Enslaved to God

In the second half of chapter 6 Paul repeats and reframes his argument that if we are under grace, we are free from sin. Last week we saw how our unity with Christ made us alive to God and dead to sin, this week we see how our slavery to Christ also helps us say no to sin. Paul presents us with the choice between two masters – sin and obedience, death and life, Adam and Christ. He wants us to see the futility of sin which leads to death and the free gift of God which leads to eternal life. We are presented with a paradox that God’s slavery leads to true freedom, and sin’s freedom, “do what you want,” leads to slavery. Although our culture may try and convince us otherwise, choosing God always leads to life and choosing sin always to death. So, let’s not turn back, or be ensnared by the false promises of sin; sin never delivers, only Jesus saves.

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Romans 6:15-23

Slaves to Righteousness

15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, [1] you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 6:16 Greek bondservants. Twice in this verse and verse 19; also once in verses 17, 20

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.

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