Romans 6:13
Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Instruments.—Rather, as margin, arms, or weapons which sin is to wield. The same military metaphor is kept up in Romans 6:23, “the wages of sin” (your pay as soldiers of sin) “is death.”

6:11-15 The strongest motives against sin, and to enforce holiness, are here stated. Being made free from the reign of sin, alive unto God, and having the prospect of eternal life, it becomes believers to be greatly concerned to advance thereto. But, as unholy lusts are not quite rooted out in this life, it must be the care of the Christian to resist their motions, earnestly striving, that, through Divine grace, they may not prevail in this mortal state. Let the thought that this state will soon be at an end, encourage the true Christian, as to the motions of lusts, which so often perplex and distress him. Let us present all our powers to God, as weapons or tools ready for the warfare, and work of righteousness, in his service. There is strength in the covenant of grace for us. Sin shall not have dominion. God's promises to us are more powerful and effectual for mortifying sin, than our promises to God. Sin may struggle in a real believer, and create him a great deal of trouble, but it shall not have dominion; it may vex him, but it shall not rule over him. Shall any take occasion from this encouraging doctrine to allow themselves in the practice of any sin? Far be such abominable thoughts, so contrary to the perfections of God, and the design of his gospel, so opposed to being under grace. What can be a stronger motive against sin than the love of Christ? Shall we sin against so much goodness, and such love?Neither yield ye your members - Do not give up, or devote, or employ your members, etc. The word "members" here refers to the members of the body - the hands, feet, tongue, etc. It is a specification of what in Romans 6:12 is included under the general term "body;" see Romans 7:5, Romans 7:23; 1 Corinthians 6:15; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 1 Corinthians 12:18, 1 Corinthians 12:20.

As instruments - This word ὁπλα hopla properly signifies "arms;" or implements of war; but it also denotes an instrument of any kind which we use for defense or aid. Here it means that we should not devote our members - our hands, tongue, etc., as if under the direction of sinful passions and corrupt desires, to accomplish purposes of iniquity. We should not make the members of our bodies the slaves of sin reigning within us.

Unto sin - In the service of sin; to work iniquity.

But yield yourselves ... - Give or devote yourselves to God.

That are alive - Romans 6:11.

And your members ... - Christians should devote every member of the body to God and to his service. Their tongue should be consecrated to his praise, and to the office of truth, and kindness, and benevolence; their hands should be employed in useful labor for him and his cause; their feet should be swift in his service, and should not go in the paths of iniquity; their eyes should contemplate his works to excite thanksgiving and praise; their ears should not be employed to listen to words of deceit, or songs of dangerous and licentious tendency, or to persuasion that would lead astray, but should be open to catch the voice of God as he utters his will in the Book of truth, or as he speaks in the gale, the zephyr, the rolling thunder, the ocean, or in the great events of his providence. He speaks to us every day, and we should hear him; he spreads his glories before us, and we should survey them to praise him; he commands, and our hands, and heart, and feet should obey.

13. Neither yield ye your members instruments of unrighteousness unto Sin, but yield yourselves—this is the great surrender.

unto God as those that are alive from the dead, and—as the fruit of this.

your members—till now prostituted to sin.

instruments of righteousness unto God—But what if indwelling sin should prove too strong for us? The reply is: But it will not.

He fitly compares our bodily members to tools that artificers work, or weapons that soldiers fight withal; for as those, so these, may be used well or ill: e.g. With the hand one man giveth an alms, another stealeth; with the tongue one man blesseth, another curseth. By members here we are not only to understand the parts of the body, as the hands, eyes, ears, &c.; but also the faculties of the soul, as the understanding, will, affections, &c. These bear some proportion to the bodily members, as the understanding to the eye, &c. All of them must be employed by us as weapons to fight, not under the command of Satan for sin, but under the command of God for righteousness.

