Summary: The Apostle Paul makes it clear that all men are slaves, spiritually, either of sin to abject bondage or of righteousness to untold blessing.
A SLAVERY THAT ENSLAVES AND A SLAVERY THAT SETS FREE
“Do 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? But 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, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness”. Romans 6:16-18 (NASB)
A “slave” is defined in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary as: (1) “a person held in servitude as the chattel of another” and (2) “a person who has lost control of himself and is dominated by something or someone”.
Definition (1) is abhorrent to us all, alien to the Christian faith. It is definition (2) that we employ here. The Apostle Paul, in our text, makes it clear that all men are slaves, spiritually, either of sin or of righteousness. One to abject bondage, the other to untold blessing.
I. THE SLAVERY THAT ENSLAVES: DOMINATED BY SOMETHING: SIN! “Of sin resulting in death.”
1. Enslaved to carnal pleasure: “if it feels good…do it!” philosophy. Causes a person to disregard consequences to themselves or to others.
2. Enslaved to worldly popularity: “do whatever it takes and compromise whatever necessary to gain the applause of the world” and “honor and integrity for sale at any price.”
3. Enslaved to the sin of greed.
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10 (NKJV)
4. Enslaved to insatiable and unbreakable habits. Any addiction you have that you cannot quit enslaves you: drugs (legal or illegal); alcohol; tobacco.
II. THE SLAVERY THAT SETS FREE: CONTROLLED BY SOMEONE: GOD! “You became slaves of righteousness.”
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2.
1. Free from the eternal damnation of sin:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
2. Free from sin’s dominion and control:
“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14.
III. WE CAN ATTAIN TO THIS VICTORIOUS SLAVERY ONLY THROUGH THE NEW BIRTH EXPERIENCE!
Our Lord Jesus said to Nicodemus: "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3.
The Bible makes it clear as to how a person is born again. First a person must realize that he is lost and needs a Savior. Until a man comes to realize that in his spiritual condition outside of Christ, that he is lost and without hope, no man can be saved.
Man must come to grips with Romans 3:23 that "we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." He must come to understand that "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23.