do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. for sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. [romans 6:13-14]


here is a question you may have not pondered before:

what are our hands for?


(and feet and eyes and so on)–these, and other parts of our bodies are our members.

there are a variety of ways to answer this question (for example hands–to grasp, hold, to bring food to your mouth, etc.)  but what i really mean to ask is a question in  the way that the westminster shorter catechism would ask it:


what is the chief end of hands?


oh! what a different answer we would give! the answer, of course, would be the same as the answer given in the westminster shorter catechism for question 1:

the chief end [of hands are] to glorify God, and enjoy him forever!


hands exist to tell us something of of the character of God–thought he is not a man, he created us in his image [genesis 1:27] and in some sense God the Father has hands:

so i will stretch out my hand and strike egypt with all the wonders that i will do in it; after that he will let you go. [exodus 3:20]

but now, o Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. [isaiah 64:8]

you make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. [psalm 16:11]

then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. [luke 23:46]


Jesus had physical hands like us, and he presents them to God as instruments of righteousness:

then Jesus  laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. [mark 8:25]

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. he laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him [john 13:3-5]


Jesus’ hands were nailed to the cross [matthew 27:5, mark 15:24, luke 23:33, john 19:18]!


oh, brothers and sisters, let us not dishonor our God-given members. our hands, our feet, the entirety of our bodies are instruments to be presented to God. what we do with them, alone in the dark is known to him and we grieve the Holy Spirit when we put them to dishonorable use! God is storing up wrath for the unrepentant that dishonor their members; it is no small trifling thing! Jesus warns us to abandon our members rather than go to hell [matthew 5:27-30]!

there is nothing neutral that we do with our members—let our hands wash feet and hold babies, feed the hungry, open doors in hospitality and dress wounds! let us lift and carry and serve others in the strength that God supplies! let us lift our hands in worship to the one who gives us all things!


i appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. [romans 12:1]


~ conor eastman