Have you ever presented anything before? I remember in Junior High everyone had to take speech class and the week we had to do a presentation you could feel the stress of it in the hallways. Kids would be heard saying things, “I have to do mine today” with a little trembling in their voice; and sometimes quite a bit of trembling, depending on their level of comfort in public speaking.
In the context we are going to look at today the word “present” is speaking not of presenting a made up product in junior high speech class, but something much more serious: our body. God is clear that there is a right way to present our body, and a wrong way; but before we get in to that, let’s take a quick look at the definition of present.
to bring, offer, or give, to hand over or submit
After reading the definition of present; it seems important that we read the definition of submit.
To yield, resign or surrender to the power, will or authority of another
In Romans 6 Paul uses the term “your members”, meaning “members of your body” – “your members”, “parts of your body” is simply a more descriptive and focused term for your body; like taking it to another level of intensity as he talks about presenting them in one of two ways:
Romans 6:13a Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness,
Romans 6:16a Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death,
Romans 6:19a I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness
In looking at the first half of verses 13, 16, and 19 in Romans 6 we see the way in which we present our bodies before we are born again:
1) As instruments of unrighteousness
2) Obedient slaves to sin
3) Slaves to impurity
4) Salves to lawlessness
Did you see what Paul tells us is the result of presenting your “members”, your “body” in such a way? Presenting your body in this way leads to more lawlessness and death. Think through that for a minute; when you are determined to sin, it will lead to more sin, which will ultimately lead to death, which means eternal hell. God’s Word is so clear on this reality yet we love our sin so much that we willingly choose to be slaves to it.
When we read the second half of these verses we see the inverse of presenting our bodies to sin and the result of it. We see the result of being born again, regenerated by the Holy Spirit:
Romans 6:13-19Do 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. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
Sanctification is “the act of making holy.” When God’s seed abides in you (1 John 3:9) you will not practice sin, instead God makes you holy, He causes you to love the things He loves and hate the things He hates. Although this may not be the same experience for everyone; I have found that this is a long process. I am certain that the process will not be complete this side of glory; and I am also certain that the sanctification process correlates directly with our surrender to Christ, or our lack thereof.
Our Americanized Christianity has made much of our worship bands. I am not saying that worship bands are not a crucial part of our worship to God, they are. I am saying that many churches and church members have wrongly concluded that singing with the band in church on Sunday is all that worship is and this couldn’t be more wrong. Singing praises to the Lord is a form of worship, but take a look at the bigger piece of true worship to God:
Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Our take away from our definitions at the beginning of this post, the context we discussed in Romans 6, and our consideration of Romans 12:1 is:
We are to surrender our bodies to God as slaves to righteousness and this is considered true worship of God.
The flip side of that is; we continue to present our bodies to sin and we are slaves to sin; there by conforming to this world…something Paul immediately follows up with warning about in Romans 12:2:
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
I would like to encourage you to finish reading Romans 12 and spend the next couple months memorizing it.
God Bless you as you seek to grow in the wisdom and understanding of God!