Summary: A Sermon about the essential choices we make as Christians that reflect our obedience to God.
“Choose or Lose”
Everyday each one of us are confronted with choices that somehow affect our lives in a larger way:
The Speed Limit - when we drive we choose whether or not to go the prescribed speed limit or choose to take our chances and go over the limit and risk an accident or injury or the pronouncement of the law
We Choose – to listen or not to listen to the advice given to us by our parents or preachers, family or friends. Often when given the advice of others we weigh it and determine if it’s the course of action we want to take.
The words of Eleanor Roosevelt ring true: One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words. It is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.
In our text this morning Paul calls us to decide. Paul calls for ……choices.
(Prepositional Statement – one of duty)
As Christians it is essential that our choices reflect our obedience to God.
Why? Is it Essential?
I. Because Who We Obey We End Up Serving. (v 15-19a)
A. Paul opens up the text with a question in verse 15. “ Since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does this mean we can go on sinning?”
1.He answers his own rhetorical question with a resolute “ Of course not!”
2. Then Paul proceeds with an everyday analogy that a 1st Century Christian would understand…Slavery. (16-19)
· Why use the analogy of a master/slave relationship in conjunction with the everyday choices we make?
· In verse 19 Paul tells them why, “ I speak this way using the illustration of slaves and masters, because it is easy for you to understand.”
· But today this may not be easy for us to understand because slavery no longer exists in America. So we have to look at the scripture through the eyes of a 1st Century Roman Christian.
· When a slave was passed in ownership from one master to another – the old Masters authority came to an end.
Once says Paul – you were slaves to sin. Sin was your old master and you were forced to do all the evil desires your heart ordered you to do – you had no power to say No.
· Think on your own life today. What has God liberated you from that you were powerless to change in your best efforts:
Anger? Rage? Fear? Control? Substances?
· Did you find yourself in a lifestyle that repeated itself in destructive mistakes and bad influences – on a path of self-destruction?
· That lifestyle and those patterns should be completely broken – no longer embraced or lived now because you have come to Christ. You have been free from sins power
· When slaves were transferred to the new owner – there is a new set of rules. So Paul goes on to say:
But now you have passed from the service of sin into the service of God; your business now is to do what pleases God, not what sin dictates.
B. So the true disciple of Jesus has a daily choice: We can choose to serve the old master of our lives – Sin, and reap the wages Sin will eventually give us. Or we can choose to serve Jesus as our Master – and live a life of holiness and Christ-like character.
1. What if we choose our old master above our new?
2. What if our own desires to do what we want to do are more important to us?
3. What if the pull of the world is more important to us then the pull of God on our hearts?
4. What if we choose to keep those habits and not submit them to the control of the Holy Spirit?
Well, we don’t have to look far for an illustration to give us the answer. Bondage to Sin only leads deeper into slavery so it becomes harder and harder to do what is right. Soon – one might even give up trying.
The Prodigal Son is an example of this (Luke 15). When he was at home, he decided he wanted his freedom, so he left home to find himself and enjoy himself. But his rebellion only led him deeper into slavery.
He became a slave of wrong desires, and then He became a salve to wrong deeds.
Finally he became a literal slave when he took care of the pigs.
What he thought was freedom turned out to be the worst kind of slavery. It was only when he returned home and yielded to his father that he found true freedom.