And do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness.
In the King James Version of the Bible the word for presenting is translated yield. The word “yield” is a word which has misled more believers than just about any other word. The word is the Greek verb “paristemi.” “Paristemi” is a military word and the word “yield” is not used in military language. It was used in a technical sense of giving orders to people who were accustomed to taking orders, trained to obey orders and making a tactical disposition of them so that the enemy was defeated. Paristemi is used in the sense of moving large bodies of troops in a tactical situation. The implication is that these troops are trained, organized, recognize authority and have the ability to obey and respond to a command under pressure.
What we have in the word “yield” is the connotation of responding to a command under pressure because you recognize authority, because you are trained to take commands and to obey commands. The Greek verb means to put yourself under the command of someone. When you put yourself under someone, you are in a system of authority and you are under the authority of someone else. To put yourself under orders was an old military way of saying, “Reporting for duty.” Once you place yourself under orders (or report for duty) you obey commands every day. Therefore, the idea of presenting your members is linked to military service, to obedience, to self-discipline, to a constant series of orders being issued and obeyed. Since the sin nature’s sovereignty over human life is broken through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the believer must not place his members as members of unrighteousness in the service of the sin nature. This is a command to experientially break with the function of the sin nature and to place yourself under a new authority. This is an order to recognize that the power of the sin nature has been broken and to get under the new system of authority which was previously noted at the end of verse 4 (“walk in newness of life”). Christianity is a system of authority and discipline. Paul is saying to stop resisting the authority and discipline.
We have been accustomed to obedience to the sin nature. It has been the way of life for all of us from birth to regeneration, but we are talking about after regeneration. Paul says, “Stop it.” There are two ways in which the believer puts himself under orders to the sin nature. One is when we succumb to the trends of sin, human good and evil. Second is reversionism (prolonged status of out-of-fellowship with God), which intensifies either sin or human good, or both, into a system of evil.
The Greek word for instruments is “hoplon,” which means weapons. It is a military term and here it is combined with unrighteousness. So a better translation would be “weapons of unrighteousness.” This, of course, is in contrast to weapons of righteousness (Ephesians 6) Under spiritual death the brain rules the soul since the sin nature is located in the brain as a part of the human body. At regeneration the power of the sin nature has been broken through the imputation of eternal life and divine righteousness to its home, the human spirit.
Only Bible doctrine resident in the soul can fulfil experientially what has been accomplished positionally through the baptism of the Spirit. Only Bible doctrine resident in the soul can reprogram the brain’s “computer” so that the believer is free from human good and evil. To place ourselves under orders to God and our brain as weapons of righteousness to God we must therefore reprogram the brain “computer” with Bible doctrine in the soul. (Romans 12:1-2)
But present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead and your members as instruments of righteousness.
The Greek conjunction “alla” (but) sets up a contrast between the negative and the positive command, plus the imperative of “paristemi,” the military term which means to put yourself under the command of someone - the verb which connotes authority. The visible manifestation of divine authority is Bible doctrine. Paristhmi also means that when you are under authority you must have positive volition and discipline toward Bible doctrine. The imperative of command is an order for the intake of doctrine on a daily basis, but doctrine taken in on the basis of your decision. The believer places himself under orders to God by his attitude toward the teaching of the Word of God. Divine production is the result of spiritual growth, never the means of either growth or blessing from the justice of God. Even legitimate production commanded in the Word of God must be the result of spiritual growth.
As those alive from the dead means we are alive from deaths because we are identified with Christ in His spiritual and physical death. Positional victory is the basis for experiential victory. Positional victory provides the opportunity for the expression of positive volition. The ruling power of the sin nature over human life has been broken positionally so that the believer does not have to be a slave to his sin nature.
And your members as instruments of righteousness to God. Those members include the brain. The sin nature is in the brain and all of the cells of the body. Therefore, place your members (your brain) as weapons of righteousness to God by the renewing of your mind from human viewpoint to divine viewpoint, which is the mind of Christ.
For sin shall not be master over you. The principle of victory over the sin nature is found in this verse. “Hamartia” is the Greek word for sin referring to the sin nature, not personal sin. Then we have the Greek word for master, which is “kourieuo,” which means to lord it over, to rule over or to control. It is used here in the negative, meaning that the sin nature must not have control over you. In seeking to continue the enslavement of the believer after its power is broken, the sin nature distorts the Mosaic Law into a system of human good. This system of human good becomes legalism; legalism is evil. It is the tendency of reversionism to distort the Law into a system of works which produce the evil called “religion.” Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship with God through Christ. Religion is the devil’s ace trump. Religion and legalism distort the Mosaic Law into a system of good deeds to gain the blessing of God.
For you are not under the Law, but under grace. The believer is not under the authority of the Mosaic Law but comes under a new principle of blessing: God’s grace. Grace is the source of our blessing in the sense that grace is the principle by which divine justice provides blessing for each one of us as believers. There is nothing wrong with the Law in its proper usage. Only when it is distorted by legalism does it become a problem. The Law in itself is holy, just and good; it is from God and it is perfect. Both the Mosaic Law and the principle of grace are from God, and when properly used result in great blessing to the believer. While the Mosaic Law has a definite purpose, it does not include either salvation or victory over the sin nature.
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under Law, but under grace? This, of course, is a rhetorical question. Here the rhetorical question represents the false assumption in the form of a question. We have already seen that sin does not advance the grace of God in the first half of the chapter based upon the question in verse one. The grace of God can be advanced only by the justice of God because grace is a policy from the justice of God. Grace is the perfection and perfect character of God Himself.
May it never be! The answer to the question in this verse is a very strong negative which is made up from two Greek words which form an idiom: “me” (negative) plus “genoito” (to become). The negative idiom denies the allegation that even occasional sin, human good or the function of evil in the believer increases grace. The grace of God increases in the life of the believer in direct proportion to the development of the believer’s capacity for blessing through doctrine resident in the soul. Being under the authority of grace rather than the Law does not imply that the justice of God no longer administers punishment for the believer who chooses to continue to sin, perform human good or becomes involved with evil. Divine justice punishes sinfulness and divine justice blesses growth in grace. Therefore, freedom from the Mosaic Law does not imply freedom from divine punishment or discipline.