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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Do Not Let Sin Reign in Your Mortal Body - Part 1

By Justin Edwards

As blood-bought believers in Jesus Christ, we have power over the sin that once enslaved us. We are charged to no longer let sin reign in our mortal bodies. The following 2-part series by John Piper gives us a clear message on the reign of sin and the reign of God. There are many professed Christians who have no passion for the things of God. They care not about His character, eternity, nor pursue Him in holiness. They are more worried about the things of this world instead of setting their minds on heavenly things. They allow sin to reign in their mortal bodies.

Romans 6:11-14

11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
 Piper delineates from this passage 8 participants:

  1. There is a kingly throne 
  2. There is a challenge to the throne - sin
  3. There is a castle under attack - the body
  4. There are servants in the castle that may become captive - desires
  5. Incremental surrender is possible - obedience to desires leading to sin
  6. There are weapons that may be taken captive to be used for unrighteousness - eyes, ears, tongue, sexual organs, etc. 
  7. There is a true King: God - sin does not like the reign of God on the throne
  8. There is a constitutional authority - grace, not the law
Piper goes on to summarize the above principles in 3 points:

  1. God is our King - the castle belongs to God; we must give our body to God
  2. Sin is a power - sin takes desires captive and turns them into seditious servants that bring the parts of the body under control as weapons of unrighteousness
  3. Desires of body are not sin, but may become sin - distorted and corrupted
As Piper explains, desires are God-given, but what was intended for good may be exploited for evil purposes. Take food for example - the desire for food is good, but when we give this desire over to sin, we get gluttony, bulimia, anorexia, and death.  Likewise, desire for sex is good, but giving the desire over to sin leads to lust for pornography, masturbation, fornication, adultery, and homosexual activity. The good servant becomes the turncoat. Even the pleasant desire for rest can turn into slothfulness and laziness.

I will post part 2 of the series hopefully later this week, where John Piper explains how we fight to keep our desires pure. The question everyone should ask themselves is - who is your king? Who will reign in your body? Christ? Or sin?

Please click on the link for 3 listening options (streaming, download, podcast): Do Not Let Sin Reign in Your Mortal Body - Part 1

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