Reporting for Duty (Romans Sermon 37 of 120)

Reporting for Duty (Romans Sermon 37 of 120)

August 19, 2001 | Andrew Davis
Sanctification, War Against the Flesh, Mortification

I. A Barracks, Not a Clinic

This morning as we continue in our look at the Book of Romans, we're going to be looking at some remarkable verses, Verses 12-14 in Romans Chapter 6. If you have a Bible, I'd urge you to open it up. It's really the best way for you to follow along as you read, as you look with your eyes and see the things that are on the page. All I'm going to be doing this morning is explaining these verses, that's all. And so, as you look and follow along with me, you'll be able to go home later this afternoon or five years from now and see that it's still there on the page. It hasn't changed. Isn’t that the beauty of the Word of God. It never changes. It's always the same and so we can read. And so if you haven't brought a Bible today we have few Bibles in front of you, you can open up to Romans Chapter 6, and we'll be looking this morning at verses 12-14.

Now, almost 60 years ago, as America entered World War II. There was a surprise attack by the Japanese forces and in the days and weeks that followed December 7, 1941, many American men reported for duty. They presented themselves to enlistment agencies around the country, and if they were physically able, they enlisted, and they became warriors for the cause. And soon they reported for duty at basic training.

Now, I myself have never been through that, but I've heard that it's quite an experience, and some of you know what that's all about. You know what it's like to have a drill instructor waking you up at... Is it 5:00? I don't know or maybe 4:30, getting you going in the morning and then barking out commands and preparing you for the rigors of service in the army. Sometimes, I think we forget that when it comes to spiritual matters, when it comes to sanctification, that the church is more of a barracks than it is a clinic. That we are not sickly people who need therapy and who need comfort and who need gentle nurses, and who need skillful doctors spiritually. Now I know we have physical issues, but I'm talking spiritually.

Jesus Christ rather comes to us, in this case through the Apostle Paul and gives us commands. He commands us to be holy as God is holy. He commands us to walk in obedience and to fight sin and put it to death. He commands us to stand up on our feet spiritually and to walk in righteousness and newness of life. And the beauty is, that he doesn't command except that he gives you the power to obey. And so, we come to these verses, which are just one command after another, relevant to the issue of sanctification, growth, and holiness, and I want you to think of yourselves as healthy and complete, and alive, and having been brought from death to life in Jesus Christ spiritually. And that every command that we're looking at today you are well able to carry out through faith in Jesus Christ. For it's exactly that way that God commands us to follow him in holiness.

II. Context

Now, as we've been looking in Romans, we come in Romans 6 to the central section and all the Bible on sanctification, and what is sanctification? It is growth and holiness, so that in your life you are imitating Christ. You're putting sin to death, you're growing in holiness, you're walking in this world as Jesus walked.

Justification by Faith Alone: Romans 3-5

Now justification's different than sanctification, isn't it? Justification is the mere declaration by the judge of all the earth that you are not guilty of all your sins. That through faith in Jesus Christ, you have been clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and so therefore that lengthy record of all your sins has been removed from you. It no longer stands against you, isn’t that beautiful? To know that you have been freed from all your sins. Declared righteous in Jesus Christ. That's justification by faith. And it culminates beautifully in Chapter 5.

At the end of Chapter 5, it says, the law was added so that the trespass might increase, but where sin increased, grace increased all the more. This power, this dynamo called grace. It's more powerful than any sin in your life. It's more powerful than death. This power of grace, and this dynamo, this emperor really, this ruler grace comes into your life and takes over. And so it says, where sin increased, grace increased all the more. No matter how high sin gets, grace gets ever higher. Where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, like a king, like a tyrant, a wicked emperor ruling over us, we had no power to break death, no power to break its authority and dominion. We have no power over death, and just in the same way that sin reigned over us, and death reigned over us, so now grace reigns over us to bring us to eternal life. What a beautiful note of confidence, what a beautiful statement at the end of Chapter 5, but it raises up a question, doesn't it?

