Everyone is a slave to something. With our thoughts and words and actions, we either serve sin or we serve the Lord Jesus Christ. According to Scripture, the idea of being totally free to do whatever we want is a delusion. We are born slaves to our sinful desires and behaviors, but Jesus can break our bondage when we allow Him to become our new master.
In Romans 6:15, Paul repeats the same objection to the gospel of grace that he first raised in Romans 6:1, and He gives the same solid answer again. If God’s grace has forgiven Christians of all their sins through our faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection, then does that mean that we are free to sin as much as we want? Can we who are now saved by Christ’s blood freely break God’s commandments or laws as much as we please? Not at all! As we saw in the last post, no true Christian would ask that question. Why? Because to be a Christian is to be someone who hates sin and does not want to serve it any longer.
Christians believe that sin leads to death; to serve sin is to serve our own murderer (Romans 6:16). Because of Adam’s first sin, we all must die physically one day. And because of our continual sins that came from our sinful hearts, we were all dead spiritually before Jesus came into our lives. When we first trusted in Jesus as Savior, He delivered us from the penalty and power of sin’s cruel chains (Romans 6:17-18). We still choose to sin at times, but we do not have to. We have the power of the Holy Spirit within us to enable us to serve “righteousness” and “holiness” (Romans 6:19). We know that God has given us new hearts that both can and want to love Jesus and do what He says.
All of us have a master. Whom will you serve – Sin or Jesus?
The Text (Romans 6:15-19)
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.
Questions to Think About
- What are some specific sins that you were once a slave to but now find that they are no longer your master? Are you glad to be free of their control?
- Does the idea of serving Jesus bring you joy? Why or why not?
- Take some time to thank God for your salvation. Thank Him both for what He has saved you from (sin) and what He has saved you to (holiness). Be as specific as you can so that you can really appreciate all that He has done in and for you through Christ.