Be What You Are

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : Romans 6:11-14

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. (v. 12, NIV)

Does the sentence “Be what you are” make any sense to you? How can you be commanded to be what you already are? Would you ever say to a tree, “Be a tree”?

Yet that is exactly the message in today’s passage. You are “dead to sin” (v. 11), says the apostle, so be dead to sin in your life. This command makes sense because we face choices in life, especially the choice of living as our new selves in Christ or falling back into the ways of our old sinful nature.

Sometimes we try to excuse sin by saying, “Well, I’m only human. And humans fail, don’t they?” Paul doesn’t accept that reasoning. Rather, he says in effect, “You have died with Christ, and your body of sin is dead; so don’t let sin gain mastery over you. Be what you are!”

Yes, we still sin, but we should never be satisfied with sin or seek to justify it. Rather, we should get up on our feet after we fall, ask for renewed grace and power from the Lord Jesus, and “offer the parts of our body to him as instruments of righteousness” (v. 13).


Dear God, let me never be content with sin in my life, but to live in the power of Jesus. Amen.