Refuting Key Question

Well, if this is the situation, if it's true that no matter how high sin rises in my life, grace will always overcome it and conquer. Well, why don't I sin as much as I want then? Why do I have to struggle with sin? Why don't I just give in? If it feels good do it, why resist? Why do I have to fight this battle? This war of holiness in my life, why? Why not rather sin all the more so that grace can increase all the more? Let's put grace on display. I'm going to be a great display or demonstration of grace. I'm going to sin all the more. I'm going to sin as much as I can so that God will have that triumph of grace in my life. That seems to follow doesn't it from Paul's logic. From that incredible security we have in Christ, that justification by faith alone, doesn't matter what we do it's simply believing and receiving.

Well then, can we sin all we want? He says absolutely not. Chapter 6 then brings us into this issue of how we should live after we've been justified. And that if we've been truly justified, some things have radically changed in our lives and we can't live that way any longer. Look what it says in Verses 1 and 2, what should we say then? Should we go on sinning so that grace may increase? And then he says, by no means! Absolutely not! And then he gives you that doctrine. We died to sin. We died to sin, how can we live in it any longer. "Or don't you know that all of us who are baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. We may walk in newness of life." So he's talking about this beautiful union that we have between us and Jesus Christ. We're united with Jesus in his death. United with him also in his resurrection to newness of life.

Well, as he unfolds that doctrine, he gets to the point in verse 11, which we covered last week that he says, "This is the first application in your life. You want to be holy? This is where you begin. This is the start to it all." Romans 6:11 is the beginning of it all. You are to "count yourself dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus." Think of yourself that way. It begins in the mind. That incredibly complex tangle of neurons in there, that way of... That brain that God has given you, it begins in there. The thinking, as the mind goes, so goes everything else. And as you understand this doctrine so you will live. So count yourself, reckon yourself, consider yourself dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

We've therefore come to somewhat of a new subsection in this Chapter 6. Verses 1-10, he just lays out the truths, doesn't he? He tells you what is. And then in Verse 11, 12, 13, and 14, he begins to unfold how you should then live as a result of these truths. How should you live if these things are true. And the first step was to win the battle for the mind, count yourself dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus, and then he gives you your marching orders. You're in the army now. You're in the spiritual army. You're in the army of Jesus Christ. And your warfare is against sin itself. That relentless power, that wicked tyrant, sin. Your warfare is therefore deadly serious, and you are to follow these commands that God has given you.

III. Command Stated Negatively: DO NOT (verses 12-13)

The commands laid out in Verses 12-14, listen to them please. It says in Verse 12, "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life and offer the parts of your body to him, as instruments of righteousness, for sin shall not be your master, because you're not under law, but under grace." These are our marching orders and it works this way. The command is stated negatively first, and then the command is stated positively, and then in verse 14, it's grounded again in doctrine.

You've got the negative side, and when you've got the positive side. And both on the negative side and the positive side, he begins speaking generally to you and then applying specifically. So generally, negatively, and then specifically negatively, then generally positively, and specifically positively and then he grounds the whole thing again in doctrine, that's how it lays out. Let's start with the negative command. Do not do these things. Do not do such-and-such, that's a negative side. Therefore it says, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. He begins with the word therefore, and whenever you see that word, you want to go back up to what you just read. In which he says, count yourself dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus as a result of the fact that you're dead to sin but alive in Christ Jesus, as a result of that therefore do not do these things. He starts with the mind again, the word therefore because this is true, do not do the following things.

And the beauty of this is that our sanctification, our whole struggle for holiness, is a battle for the mind and therefore the best weapon you have is right doctrine, is it not? Right teaching. You've got to understand the gospel. This gospel is more than just trust in Jesus and you'll be safe. There's all kinds of unfolding that brings you from dead in transgressions and sins through many years of life in this world up into heaven with God himself face to face. And this message is suitable for all of the aspects of the journey, and here we are in Chapter 6, now how shall I live my life? And so you've got to have right doctrine. And Jesus said, if you want to be sanctified, you want to be holy in your life, you've got to have the truth, John 17:17. Jesus in his prayer, he says, "sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth." It's God's word that sets you apart from the world as holy and it's God's truth that brings you the rest of the way that makes you holy in your life.