As those that are alive from the dead: these words contain a reason why we should not serve sin and Satan, but bequeath and dedicate ourselves to the service of God, because we are endued with a spiritual life, after a spiritual death; or because we have received so great a benefit as to be raised in Christ from the death and power of sin. Neither yield ye your members,.... The apostle more fully explains what he means by obeying sin in the lusts thereof; a presenting, or making use of the "members, as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin": by their "members" he means the several powers and faculties of the soul, and so the Ethiopic version renders it, "your souls"; or the several parts of the body, or both; by "yielding", or presenting of them, is designed the employment of them in the service of sin,

as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: that is, as means of performing unrighteous actions, in obedience to sin, or the corruption of nature with its lusts: the word translated "instruments", signifies "arms" or "weapons": so the ancients (w) formerly reckoned weapons the members of soldiers; and here the apostle calls the members weapons, which he would not have the saints use in favour of sin, an enemy and a tyrant; for that would be unrighteous in itself, and injurious to God and themselves: says he,

but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead: that is, present themselves soul and body to God, give up and devote themselves to him, and to his service, and yield a cheerful obedience to him; considering themselves as under great obligation so to do, inasmuch as they are freed from condemnation and death, by the righteousness of Christ; and quickened, when dead in trespasses and sins, by his Spirit and grace; and therefore should yield

your members, their whole selves,

as instruments, or weapons

of righteousness unto God; by fighting against sin, revenging all disobedience, and fulfilling obedience to the commands of God: the same is here meant, as is by putting on "the armour of light" Romans 13:12, and wearing and making use of "the armour of righteousness, on the right hand and the left", 2 Corinthians 6:7.

(w) Alexander ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 1. c. 12. p. 18.

Neither {p} yield ye your {q} members as {r} 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.

(p) To sin, as to a Lord or tyrant.

(q) Your mind and all the powers of it.

(r) As instruments to commit wickedness with them.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. your members] your limbs; the bodily organs and their constitution. The words thus = “your body,” (see Romans 12:1,) only with the suggestion of its varied powers for good or evil. See on Romans 6:6 (on “the body.” Cp. Colossians 3:5).

instruments] Lit., weapons. The word in classical Gr. has very various references, but N. T. usage makes it best here to keep the military reference. The will is regarded as at war, whether for or against holiness.

unto sin] Connect these words with “yield;” q. d., “Do not put them as weapons into the hand of sin to use for unrighteousness.” So below, “Put them into the hand of God as weapons to use for righteousness.”

yourselves] This word was not used in the previous clause, and here emphasizes the cordial allegiance resulting from justification.

as those that are alive, &c.] Rather better, who were dead and are alive. The facts both of death and life are emphatic in the Gr.—The reference is to acceptance in Him who “was delivered because of our offences and raised again because of our justification” (Romans 4:25). In Him the believer has, as it were, suffered expiatory death and passed into “newness of life.” This seems to be the reference proper to this context, rather than a reference to the spiritual death-state of unrenewed man. (Ephesians 2:1.)

