Paul declares Believers no longer Sin’s Slave but Slaves to God
Romans 6:15-19 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 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? 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. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 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. NKJV
Paul again ask and answers the same question that he did to begin this chapter in verse 1, but this time he says that just because we have been delivered from the law and its requirements to keep the law completely at all times and now Christ has placed us under grace’s authority and rule but this still does not give us a license to sin willfully that grace will cover our sins. Paul, as we can clearly see from his strong desire to repudiate this abominable, abhorrent, and atrocious teaching that must have permeated the land round about him and infiltrated the churches that he founded wanted the truth of grace to be securely known by all of those he so dearly loved and wanted them not to be deceived and says again “God Forbid” that we should live in or continue in sin because of grace (1 Corinthians 15:33 & 2 Corinthians 4:2). Paul wants to bring every one that would read this letter of his back to that moment when each one of us received our Lord Jesus Christ by faith and this glorious and great grace was applied to our dead in trespasses and sins spirit and Christ new life and love and forgiveness flooded our hearts and we were born again. Paul wants us to know with certainty that our Lord Jesus Christ has rescued us from our slavery to sin and all of its corresponding corruption.
Paul also wants us to know surely that just as our Lord did not force us to turn to Him or call upon His Name for salvation, likewise He will not make us present our bodies and its members to Him as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2). As we showed by the illustration of alcohol and how its consumption takes control of a person’s behavior and how Paul wrote that we (Christians) are not to be drunk with wine or alcohol, but filled with the Holy Spirit that He might take over and control our behavior for good and God’s Glory. We showed how we must yield to the Power of God the Holy Spirit as He will not force us to yield. Paul is continuing to drive this point home here in verse 16 by reminding us that before Christ our bodies members were continually yielded over to sin’s control (John 8:34) and that only led to death (spiritual death and for some physical death, i.e. drug over dose, car crash drunk behind the wheel, fighting brought on by alcohol intoxication, etc.), but now that our Lord Jesus Christ has placed us under grace we now desire (by the activation of grace) to yield our members unto righteousness as slaves to God for His Glory.
It is Christ grace freely given to each one of us that makes us desire to listen to Him and His Words attentively obeying with all of our hearts out of love for our Lord Jesus Christ that we might be pleasing to Him. Even in our best forms of obedience and conformity to His Word we still know we fall far short of what He deserves from us as His children and what He gave up to purchase us by His Blood. As hard as many of us ran in the indulgence and gratifying of the flesh and spirit in all manner of evil and wickedness now that we are free from sin’s enslaving power over us by grace we should run even harder to be slaves of righteousness leading to holiness being spiritually minded which always leads to life and peace (Romans 8:6). Because true obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ and His Word of Truth always leads the obedient son or daughter into righteousness and that always bears a clear, clean, and calm conscience knowing and in full recognition that it is under grace and the control of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords free from its former pollution.
Romans 6:20-23 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. NKJV
Paul now reminds us that in our former life bound in sin and enslaved by sin we were incapable of producing any fruits of righteousness at all. Our entire life was the preoccupation with sin, planning sin, purposing sin, preferring sin, and practicing sin every day all day year after year after year. The desires of our hearts were evil continually and at all times so that even when we desired to do some “noble” thing it was covered in sin because the motivation was to bring attention, honor, and praise to ourselves hoping to ease the burning conscience within but never succeeding. We did not even so much as think about righteousness, because we did not even know what righteousness meant. This is the description of the total and complete depravity of man and it is born in the heart of every child from their mother’s womb. Paul has spent much of this part of his letter refuting the abominable lie perpetrated by many false teachers that grace gives the person permission to live as they please gratifying the sinful nature or flesh living in sin and indulging it with equal frequency and intensity as before becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. In verse 21 of this chapter Paul throws cold water on top of that false belief or understanding of God’s grace dousing its flames before they can continue to burn. Paul shows that a true follower of our Lord Jesus Christ recognizes what has been and is being worked out in his soul and that is the hatred of the old lifestyle of sin that bore nothing good in it and only brings shame to our hearts right now.
The life of enslavement to sin was one that wrought spiritual death leading to physical death and finally would have led to eternal death in @#!*% but God (Ephesians 2:4-10). Our Lord Jesus Christ has saved us from sin by washing us from it in His own Blood (Revelation 1:5) and the reality or fact that we are saved from @#!*% is the icing on the eternal cake. Just as we were worthless and incapable of living in righteousness (as the Word of God defines it) when we were slaves of sin, now we have been freed from sin’s enslavement by our Lord and we should be worthless and incapable of living our lives to unrighteousness (also as the Word of God defines it), but we must yield all of ourselves to God as His slave of holiness. What a glorious thought that is far more than just a thought but by yielding to the Holy Spirit it can always be a reality to be a slave to holiness for this is the will of God and the effectual call of God to every one of us who have been born again of incorruptible seed (1 Thessalonians 4:7). Everlasting life lived with our Lord Jesus Christ cannot be enjoyed but by those of us who have been made holy by our Lord Jesus and seek daily to walk or live in this newness of life ordained for us before He founded the world, for as Paul said, Hebrews 12:14 “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” NKJV
Ephesians 4:17-24 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. NKJV
“Conversion is, First, A freedom from the service of sin; it is the shaking off of that yoke, resolving to have no more to do with it. Secondly, A resignation of ourselves to the service of God and righteousness, to God as our master, to righteousness as our work. When we are made free from sin, it is not that we may live as we list, and be our own masters; no: when we are delivered out of Egypt, we are, as Israel, led to the holy mountain, to receive the law, and are there brought into the bond of the covenant. Observe, We cannot be made the servants of God till we are freed from the power and dominion of sin; we cannot serve two masters so directly opposite one to another as God and sin are. We must, with the prodigal, quit the drudgery of the citizen of the country, before we can come to our Father’s house.” Matthew Henry
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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