He also said in John Chapter 8, he was talking to the Jews, he said "you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." They said, "We've never been slaves to anyone." "We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves to anyone, how can you say that we shall be free." Jesus said this, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin." Sin has a kind of a domineering kind of attitude, doesn't it? It seeks to dominate you, and everyone who sins comes under its sway or under its domination. Everyone who sins is slave to sin. We'll talk more about that as we go on in Chapter 6. Now, a slave, Jesus said, has no permanent place in the family, but a son remains forever. "So, if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed." if Jesus sets you free, you'll be truly free. Now if you're a slave, you've got no permanent place in the family, but if you're adopted into the family you're permanently there. Isn't that beautiful? What is Jesus saying? He's saying the truth of Jesus Christ, the truth of the gospel sets you free from slavery to sin.

Now, sometimes when you interact with authority, all you need to do is hear the command and you just got to obey. Now, people in the military know, you're not given an explanation. You're just given a command, and you're expected to obey. And children in the home are given a command and do they say, "Why? Why should I?" Well, do you answer? "Because I'm the mommy, that's why." "Because I'm the daddy, that's why." Well, that's just sheer authority and it's appropriate in some cases. But it's interesting how God doesn't do that with us here. He explains things to us. He's treating us not as a slave, but as a son. He's explaining the truth and the truth makes us free. And so, the doctrine flows in. Therefore, because of these truths, do not do these things. You see how he's working. He's working on the truth. Now, one of the key truths in sanctification is a distinction between you, as newly alive in Christ, and your mortal body. There's a difference between the two of you.

Now, you're well familiar with your body. You've been together for a long time, haven't you? You know your body well. But the Bible makes a distinction between you and what this verse calls the body of death. A body subject to corruption and to death. The mortal body. The word mortal means able to die. And there is a distinction therefore between you, this new person you are in Christ, it says, "If anyone's in Christ, he's a new creation." There's a distinction between you and your mortal body. He's addressing you and telling you what to do about your mortal body.

You see what's going on here? He's telling you to take charge, be in charge, don't let your mortal body rule. Don't let sin reign over your mortal body, but you, newly alive in Christ, this new person that you are, be in charge of what happens with your mortal body. See how it works. There's a distinction between you and mortal body. We have this treasure it says in jars of clay. Do you feel that? Do you feel the clay-ish-ness around you? You're kind of in a house of clay, aren't you, this body of yours? But Paul says later in Romans 7, he says, "What a wretched man I am. Who'll rescue me from this body of death." There's a jar of clay surrounding this new treasure, this new person that you are in Christ. And you know something? You've got to be separated from it, don't you?

1 Corinthians 15 says, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." You've got to die physically. Now, if the Lord comes back in our life, he'll separate you a different way. But for the most part, throughout church history, it's been simply that you die and your spirit goes to be with God and that mortal body lies in the grave. Now, there will be a great resurrection, a mystery for the future, we'll talk about that another time. But there is a distinction between you and your mortal body. You must understand that. And so, the central issue here is a massive struggle for control over that mortal body. Who is going to be in charge of it? And so, what's happening here is there's a chain of command. God gives a message to Paul. Paul gives the message to you.  You are new creation in Christ, and you are to order your body accordingly. You see how it works? There's a chain of command. From God, through Paul, to you as a new created being in Christ to your mortal body you take charge. That's how it works.

Now, the enemy is sin. And sin is relentless. Sin is vicious. Sin is destructive. One Puritan theologian said, "Sin is the second most powerful force in the universe behind God and his grace." Have you felt sin's power in your life? Have you felt the devastation that sin brings to you day after day? Wouldn't you love to feel what it'll be like to just go through one day without a sin nature, or temptation, or sin at all? Wouldn't that just be like breathing mountain air? Wouldn't that be so sweet? This oppressive force called sin.

And the odd thing here is, that we're in active warfare and basically what Paul is commanding you to do is, alright, you're on one side and then sin is on the other, could you please not take part of yourself and send it over to the enemy for a day of battle? Could you please not do that? Don't send the members of your body over to fire back at your new nature. That doesn't make any sense, does it? Why would you take 20% of your troops in the middle of the battle and say, "Okay, you guys go over and serve them. Let them fire back at us just for today, okay, just for today, and then tomorrow we'll have you again." Would you ever do that? "Go ahead, shoot at me, throw grenades at me, destroy me and ruin me…" But that's what we do when we surrender control of our bodies to sin.

