12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
that you should obey it in its lusts.
If we let “sin reign” we obey its lusts. Sin will enslave us if we let it. Sin can reign when we obey it. Freedom from sin comes from not obeying it. Obedience to lusts is an issue of the will; it is possible for a believer to put sin back on the throne of his life.
“Lusts” are desires, longings. Either we give our allegiance to lusts or to the one who died for us. We are identified with Him forever. It is an issue of appetite, of whether we have an appetite for fellowship with the Lord or an appetite to indulge our flesh.
Positionally, we stand perfect before God; conditionally, sin is very active within us.
When we give in to the lusts of the body and soul, we enter something that is dying and decaying—something that is mortal. Sanctification apart from our position in Christ is legalism; sanctification by applying our position to experience is to operate on the grace principle. Grace means God does the doing; He is the provider of what we need to live the Christian life.
After extended periods of victory in his life David committed adultery and murder, yet he returned to fellowship with God (Pss. 32, 51). For a period he obeyed lusts in his soul; they mastered him for a period. He was also keenly aware of God’s grace upon his life after he sinned as evidenced by Psalm 51. By God’s grace He broke the mastery of sin over the believer. Sin is a dethroned king. We need to keep it from assuming its throne in our heart again.