as those that are alive from the dead, are to yield themselves unto God, UNDER A SENSE OF DIVINE FAVOUR AND WITH SENTIMENTS OF GRATITUDE AND JOY. If you are alive from the dead, it is all gain and no loss. How much do you owe to God and Christ, and the riches of His grace! You were earthly, sensual, devilish; now you are pure, peaceable, without partiality, and without hypocrisy; full of mercy and of good fruits. You were children of the wicked one; now you are children of God. Once you were condemned; now there is no condemnation to you. You are now the children of God, and the inheritance is yours. You have nothing, however, in all this that you have not received. All is of grace, When you can determine what you owe to God, and to Christ, and His grace; then you have ascertained your obligations to God in being alive from the dead. Oh, what an impelling, absorbing gratitude, should influence your hearts, and souls, your thoughts, your words, and works.

III. Christians, as those that are alive from the dead, are to yield themselves unto God THAT THEY MAY BE INSTRUMENTAL IN CONVINCING OTHERS OF THE REALITY OF THINGS NOT SEEN. You are designed to live a life so spiritual, so holy, so heavenly, a life which so marks your connection with eternity, that you may, by that, testify to your brethren, and save their souls alive; this will be no less efficacious than miracles, and signs, and wonders. Your own personal salvation is not the only thing connected with religion which you are to care about, and to promote. Higher aims are to be yours; for you are designed for higher and nobler purposes. You are to show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into the marvellous light of the gospel. You are to be to the Lord for a name; for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

(M. Jackson.)

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