15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!
16Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
17But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
18and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
19I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
20For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
21Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.
22But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ah yes, that last verse. It was one of those “hey, I know that one” verses. You know, those witty one liners we like to whip out when having religious discussions with others. Do I know the ones around it though? Admittedly, I had no clue what the context was of the verse, or even where it came from until today.
I honestly don’t know which verse to “key in on” today. Today they all stand out to me. I had a few thoughts as I was reading this today. Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? I’ve struggled with this one. Both myself and by watching others do it. We are free from sin by God’s grace, once we accept His forgiveness through Christ, so we don’t have to pay attention anymore, right? I heard a sermon once talk about new believers wondering if they truly were. If they had accepted Christ as their Savior. the pastor said “try sinning, see how you feel.” I noticed that once I completely turned my life over, things didn’t seem right. Music I listened to, things I said and did didn’t sit well with me. This is just more proof that we do things because we want and get to, not because we have to. This leads into Paul’s next point.
You became obedient from the heart. Alot of times we give The Spirit much less credit than is due. If we submit, the Helper will guide. Our humanistic ways of thinking turn us into “i HAVE to go to church, I HAVE to get baptized, I HAVE to not cuss…” No. We GET to. They are all forms of worship. The bible tells us not to give begrudgingly, that if we do, not to give at all. This doesn’t mean to others, but includes God. Giving Him your time and energy is a privilege, and honor, an opportunity, not a chore. If it is, then don’t do it. Am I advocating just to drop out of your church and stop following God? Not at all. I’m saying if you truly are a believer, and you truly love God, don’t hold things against Him. It’s easy to look at things negatively, the way the world wants us to operate. But, ladies and gentlemen, if we look at it positively, it will be a whole different experience.
But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. When you are a slave to something, you don’t really enjoy it, do you? I don’t think I enjoy being made to do anything. We have to remember, in Paul’s example of being a slave, that the Kingdom is upside down from this world. If you dislike being a slave in the world, you should enjoy being a slave to God, right? Keep in mind, Paul is using this example because of the weakness of your flesh. We need to take hold of this concept of serving God. We GET to, we don’t HAVE to. It’s an HONOR not a CURSE. If we look at things differently, we will look different. We will be those known as followers of The Way. People will ask and you GET to tell them.
Who or what are you a slave to?