righteousness] Here, of course, in the sense of active good; not, as so often before, in that of “righteousness in the eye of the law.”Romans 6:13. Μηδὲ παριστάνετε) neither yield ye. The first aor. παραστήσατε, which occurs presently, has greater force than this present.—τὰ μέλη ὑμῶν· ἑαυτοὺς καὶ τὰ μέλη, your members; yourselves and your members) First, the character of the Christian is brought under consideration; secondly, His actions and duties. Man, who is dead in sin, could not, with propriety, be said to yield HIMSELF [Sistere seipsum, to present himself] to sin: but the man, who is alive, may yield [present] himself to God.—ὄπλα, arms) [instruments] a figurative expression, derived from war, as wages, Romans 6:23.—ἀδικίας, of unrighteousness) which is opposed to the righteous will of God.—τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ, to sin) Sin is here considered as a tyrant.—παραστήσατε [yield] present) as to a king.—ἐκ νεκρῶν, from the dead) The Christian is alive from the dead. He had been dead, he is now alive. Comp. Ephesians 5:14, note, Revelation 3:1-3. Sleep, too, in these passages, is the image of death.—δικαιοσύνης, of righteousness) The antithetic word is ἀδικίας, of unrighteousness.Verse 13. - Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. By our members seem to be meant, not merely the several parts of our bodily frame - eye. tongue, hand, foot, etc. - but generally all the parts or constituents of our present human nature, which sin may use as its instruments, but which ought to be devoted to God (cf. Colossians 3:5). Many commentators would translate ὅπλα "weapons" rather than "instruments," on the ground that St. Paul usually uses the word in this sense (Romans 13:12; 2 Corinthians 6:7; 2 Corinthians 10:4; Ephesians 6:11, 13); and also that ὀψώνια in ver. 22, taken in the sense of the pay of a soldier (as in Luke 3:14; 1 Corinthians 9:7), is supposed to imply that the apostle has had all along the idea of warfare in view. The second of these reasons really proves nothing. Whatever the meaning of ὀψώνια in ver. 23, it is too far removed from the passage before us to be taken in any connection with it. Neither is the first reason at all cogent. Ὅπλα bears the sense of instruments as well as of weapons, and may more suitably bear it here. When St. Paul elsewhere speaks of armour, it is the armour of light, or of righteousness, which we are told to take up, and to put on, in order to fight against our spiritual enemies. Such a conception is inapplicable to our own members, which we have already, which we may use either for good or evil, and which require the protection of heavenly armour rather than being themselves armour; and we certainly could not be told to take them up or put them on. We may, in the next place, observe that the two clauses of this verse are differently expressed in two respects.

(1) It is our members only that we are forbidden to yield to sin; but ourselves, with our members, we are bidden to yield to God. For few of the persons addressed, if even any, could be supposed, deliberately and of choice, to offer their whole being to the service of sin as such; they were only liable to succumb to sin, in this or that way, through soliciting lusts. But the regenerate Christian offers and presents his whole serf to God, and desires to be his entirely.

(2) In the first clause we find the present imperative, παριστάνετε; but in the second the aorist imperative, παραστήσατε. The distinction between the two tenses in the imperative is thus expressed in Matthiae's 'Greek Grammar:' "that the aorist designates an action passing by, and considered abstractedly in its completion, but the present a continued and frequently repeated action." Our giving ourselves to God is something done once for all; our yielding our members as instruments of sin is a succession of acts of yielding. Yield (παριστάνετε)

Put at the service of; render. Rev., present. Compare Luke 2:22; Acts 9:41; Romans 12:1. See on Acts 1:3.

Members (μέλη)

Physical; though some include mental faculties. Compare Colossians 3:5, where members is expounded by fornication, uncleanness, etc., the physical being a symbol of the moral, of which it is the instrument.

Instruments (ὅπλα)

The word is used from the earliest times of tools or instruments generally. In Homer of a ship's tackle, smith's tools, implements of war, and in the last sense more especially in later Greek. In the New Testament distinctly of instruments of war (John 18:3; 2 Corinthians 6:7; 2 Corinthians 10:4). Here probably with the same meaning, the conception being that of sin and righteousness as respectively rulers of opposing sovereignties (compare reign, Romans 6:12, and have dominion, Romans 6:14), and enlisting men in their armies. Hence the exhortation is, do not offer your members as weapons with which the rule of unrighteousness may be maintained, but offer them to God in the service of righteousness.

Of unrighteousness (ἀδικίας)

See on 2 Peter 2:13.

Yield (παραστήσατε)

Rev., present. The same word as before, but in a different tense. The present tense, be presenting, denotes the daily habit, the giving of the hand, the tongue, etc., to the service of sin as temptation appeals to each. Here the aorist, as in Romans 12:1, denotes an act of self-devotion once for all.

As those that are alive (ὡς ζῶντας)

The best texts read ὡσεί as if alive. This brings out more clearly the figurative character of the exhortation.

From the dead (ἐκ νεκρῶν)

Note the preposition out of. See on Luke 16:31.

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