In discussing the Christian’s freedom from sin through faith in Jesus, Paul deals with the Christian’s proper mindset toward sin after being raised to newness of life through the watery grave of baptism. He says in Romans 6:11-13, “Like wise reckon [consider] ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members [body] as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
I really appreciate the King James’ translation when it uses the word “yield” in verse 13. The idea being brought out is the mindset that rejects the rule of sin (hence the old right of way we gave to sin in our body) in comparison to the mindset that now willingly submits to the rule of righteousness (hence the new right of way we give to God with our body). This idea can easily be understood when we think about the rules of the road. When a person drives up to an intersection that contains the important, yet often ignored, upside-down triangle-shaped YIELD road sign the proper mindset knows what to do. A failure to give the right of way can result in an at fault wreck. Paul is reminding us that with the new way of life comes a new right of way and the time for yielding to sin is over (Romans 6:22-23).
So the next time you come to a yield sign ask yourself who gets more of the right of way in our life – that oncoming vehicle or the oncoming God? (Romans 14:11-12)