"Please come and make my Christian life miserable. Please come and attack me and make it hard for me to pray, and make it hard for me to read the Bible, make it hard for me to do everything. Please come and attack and destroy me, please." Now, you can't be destroyed, but you can be hurt. And that's what happens where Paul's saying. Don't surrender over or present the members of your body or yourself, your mortal body to sin. So, that's negative in general.

And it's interesting, that... He does not say, "Do not let sin reign over you." He says, "Do not let sin reign over your mortal body." That's very interesting. You know why it's interesting? Because sin can't reign over you. Why is that true that sin can't reign over you? Because you're dead to sin. You died... Isn't that beautiful? You can't have sin reign over you. It's impossible. He says it again in Verse 14, "Sin shall not be your master, you newly created person in Christ." But it can reign over that mortal body of yours, can't it? And you've felt that. So, that's the negative in general, don't let sin reign over your mortal body.

The second part is the specific negatively. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness. The parts means the members, the individual parts of your body. Piece by piece. Your arms, your legs, your hands, your feet, your eyes, and your mouth, goes deeper than that. Your mental powers, your intellect, your mind, your thinking process, your imagination. You see? Your ability to think, your passions, your emotions, and also, your natural bodily drives, your desire for hunger, for love and for comfort. All of these things are good and created by God, even the sexual drive. All of these things, given by God, don't surrender them to sin, is what he's saying. Don't present them. Now, we'll talk more about that word present in a moment.

But notice how he personalized the sin. And basically, you're supposed to go over piece by piece and saying, "God, is my mouth being used for the enemy, right now? Are my hands being used for sin? How about my feet, are they being used for sin right now? How about my stomach? Is it being used to lead me into sin? Or my imagination?" Any part of me, you're going over and you're thinking, "Are these parts of my body being used as weapons?" The word says, "or instruments of unrighteousness or wickedness." So that's a negative side. Negative generally, is don't let sin reign over your mortal body generally. And then specifically, don't let it reign over the parts of your body particularly. That's the negative side.

IV. Command Stated Positively: DO!! (verses 13-14)

But then we've got to go to the positive side. There's always a negative and a positive in sanctification, you're dead to sin, alive to God. Negative and positive.

And so, not just, don't do all these things, but rather get busy doing these things. And really have to do both. You can't just say, "Well, I'm just not going to do that anymore." And you just sit there and wait. How long is it going to be before you cave in? Idle hands are the devil's workshop. Also the sin starts to get to be busy. You've got to get busy doing righteousness, you've got to get busy in Christ. And so he gives us the positive side. And he says, "But rather, present yourselves to God." Now, let's zero in on that word present, because it is the key to the whole sermon. It's the key to the whole thing. You're presenting yourself to a commanding officer, that's what's happening. You're saying, "Here I am for service, I'm yours. I'm yours to command."

The same word is used beautifully in Matthew 26:53. This is the same word we've already had, do not offer the part or present the parts of your body to sin but rather present yourselves to God and present the parts of your body. That's the key word. What does it mean? In Matthew 26:53, Jesus is being arrested. He's about to be carried away into captivity and he's going to be tried and he's going to be executed by crucifixion. And there's a detachment of about 600 Roman soldiers there to arrest him with torches and lanterns, weapons, they're ready to go.

And they're waiting. And they're there to arrest. Judas has already betrayed Jesus, they know who it is, and at that moment, Peter reaches down for his sword. What was Peter thinking? Do you ever wonder about that? Peter, what were you thinking? Did you just lose your mind? He drew out that sword and he wanted to fight. And he cut off somebody's ear. You remember the story. And then Jesus said, "Peter put your sword away." And then he made this statement. In effect, he's saying, "If I wanted to be delivered from this, do you think I'd be using your sword? Don't you think that I have the power to call on my Father and he will at once," now here's the word, "put at my disposal," same word, "put at my disposal more than 12 legions of angels?"

Now let's imagine for a minute that he had done that. With what spirit or what attitude would those 72,000 angels come down from heaven? How would they be? They'd have those flaming swords drawn, say, "Just tell us what to do and we'll do it. We are ready. We are ready to obey." Do you understand the nature of the obedience the angels render to God in heaven? Do you know what it's like? We talked about it before, all the way, right away with a happy spirit, they present themselves, "Anything you want, we will do. Righteous you are, oh Lord, holy and true for this." And off they go. Glad to do it. They have been presented. And Jesus said, "The angels will come down and they'd present themselves to me and say, 'aye, aye sir, whatever you say,' and off they do it. They don't care. Anything God says they will obey."

