Control Your Body

Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall

Romans 612a Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body,

Believers are united with Christ, and must live accordingly. Our renewed spirits should control our bodies. This victory happens neither quickly or easily.

Fortunately, our warfare against ourselves will not last forever. Paul is careful to note our bodies are mortal. The body is the dying part of us. It is passing away.

It is comforting to know someday we will be delivered from our life of flesh and blood. The Baptist missionary, Adoniram Judson (My Grandpa Marshall was named for his famous preacher son Edward Judson.), once said, I am not tired of my work, neither am I tired of the world. Yet, when Christ calls me Home, I shall go with the gladness of a schoolboy bounding away from school Amen.

The struggle we believers are in is temporary. We will not wrestle evil forever, but till the restful release comes, be ever mindful of our enemys strategies.

Romans 612b . . .that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Our mortal bodies serve as evils internal base of attack against us. Our body is not the source or origin of sin, nor is it evil in and of itself, but it is where evil manifests itself due to Satans temptations.

Our bodies are susceptible to sin. The evil one attacks natural, normal desires of the body and tries to intensify them into lusts. The tempter takes beautiful God-given desires and seeks to make them ugly.

As our drives and impulses become perverted, the body morphs into a selfish tyrant, quickly enslaving the whole man. Alcoholics hate alcohol, but their bodies have enslaved them. Smokers want to quit, but feel bound by their bodies to continue. Overeaters fall prey to the desires of their mortal bodies.

Many Christians lose control of their own bodies. Instead of the body being a helper, it is a dictator. What a pity We should not let the mortal part of us be master over the eternal part. God help us not let a body doomed for the dust rule over us.

Romans 613a Neither yield ye your members as instruments of

unrighteousness unto sin

Members refers to the parts, limbs, and faculties of our body. It includes our hands, arms, legs, feet our sense organs our mind etc. These things must not be yielded to be instruments of sin.

Sin wants to hijack our members, to control them and use them as instruments to achieve its purposes. Sin is a dictator that wants slaves yielding total obedience.

God forbid we would let our bodies promote the devils work. We owe sin nothing. It has done nothing good for us. We should not feel indebted to it.

Sin caused all our problems, and made our bodies mortal. Hate it with a passion. Ever view it as a despised enemy. Never let it wield any authority over us.

Romans 613b . . .but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from

the dead,

We can yield ourselves, who we are in our essence, only to God, not to evil. We can yield only our members to Satan. Our innermost self can never belong to sin. Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God (Colossians 33).

Praise God for the omission of yourselves in the first part of this verse. Nothing is accidental in the Bible. Paul omitted it there because it is an impossibility.

Having died to sin once and for all, we are buried with Christ. We can never again fall under its dominion and tyranny. Power is available for us to overcome evil.

Romans 613c . . .and your members as instruments of righteousness unto


We gave ourselves to God at conversion. He expects us to prove this by giving Him our members. He wants to use them as instruments, which technically refers to weapons of war. God looks for weapons to use. Choosing to work through us in the war against evil, He uses members of our body as weapons in our battle with sin.

Paul used a military metaphor to emphasize the ongoing, never ending struggle we wage against sin. He is barking out orders like a drill sergeant Dont let sin reign Dont yield your members to sin Yield yourselves to God

We are Gods army fighting for the King of Right against a kingdom of wrong. Dont be friendly with the enemy. Always fight the good fight of faith (1TM 612).

Sadly, soldierism is rare among us. Our attitude is often a sissified, cowardly one in which we whine over the mumps and measles of the soul (Charles Lamb).

Rather than being in attack mode against the enemy, we often bite each other in the back, and whine about our own whims and desires. Our religion is sometimes totally selfish. We need to quit seeing ourselves primarily as patients needing a doctor, and start viewing ourselves mainly as soldiers fighting a war.

By thinking this way, we obey verses like Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong (1 Cor. 1613) Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Cor. 1558) Put on the whole armor of God (EP 611). These verses presuppose the hearers know they war against evil forces. We have been redeemed to receive a power that energizes us for warfare. Lets be soldiers indeed.

Jesus fought evil to the death, and through death. He yielded His everything. He gave Himself and His members. He let His hands and feet be nailed thorns pierced His head the lash tore His back His face was slapped His life was poured out in the struggle. Every part of His body was hurt, and used to struggle against evil.

We must expect to do no less. We should not want Satan to use our eyes and hands and tongue for his advantage. He is our enemy. He caused the death of our Master. We must want every ounce of our being to be yielded totally to God.

The word yield is a command that requires a once-for-all act of commitment. We should decisively present ourselves once and for all as totally yielded weapons for the Masters use. Do it immediately, and never recant. Once the resolve has been made, the Christian lives in the light of it from then on.

When we do this, many temptations are automatically avoided If we have an uncommitted ho-hum lackadaisical attitude, our temptations will be innumerably multiplied. Irresolute, indecisive believers tempt the Devil to tempt them.

The time to defeat temptation is before it rises. Temptations lose their power when met before they exist. For instance, some decide every Sunday morning whether or not they are going to church.

As long as it is an undecided question, open to consideration each Sunday, we are inviting temptation. But once it is resolved forever, the question does not have to be argued again.

There should be no debate about issues like this. Matters of this nature should have been settled long ago, once and forever. An unflinching determination to serve God whatever the cost is the best starting place in any battle against evil. By one resolute, decisive act many a snare can be avoided.