Romans 6:12-13, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
While growing up in Georgia, I found myself in trouble with my dad and mom on a regular basis. Often, when in trouble, I would try to blame my faults on someone else. Sometimes I look back on those days and think, “my daddy and mama knew that I did it and that I was avoiding the responsibilities of my actions by trying to redirect the blame.” When reading the third chapter of the Book of Genesis I find a man who did this, his name was Adam. Adam, in his effort to escape the responsibilities of his actions, blamed his wife Eve.; Then Eve blamed the serpent; The serpent blamed… Hmm. Who was at fault?
In Romans chapter six Paul, in his effort to teach the disciples at Rome the truth about grace, declares the finished work of the Lord in eternal salvation. Paul, by inspiration of the Spirit (2 Tim 3:16), writes and says, by the grace of God, you are free from the condemnation of sin. Jesus paid the debt, all the debt and met every requirement for them to be in heaven one sweet and glorious day. Over and over, time and time again, Paul confirms this precious truth in this Epistle. One example of this is found in Romans 3:23-24, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:…”
While establishing and confirming this precious truth, Paul never told this group of believers that they would live a life without sin. He, by his own admission, in Romans chapter seven declares that it is impossible for one born of man and woman to escape the sinful nature inherited from Adam while living in this world. Romans 7:14-18, “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” Yet the Apostle Paul calls on this congregation, in our study verse, not to allow sin to “reign.” The Lord’s grace was in their hearts. The instruction of the gospel was in their minds, Romans 6:17, “but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” And now Paul calls on them to live like children of God. If they failed to do so, whose fault is it? God’s fault? No! It would be their own fault. Before regeneration, the elect child of God is totally depraved, unable to do good. After the new birth (while living in this world), the child of grace still has the fallen nature inherited from Adam, but also has the nature of Christ. That person is no longer totally depraved. The Lord’s grace is in them and has taught them “that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;..” The gospel teaches the mind of the born again child of grace how they are God’s children and how to perform that which is good. So if that person fails and allows sin to reign in their lives, it’s not God’s fault, but their own fault. The person who fails, does not lose eternal grace, but fails to live as God’s child in this world and will lose many temporal blessings and times of fellowship with their Eternal Father, Who rewards His children for their obedience to Him with blessings this world cannot afford (Genesis 15:1; 1 Timothy 4:16). Amen!