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Romans 6:12

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Let not sin therefore reign - This is a prosopopoeia, or personification. Sin is represented as a king, ruler, or tyrant, who has the desires of the mind and the members of the body under his control so that by influencing the passions he governs the body. Do not let sin reign, do not let him work; that is, let him have no place, no being in your souls; because, wherever he is he governs, less or more: and indeed sin is not sin without this. How is sin known? By evil influences in the mind, and evil acts in the life. But do not these influences and these acts prove his dominion? Certainly, the very existence of an evil thought to which passion or appetite attaches itself, is a proof that there sin has dominion; for without dominion such passions could not be excited. Wherever sin is felt, there sin has dominion; for sin is sin only as it works in action or passion against God. Sin cannot be a quiescent thing: if it do not work it does not exist.

That ye should obey it in the lusts thereof - Αυτῃ εν ταις επιθυμιαις αυτου . This clause is wanting in the most ancient and reputable MSS. and in the principal versions. Griesbach has left it out of his text; and Professor White says, Certissime delenda: "These words should certainly he expunged" they are not necessary to the apostle's argument; it was enough to say, Let not sin reign in your mortal bodies, that ye should obey it. If it be there it will reign there; and its reign supposes, necessarily, the subjection of that in which it reigns. A king reigns when his laws are enforced, and the people obey them. When there is no executive government there is no reign. There may be a royal shadow there, but there is no king.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Let not sin therefore - This is a conclusion drawn from the previous train of reasoning. The result of all these considerations is, that sin should not be suffered to reign in us.

Reign - Have dominion; obtain the ascendency, or rule.

In your mortal body - In you. The apostle uses the word “mortal” here, perhaps, for these reasons,

(1)To remind them of the tendency of the flesh to sin and corruption, as equivalent to “fleshly,” since the flesh is often used to denote evil passions and desires (compare Romans 7:5, Romans 7:23; Romans 8:3, Romans 8:6); and,

(2)To remind them of their weakness, as the body was mortal, was soon to decay, and was therefore liable to be overcome by temptation. Perhaps, also, he had his eye on the folly of suffering the “mortal body” to overcome the immortal mind, and to bring it into subjection to sin and corruption.

That ye should obey it - That sin should get such an ascendency as to rule entirely over you, and make you the slave.

In the lusts thereof - In its desires, or propensities.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The strongest motives against sin, and to enforce holiness, are here stated. Being made free from the reign of sin, alive unto God, and having the prospect of eternal life, it becomes believers to be greatly concerned to advance thereto. But, as unholy lusts are not quite rooted out in this life, it must be the care of the Christian to resist their motions, earnestly striving, that, through Divine grace, they may not prevail in this mortal state. Let the thought that this state will soon be at an end, encourage the true Christian, as to the motions of lusts, which so often perplex and distress him. Let us present all our powers to God, as weapons or tools ready for the warfare, and work of righteousness, in his service. There is strength in the covenant of grace for us. Sin shall not have dominion. God's promises to us are more powerful and effectual for mortifying sin, than our promises to God. Sin may struggle in a real believer, and create him a great deal of trouble, but it shall not have dominion; it may vex him, but it shall not rule over him. Shall any take occasion from this encouraging doctrine to allow themselves in the practice of any sin? Far be such abominable thoughts, so contrary to the perfections of God, and the design of his gospel, so opposed to being under grace. What can be a stronger motive against sin than the love of Christ? Shall we sin against so much goodness, and such love?
Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 60

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Romans 6:12. TDG 60.1

Be constantly learning of Jesus, constantly increasing in faith and growing in grace and the knowledge of the truth. We are doing a great work, and the Lord is our Helper, the Lord is our Shield. He will not leave nor forsake us. Angels of God are engaged in this work of proclaiming the message of warning for the world. Of ourselves we can do nothing. We are as weak as water without the Spirit of the Lord. Our strength is in hiding in Jesus. Let Christ appear as the One altogether lovely, and the chief among ten thousand. TDG 60.2

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 13

Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:13. TDG 13.1

The triumph of the truth is possible only when the workers carry with them an abiding consciousness of the presence of God. They should ever realize that there is a faithful witness to every word, every transaction, in the home life or among the people. In every plan devised, in every effort made, Christ is to direct. In every council the members should speak and act as if the curtain were withdrawn, and they saw themselves transacting business in the presence of the heavenly universe. For this is the fact in the case; all heaven is looking upon the workers. In planning for aggressive warfare, let not self be made prominent; it must be hidden, wholly hidden, in Christ.... TDG 13.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 99.3

Christians are called to lay their bodies a living sacrifice upon the altar of God. “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members 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” [Romans 6:12, 13]. TSB 99.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 33

It is a sacred work in which we are engaged. The apostle Paul exhorts his brethren: “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” It is a sacred duty that we owe to God to keep the spirit pure, as a temple for the Holy Ghost. If the heart and mind are devoted to the service of God, obeying all His commandments, loving Him with all the heart, might, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves, we shall be found loyal and true to the requirements of heaven. 4T 33.1

Again the apostle says: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” He also urges his brethren to earnest diligence and steady perseverance in their efforts for purity and holiness of life, in these words: “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” 4T 33.2

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