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Chapter 6: The Path of Progress: Presenting Ourselves to God

Our study has now brought us to the point where we are able to consider the true nature of consecration. We have before us the second half of Romans 6 from verse 12 to the end. In Romans 6:12, 13 we read: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof: neither present your members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” The operative word here is “present” and this occurs five times, in verses 13, 16 and 19.99 Note.—Two Greek verbs paristano and paristemi are translated in these verses by ‘present’ in the R.V. where the A.V. has ‘yield’. Paristemi occurs frequently with this meaning, e.g. in Rom. 12:1; 2 Cor. 11:2; Col. 1:22, 28, and in Luke 2:22 where it is used of the presenting of the infant Jesus to God in the Temple. Both words have an active sense for which the R.V. translation ‘present’ is greatly to be preferred. ‘Yield’ contains a passive idea of ‘surrender’ that has coloured much evangelical thought, but which is not in keeping with the context here in Romans.—Ed.

Many have taken this word “present” to imply consecration without looking carefully into its content. Of course that is what it does mean, but not in the sense in which we so often understand it. It is not the consecration of our ‘old man’ with his instincts and resources—our natural wisdom, strength and other gifts—to the Lord for Him to use.

This will be at once clear from verse 13. Note there the clause “as alive from the dead”. Paul says: “Present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead”. This defines for us the point at which consecration begins. For what is here referred to is not the consecration of anything belonging to the old creation, but only of that which has passed through death to resurrection. The ‘presenting’ spoken of is the outcome of my knowing my old man to be crucified. Knowing, reckoning, presenting to God: that is the Divine order.

When I really know I am crucified with Him, then spontaneously I reckon myself dead (verses 6 and 11); and when I know that I am raised with Him from the dead, then likewise I reckon myself “alive unto God in Christ Jesus” (verses 9 and 11), for both the death and the resurrection side of the Cross are to be accepted by faith. When this point is reached, giving myself to Him follows. In resurrection He is the source of my life—indeed He is my life; so I cannot but present everything to Him, for all is His, not mine. But without passing through death I have nothing to consecrate, nor is there anything God can accept, for He has condemned all that is of the old creation to the Cross. Death has cut off all that cannot be consecrated to Him, and resurrection alone has made consecration possible. Presenting myself to God means that henceforth I consider my whole life as now belonging to the Lord.

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