Now suppose he just had done that, where would we be? We would be on our way to hell. And so he said, "Peter, put your sword away and I'm not going to call on the angels, I'm going to go die instead." Oh, praise God for his goodness and his mercy that he didn't call on those angels. But if he had, think about the attitude that they would've come and present yourself to God the same way, that's what he's saying. Don't we pray in the Lord's prayer, "May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." What part of you is on earth? These members, aren't they? Your feet walk the earth. Your eyes see the earth. You're living in the earth. You want God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, then present yourself to God and present your members... That's what this word means. You understand the word present, you get the whole sermon. That's what he's calling us to do. I'm totally yours to command.

And you do it as somebody resurrected from death to life. You wouldn't be able to do this if you hadn't been resurrected to life. But you're presenting yourself to God as one who's been raised. Oh, what joy, what was Lazarus like when he was raised from the dead? "I'm alive. I'm alive. I'm ready to go". And Jesus had asked him, "Lazarus, would you mind going and buying some things for the feast we're going to have?" Would he have gone? Yes. Anything. He's thrilled, he's alive to God. And so, we also are alive to God, we're presented to him, ready to go, ready to serve. Note again the lack of balance. Do not let sin reign over your mortal bodies. Don't present your mortal body to sin. But do present yourselves to God. You see the difference? Sin can't reign over you, but you can present yourself to God, because that's what it's there for. That new creation person is meant to be presented to God. Created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. That's what you are. And so you present yourself to God.

And then specifically, Verse 13, "Offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness." Again, same word. Instruments, weapons, tools for righteousness. The physical body therefore becomes not a battleground or something that drags you down, but a beautiful instrument in the hands of God for the advance of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. We are his hands, we are his feet, we do his work in this world. The feet carry the missionary across the mountains. Beautiful feet to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. And once the missionary gets there, it's the mouth that speaks the message or the mouth builds up a brother or sister. You see somebody in need and you use your mouth to speak the word of God and build them up. Your stomach is used to digest nourishment for the Kingdom of God. Do you think of it that way? Nourishment for the Kingdom of God and some extra things too that we like very well. Your stomach instead is used to nourish you to do God's work.

Jonathan Edwards actually made a study of what kind of foods made him best suitable to do God's work that day. That's his nature by the way. Scientific about spiritual things. But he analyzed and he said "What kinds of things do I eat that make me best ready to serve God?" The stomach then is a servant to God rather than to inordinate desires. Rather than to lust. And all lusts are... They're just natural good things that God's given that have been pushed beyond the boundaries that God set up. So rather than that, we're going to be within God's boundaries using each member for the Kingdom of God. The eyes will take in the beauty of the kingdom, the beauty of this creation that God's made. Even better, the beauty of the Word of God. We read the Scripture with our eyes. And then our minds instead of letting your mind wander into all kinds of things, the things we do in our imagination that we would never do in real life.

Don't imagine yourself doing something you would never do in real life. Don't give over your imagination to those things that are wicked. But rather use your imagination for God. Hudson Taylor did that. He saw a map of China and he imagined inland churches made up of Chinese people from the inland regions. He used his imagination for the Kingdom of God by faith. So each of these attributes, your intellect, chewing on the deep things of the Scriptures, your mind, your passions. You'd weep over the things that grieve God, you weep over sin, you cry over it and over the plight of the lost. That's what your emotions are for. Not weeping for some of the worldly things we weep over. All of these things are used as instruments of righteousness.

V. Command Grounded and Doctrine Extended (verse 14)

And then finally, he grounds this command in doctrine and he extends it a little bit. Verse 14, "For sin shall not be your master, because you're not under law, but under grace." Again, he grounds it in doctrine, "for sin shall not... " He wants you to know why you should do this and not do that and don't do this. He wants you to know why. So doctrine at the beginning, doctrine at the end and then the commands in the middle. This is the way he is. He wants you to understand the reason. Sin shall not rule over you. Sin is not your master. And here we get into that slavery analogy that we're going to understand in the second half of Romans 6. Sin is not your master. Now he could say sin should not be your master or would that sin weren't your master. He didn't say that at all. He says, "Sin will not be your master." That new creation person free from sin forever. You're free.

