A Study of Romans 6:19
I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
Our passage we are studying (Romans 6:16-23) speaks of the two classes of sinners in the world of 6 billion or more sinners. The two classes are:
1) servants of sin- those sinners who have no concern for God, or those who are “ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:3); these are sinners who believe God will accept them by their works, their own righteousness.
Righteousness is perfect satisfaction to God’s Law (His Word) and Justice (judgment based on His Law). The Pharisees were very religious people in the time of Christ’s walk on earth. They thought that they were righteous in themselves by keeping God’s Law (as they thought). This is what it means to “establish their own righteousness” in Romans 10:3.
God in Romans 10:3 is speaking specially about these Jews who thought their works, their obedience would save them. Christ rejected them; they were servants of sin.
2) The second class of sinners God speaks of in our passage is a servant of righteousness. This is a sinner who has heard the true gospel (salvation conditioned on Christ ALONE), and has repented (turn completely around in his or her thinking) of thinking their works could save them, and they look to Jesus Christ for ALL their salvation for they believe Christ is the only righteousness God accepts for sin and it’s consequences.
The reason I bring this up is because this will be our theme for the next few verses: as a servant of righteousness – a Christian, a born again sinner: we are called by God unto a life of obedience (obeying God’s will by way of commandment in the bible) – not in order to be saved, but because one is already saved, and desires to obey God because:
1) Of the work of the Holy Spirit in them to do so;
2) Out of their love for God for saving them. So verses 19-22 could be called: THE WALK OF OBEDIENCE.
Let’s start with verse 19.
“I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh”: God here through the Apostle Paul writing is speaking as a man realizing himself the infirmity of our flesh – our weakness, what makes up mankind. Christ experienced this yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). In our weakness, sin affects our daily walk with God. In spite of this, God commands us unto a WALK OF OBEDIENCE with Him as we will see…..
“for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity”: this is the life of a servant of sin – they give (yield) their memebers (themselves) over to all kind of sinful living. But if we are now a servant of rightouesness, God has called us unto a WALK OF OBEDIENCE………
“even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness”. God in verse 19 comes down to our level as mankind through Paul, and is teaching us that even though we are sinful creatures, if God has saved you, if you are a Christian, if you are now a servant of righteousness – God is commanding born again sinners to a WALK OF OBEDIENCE in their lives.
“Even so now”: NOW that one is saved, NOW that one is a Christian…….. “yield (give over) your members (your whole self: mind, emotions, will, and body) servants (slaves) to righteousness (looking to Christ for ALL of salvation) unto holiness (A WALK OF OBEDIENCE; walk here meaning one’s lifestyle).
God commands His people who He has regenerated (given new birth to – the born again experience) to a WALK OF OBEDIENCE: a Godly walk (a life that reflects God’s commandments in His Word): NOT in order to be saved, but because God has revealed to that sinner that they are already saved and bound for heaven as if they are already there – in Christ!
A servant of sin – an unsaved person: can be very religious, can try to be very obedient to God’s Law (as they think they know it): but they are doing it to try to be righteous before God IN THEIR OWN SELVES.
This is what Romans 10:3 is speaking of that I mentioned earlier: this type of obedience is called by God “establish their own righteousness” – God rejects this sinner’s obedience for in Romans 10:3 God says of these sinners that they “have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God”.
What is this “righteousness of God”?
God tells us in Romans 10:4: “For Christ is the end of the law (the fulfillment) for righteousness to every one that believeth”: the righteousness of God is Christ!
A servant of righteousness – a saved sinner, a Christian, has been taught by God that: “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;” (Isaiah 64:6).
A servant of righteousness sees that all their efforts to obey God, all their obedience, all their works, APART (without) Christ are “filthy rags”.
The passage in Isaiah can be literally rendered: our righteousnesses are as a pile of women’s used menstral pads!
We have no righteousness of our own apart from Christ:
The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
If you think anything you did, do, or will do will recommend you unto God, you are still a servant of sin.
A servant of righteous will look to Christ as ALL their righteousness!
And upon instruction by the Holy Spirit, through His Word, the believer will see they have been commanded by God to a live of obedience to His Word; a WALK OF OBEDIENCE.
They will have repented (completely changed their mind to something) to thinking that anything they ever did outside of Christ was righteous. This doctrine of repentance will be our theme in verse 20 and particuarly verse 21 coming up.
A servant of righteousness will attempt to live a WALK OF OBEDIENCE even though they fall short due to their sinfulness. They will attempt to obey God’s commands:
“Mortify (put to death) therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence (desire), and covetousness, which is idolatry:
I beseech you therefore, brethren (servants of righteousness), by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
A servant of righteous will be taught that this life, this WALK OF OBEDIENCE God has called us to is a war (read Ephesians 6:11-18), a race (Hebrews 12:1) – this WALK OF OBEDIENCE is a daily struggle – let us who are regenerated look to God for help: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2).
A promise to God’s elect who may still be servants of sin:
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
By Craig Miklosik