Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God…
As, then, Lazarus, or the son of the poor widow of Nain, or the saints which arose after the crucifixion of Christ, must have conceived, and felt, and acted, under impressions peculiarly their own; so those who are spiritually alive from the dead, who are quickened by the Divine Spirit, have conceptions, and feelings, and impressions, which distinguish them from the rest of mankind; we may observe, then —
I. Christians, as those that are alive from the dead, are to yield themselves unto God, WITH LIVELY PERCEPTIONS OF THE THINGS WHICH ARE NOT SEEN AND ETERNAL. Had the earthly house of your tabernacle been dissolved, and your spirits permitted to take their flight to an eternal world, and for a season to dwell there; with what vivid perceptions of Divine things should you afterwards have yielded yourselves unto God! Oh, how subduing would be the visions of heaven! And are not you Christians alive from the dead? Has not God quickened you? Has He not given you that faith which is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen? Is not your conversation in heaven? Have you not obtained affecting, realising views of an eternal world? Calculating everything by the standard of God manifest in the flesh, God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, living, and dying, and rising, and ascending, and interceding for men, what impressions do you receive? What an overwhelming evil does sin appear, what an importance attaches to the soul, and to heaven, and eternity, and holiness, and everything connected with the inheritance of the saints in light! By enlightening your understandings, God has given you an impulse, a new nature, and has awakened your consciences, and engaged your affections, and made obedience, and zeal, and devotedness delightful. Then quench not the heavenly light, counteract not the heavenly impulse, resist not the Divine nature, but yield yourselves unto God, by dying unto sin, by living unto God, by glorifying God with your bodies, and with your spirits which are God's.
II. Christians, as those that are alive from the dead, are to yield themselves unto God, UNDER A SENSE OF DIVINE FAVOUR AND WITH SENTIMENTS OF GRATITUDE AND JOY. If you are alive from the dead, it is all gain and no loss. How much do you owe to God and Christ, and the riches of His grace! You were earthly, sensual, devilish; now you are pure, peaceable, without partiality, and without hypocrisy; full of mercy and of good fruits. You were children of the wicked one; now you are children of God. Once you were condemned; now there is no condemnation to you. You are now the children of God, and the inheritance is yours. You have nothing, however, in all this that you have not received. All is of grace, When you can determine what you owe to God, and to Christ, and His grace; then you have ascertained your obligations to God in being alive from the dead. Oh, what an impelling, absorbing gratitude, should influence your hearts, and souls, your thoughts, your words, and works.
III. Christians, as those that are alive from the dead, are to yield themselves unto God THAT THEY MAY BE INSTRUMENTAL IN CONVINCING OTHERS OF THE REALITY OF THINGS NOT SEEN. You are designed to live a life so spiritual, so holy, so heavenly, a life which so marks your connection with eternity, that you may, by that, testify to your brethren, and save their souls alive; this will be no less efficacious than miracles, and signs, and wonders. Your own personal salvation is not the only thing connected with religion which you are to care about, and to promote. Higher aims are to be yours; for you are designed for higher and nobler purposes. You are to show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into the marvellous light of the gospel. You are to be to the Lord for a name; for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
Parallel VersesKJV: Neither yield ye your members as 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.