The passage below is hard enough for men and women of faith to read, let alone those who don’t believe in Jesus. Most Christians don’t feel they are free of slavery to sin. They may feel they sin less, but they know they still sin. Most non believers are just outraged that someone should have the audacity to accuse them of wrongdoing at all. But the key point for me is the idea that Paul introduces an illustration of slavery to help us understand all this. A slaves life is not one many people would actively choose. But Christian believers and non believers alike are all slaves to something anyway. Freedom from slavery to sin is not freedom from slavery. It is freedom from a master named Sin. Paul is simply saying we are all slaves in this life, but we can at least choose our master. The good news is that those Christians who have chosen to put their faith and their lives in to the hands of Jesus are no longer the slaves of Sin. But they are, nevertheless, still slaves. Slaves of Righteousness.
Romans 6:16-23 NLT
Don’t you realise that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living. Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
There are many people in this life who have not heard and understood the good news of the gospel. Because they are slaves to sin, and sin is their master, they are naturally loyal and they feel they are under no obligation to do work for any other master. Those who have heard the gospel and understood it, however, do not have the same excuse. Once you have heard and accepted the truth and goodness of the gospel message it is not possible to pretend you haven’t heard it. So my goal today can only be to press my life, once again, back into the wholehearted service of the Lord Jesus according to how he has instructed me in the scriptures.
2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17, Romans 6:1-23, Psalms 16:1-11, Proverbs 19:20-21