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Romans 6:13 "Death to Life" (Breastplate of Righteousness - Week 2)

Romans 6:13

Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. (ESV)

Dive Deeper:

At the beginning of this passage, Paul poses a question that we are all familiar with, he asks, “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?” (v.1) In the face of temptation, we might come to the conclusion that we are covered by grace and use it as an excuse to continue on in sin, but Paul says, “OF COURSE NOT! “Do not let sin control how you live; do not give in to sinful desires.” (v. 12) The entirety of this passage is interwoven with the idea of being dead to sin and alive with Christ, and it’s summed up beautifully in this week's verse. We see that two things must occur in a true disciple: death and life.

Dead to Sin

First, we die. We were all once servants of sin; our bodies were weapons of unrighteousness. We were lost and wandering. Even though we might have a perceived freedom, we were enslaved by our desires and flesh. Sin was our master, and we served it. Then, entered true freedom: Jesus. For those of us who have surrendered to the work of Christ, and as Romans 6 says, we were joined with Him, and, through baptism, were buried with Him in His death. Just as those who have passed on are physically buried, we, too, are buried with Christ and are cut off from the world and the life of sin. Sin has lost any power that it once had over us.

Alive in Christ

Secondly, we are brought to life. We are united, not only with Christ in His death but with His resurrection. Therefore, we not only leave the world but also enter back into it completely and utterly transformed. The life we once lived is the life we live no longer. We were one way, and now we are another. Christ rose Lazarus from the dead physically, but later, he died again. But, when Christ rose, He died and rose once and for all, never to die again, so that we may also live in newness of life. Our spiritual resurrection, likewise, is meant to bring us to life once and for all. (2 Cor. 4:16) We are a new creation. The old has gone, and the new has come. (2 Cor. 5:17) Even though we no longer live in the grave, we must remember that our old selves must remain there.

The reason we no longer give our bodies over to sinful desires is that a disciple raised from the dead is not meant to die again. We have been brought from death to life, and so we must offer our bodies as a living sacrifice day by day. Remaining dead to sin and our previous way of life, living unto Christ, and presenting our bodies as weapons of righteousness. I love how Matthew Henry puts this. He writes, "Not only submit to him, but comply with him; not only present yourselves to him once and for all, but be always ready to serve him. Yield yourselves to him as wax to the seal, to take any impression, to be, and have, and do, what he pleases." 

Written by Blake Stanley


Read the entirety of Romans 6 every morning this week paying close attention to the words death and life.