What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.(Romans 6:15-18)
Paul’s argument so far in this chapter is that since we have been translated from the position “In Adam” and under the dominion of sin, into a new position, “In Christ”, and under a new reign, that of grace and life,we don’t have to sin.
“In Christ”, we are dead to the old reign of sin, having died with Jesus on the cross, and been raised unto the new life. As Jesus has died to the reign of sin and death, and now lives unto God, we who are “in Him” are alive unto God as well.
Our physical body, that once was the instrument of sin, under the guidance of the “old Man”, has been disconnected, unemployed as regarding sin. We can still use it to express the sinful habits of the past, but we don’t have to, we now have a choice.We can now present that same body which once served sin, as an instrument of righteousness unto the service and worship of God.
The logic of the passage above is that as freed people, it is nonetheless true that if we present our selves to the service of any power, we become enslaved unto that power. We can never really live unto and for ourselves, it is impossible, we were made to serve something, or better yet, someone bigger than we are. The question isn’t will we serve? Rather it is who, will we serve ?
There are only two true and ultimate options, I can either serve and worship God or Sin. Another way to put it is as has been already stated, you can remain “In Adam” or be “In Christ”? One can be a slave of lust and disobedience or a slave of God, be on the broad way or the narrow way.
We were created to give ourselves to God, to worship Him with all of our heart, soul mind, strength, body, thoughts, emotions, in short with everything. There will be no vacuum, should we reject our high calling, all will give themselves in that way to something, if not God, than something less than God.
I am a bond slave, I have made my decision, I want to serve God. I want to give myself to Him who made me, and who has clothed me with the gift of righteousness. Moment by moment, and day by day, my decision is solidified as I present even the members of my body to the service and worship of God.
Righteousness becomes the pattern of mind and body as we yield our members to it. Having been liberated by the cross, I present my mind and body to God’s worship. I embark on a way, a new set of habits are developed, new ways of thinking, new uses for my hands, feet and eyes.
“Let Him that stole, steal no more but rather let him labor, that he may have to give to him that needeth…”(Ephesians 4)
So also it is in the service of sin. The more one sins, the deeper the defection from God becomes re-inforced, the unconscious but deadly departure from all that is good, which is the germ of all sin, intrenches itself in the soul , not by one big traumatic apostasy, but by thousands of small, repetitive yeildings of mind and body to the service of lust.
But at least we can choose our slavery. In fact choose we must, because it is impossible to have two masters.Slavery to sin and slavery to God are two irreconcilable bondages, there can be no middle ground. We must be owned, by one or the other, either sin or Righteousness.
The Romans, who Paul wrote to, were definitely in the second camp, for by believing and obeying the doctrine Paul is teaching here, they became “Slaves of Righteousness”. They accepted the Divine revelation that causes us to hate sin and seek deliverance from it, and that warns of the wrath of God, the danger of judgment and eventually drives us to the Saviour from it, Jesus Christ.
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness (Romans 6:17-18)
There are those , of course who want to be free from Righteousness, and who count it a liberty to cast off God, his claims in them, their duty to him, guilt, shame, repentance and the like, They feel they are free! One day, Psalm 2 tells us that the Kings of the earth will lead a world movement to free men from God, but the end of it is a shattering judgment.
Such freedom is really bondage, “promising them liberty they became slaves of corruption…” says Peter. What did you get out of being free from God? Corruption, the disintegration of the personality, guilt, shame, Oh and yes of course temporary pleasures of the flesh at the expense of the spirit. Satan has a minstrel named Mick Jagger, who used to sing about it,”I can’t get no Satisfaction…”. In short, The wages of sin is death. Death in all of its forms, alienation, separation, terror shame, guilt, regret.
But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Need I say more? What a no brainer of a choice! I’d rather be the bond slave of God!
Look at it this way, if you are a sinner, you had better enjoy this life with all of its charms and pleasures, because this is as good as it will ever get for you. But if you are a christian, you can go through the trials of this life with joy- knowing that this is as bad as it will ever be for you.
What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.For the wages of sin is death and the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.(Romans 6:21-23)