|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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?
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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
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.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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.
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