Romans 6:15-18

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, May 4, 2015 0 comments
by Katie Erickson 

“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey —whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” (Romans 6:15-18)

When Paul wrote the letter to the church in Rome, he didn’t write it with chapter and verse numbers. Those were added into his letter (and the rest of the Bible) later, so we could more easily reference specific parts of it. Because of that, the verse numbers sometimes have a tendency to interrupt the flow of thought. This is one of those times, since it seems odd to start out by saying “What then?” right?

Verse 14, right before this, says, “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” Paul had just been explaining about how we are dead to sin because of Christ’s death, and we are also alive because of His resurrection. We are no longer enslaved to sin. Go back and read last week’s post for more on that.

In this case, the context of this passage goes back even farther than the previous verse. This chapter started out in verse 1 with, “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” Here Paul is echoing that theme again and digging a little deeper into it.

Paul explains in this passage that we are all slaves to something, and there are two main choices: sin or righteousness. Christ’s death has set us free from the power of sin, so we are no longer enslaved by it. Because of God’s grace, we have the opportunity to be slaves to righteousness instead of slaves to sin. We get a choice in the matter, and it is exactly that - it is our choice to make.

Every moment of every day, we choose whether to be a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness. What do I mean by that? Well, every choice we make is either obeying God or disobeying God. Disobeying God means you’re a slave to sin, while obeying God is being a slave to righteousness. We’re enslaved to whatever (or whoever) we’re following in life.

Before we knew Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we were all slaves to sin because we knew no other way. But now that we have the saving knowledge of Christ’s death and resurrection and why that’s important, we can be slaves to righteousness and follow God’s right ways instead! As Paul says in verse 18, we “have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” We are still slaves who have a master, but now our master is God instead of the evil ways of sin.

Who is your master in life? You may think you don’t have one, but in reality you do. Are you following the ways of your parents? Your friends? The popular culture around you? Or are you following the ways of Christ Jesus and living in His righteousness? We daily need to make the choice of which path to follow. Are you living your life as a slave to sin, or are you enjoying the freedom of being a slave to righteousness? It’s your decision.

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