12-13a: "Don't let sin rule your body. After all, your body is bound to die, so don't obey its desires 13aor let any part of it become a slave of evil." - We have a choice to make…which master will we serve?
13b: "Give yourselves to God, as people who have been raised from death to life. Make every part of your body a slave that pleases God." - Our focus should be on pleasing God with our every breath.
16: "Don't you know that you are slaves of anyone you obey? You can be slaves of sin and die, or you can be obedient slaves of God and be acceptable to Him." - We cannot serve two masters.
19: "I am using these everyday examples, because in some ways you are still weak. You used to let the different parts of your body be slaves of your evil thoughts. But now you must make every part of your body serve God, so that you will belong completely to Him." - The process of being made holy in Christ involves our willingness to turn every part of our lives over to God.
22-23: "Now you have been set free from sin, and you are God's slaves. This will make you holy and will lead you to eternal life. 23Sin pays off with death. But God's gift is eternal life given by Jesus Christ our Lord." - Paul indicates that a focus on the law subjects us to the bondage of sin. With Christ and the grace of God, we have been set free from this bondage and have received the gift of eternal life.
Points to Contemplate:
What rules your life?
Are you bound by the passions of desire, need, and want? Do you crave acceptance and seek success? Is there a certain love in your life that overwhelms and controls you? Paul says simply: "Don't let it." Can you see that giving into your desires and passions makes you a slave to sin? Do you want sin to control your life? Do you seek ways to break its chains of bondage? Do you want to be set free?
Have you given yourself to God? Your entire self? Do you ask yourself with each action you take or with each word you utter, would this be pleasing to God? Do you think of the impact your sins have on your relationship with God? Do you see that they cause separation and heartache? Do you want to please God? Do you realize that it is impossible to serve two masters? That if you are giving in to your sinful desires that you are turning away from God in order to serve evil?
Are you God's slave? Or does this idea run counter to your idea of free will? What is more important to you, your freedom to be and act in anyway you choose or to experience an ever-increasing abundance of God's love? Do you see that the more you turn to God and set your selfish desires aside the more He will be able to help you, grow you, purify you, and mold you into the image of Christ? Will you allow Him into every aspect of your life in order to be sanctified? Will you let Him make your more holy? Will you accept His gift of grace and move ever closer to the kingdom of heaven and the glories He has in store for you? Promises of the Gospel:
Paul is making it quite clear that we have a choice to make in our lives - a choice of which master to serve. We can, as Anakin Skywalker did in the latest Star Wars movie1, choose to give into our passions and desires to serve the dark side of our nature. Or we can choose to follow the light and serve God. We can only serve one or the other. We must make a choice. God's gift of grace has freed us from the bondage of sin. Through Christ we are dead to sin. This is the promise of hope that Christ provides. However, we must not continue wallowing in the clutches of sin, allowing it to control our lives. Instead, we must, in every way, seek to give honor and glory to God. As we turn to Him, giving our entire lives over to Him, He will guide us into a pathway of holiness where the clutches of the dark side lose their grip over our mortal bodies and gives us access to the promise of eternal life that comes to us through Christ Jesus.