You never need to sin again. Sin shall not be your master, because your whole status has changed. You used to be under law in Adam under death, under the wrath of God. Now you've been moved over to the kingdom of Jesus Christ. You're not under law now but you're under grace. You're under grace. Now we're going to talk more about what it means to be under law and what it means to be under grace and what it means to be freed from law and under grace. Law could never have gotten you to heaven. As a matter of fact, if law abiding could've gotten you to heaven, Galatians 2:21, "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained by the law, Christ died for nothing."

Why did Jesus come and die on the cross if you could work your way to heaven by the law. But you're not under law anymore. Instead you're under grace and therefore sin shall not be your master. So how shall we apply this? Well, the whole sermon's been application. Do you see that? You've been told what to do. As persons, we're done with sin's dominion forever. We're free from it. Now our mortal bodies are still going to wrestle with sin. Do you feel it? Do you feel that wrestle, that pull every day as your inordinate desires seek to push you or pull you into sin?

Okay, you're going to wrestle with that, but you yourself are done with sin. This new creation person. Therefore the command comes, don't let sin dominate or go unchecked in your mortal body. And so, he lays out the steps. Verse 11 is the first step. "Think of yourself dead to sin, alive to God in Christ Jesus." Step two, do not present your mortal body to sin. Don't say "Here sin, have me for the day." You've already done that. Haven't you? How was it? How was that day? Was it a good day? Don't do it anymore. Don't present your mortal body to sin and don't present the members of your body, any part of your body to sin, but rather present yourself to God and present the individual portions or parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

VI. Application

Now, I think it's important for you to assess your own personal life. Think about where you're at right now. A few moments we're going to have a closing hymn and what a closing hymn it is. As a matter of fact, in all the years I've been preaching here, I've never found a closing hymn that fits so well to what I just preached. And that's, Take My Life and Let It Be.

Now, Frances Havergal, she was a poet. She lived in the 19th century in England. She was a brilliant pianist, singer, and poet. She was sickly, confined to a wheelchair much of her life, but she gave herself to service to Jesus Christ, to service to the poor. Basically, she took this concept and just unfolded it beautifully in poetry. You're familiar with the words. Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord to Thee. Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise. Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love. Take my feet and let them be, swift and beautiful for Thee. Take my voice and let me sing, always only for my king. Take my lips and let them be, filled with messages for Thee. Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold. Take my intellect and use every power as Thou shalt choose. Take my will and make it Thine, it shall be no longer mine. Take my heart, it is Thine own, it shall be Thy royal throne. Isn't that beautiful? For Jesus to reign over the internal part of you. Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store. Then she finishes up where we should begin. Take myself and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.

It could be that God has spoken to your heart today. It could be that you feel that you have not been living a life of holiness and obedience to God's commands. In the past, people have come up and knelt and prayed and it maybe that just the simple act of walking forward and kneeling down and saying, "Lord, I just want to commit myself to you again. I want to walk with you, Jesus. I want to give every portion of my body to you." It could be that that'll help underscore the seriousness of it or perhaps just to bow your head and say, "Lord, I've not lived the way I need to live." Or perhaps you realize you've never come to Christ. You don't know what it means that sin is not your master, you don't know what it is to have Jesus as your savior. Let today be for you the day of salvation. Won't you close with me in prayer.

Father, as we bow before the healing, and empowering and just convicting power of your word, we ask, oh Lord, that you would enable us to walk in newness of life today. That we would dedicate ourselves to you fully, that we would give ourselves to you reporting for duty the way that the angels would have if you had called on them. The way that they do whenever you give them a command. Oh God, I pray for my brothers and sisters here, if there's any that are under the burden of sin, be set in sin that they would throw off those chains that have already been broken as Wesley put it. To break the power of cancelled sin and set the prisoner free. Father, work that in us today. And if there's any who don't know you as Lord and savior that they would today give their lives to you, Lord Jesus, we pray in your name. Amen.

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