Monday: Where Sin Reigns

What admonition is given to us in Romans 6:12?

The word reign shows that “sin” is here represented as a king. The Greek word here translated as “reign” means literally “to be a king” or “to function as a king.” Sin is all too willing to assume the kingship of our mortal bodies and dictate our behavior.

Blinded by the World

Image © Kevin Carden

When Paul says “let not sin . . . reign,” he implies that the justified person can choose to prevent sin’s setting itself up as king in his or her life. This is where the action of the will comes in.

“What you need to understand is the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man, the power of decision, or of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will. The power of choice God has given to men; it is theirs to exercise. You cannot change your heart, you cannot of yourself give to God its affections; but you can choose to serve Him. You can give Him your will; He will then work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus your whole nature will be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ; your affections will be centered upon Him, your thoughts will be in harmony with Him.” – Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 47.

The Greek word in Romans 6:12 translated as “lusts” means “desires.” These desires may be either for good things or for bad; when sin reigns, it will make us desire the bad. The desires will be strong, even irresistible if we fight against them on our own. Sin can be a cruel tyrant, one who never is satisfied but who always comes back for more. Only through faith, only through claiming the promises of victory, can we overthrow this unrelenting master.

The word therefore in Romans 6:12 is important. It goes back to that which has been said before, specifically to that which has been said in Romans 6:10-11. The baptized person is now living “unto God.” That is, God is the center of his or her new life. The person is serving God, doing what pleases God and, therefore, he or she cannot serve sin at the same time. He or she is “alive unto God through Jesus Christ.”

Go back over the quote from Ellen G. White in today’s study. Notice how crucial the concept of free will is. As moral creatures we must have a free will-the power to choose right and wrong, good and evil, Christ or the world. Over the next 24 hours, try to keep track consciously of how you are using this moral free will. What can you learn about your use, or abuse, of this sacred gift?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons