Summary: The Christians great Emancipation from slavery to Sin!

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Freed to be a Slave!

Romans 6:15–23


On September 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed and presented the Emancipation Proclamation. This great document and speech would change the course of American History leading us into the Civil War. Most importantly though the Emancipation Proclamation meant, that for thousands of slaves in this country, their legal status would be changing. Although slavery wasn’t officially done away with in America until the ratification of the 13th amendment to the Constitution in December 1865, what Lincoln had done was let it be known the freedom that was available and attainable.

In our text, Paul proclaims the great emancipation of the Christian from slavery to sin. But this emancipation is different from that which Lincoln proclaimed and the 13th amendment made law. The slaves set free by the Emancipation of 1862 were forever free, however those set free from sin are freed only to be a slave again.


I. Slaves to Sin

A. “I Pledge Allegiance. . .”

1. To God?

2. To Satan?

B. Slaves to sin are the only slaves who get paid.

1. What benefit is there from sin?

2. “Wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23

II. Freed From Sin

A. Manumission–the ancient ceremony of manumission was one in which the slaves chains were actually cut by a smith. The anvil and chisel were actually brought into the church, where such ceremonies were often held. It was in such ceremonies that the slaves legal status was changed.

1. The Greek expression for being “set free from sin” is a term which refers to this manumission of a slave.

2. The point where one is “set free” from sin is just as defined as this example.

B. Wholehearted Obedience

1. Salvation starts with the heart. Romans 10:9–10

2. Salvation culminates with obedience to “that form of teaching.”

a. Obedience and Faith

b. The Gospel

III. Slaves to Righteousness

A. The very opposite of our previous state.

1. Instead of slaves to sin and “ever increasing wickedness”

2. Now we are, slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.

B. Slaves to righteousness earn no wages.

1. The blessings are plentiful but cannot be earned.

2. The blessing is a Gift: Eternal Life in Christ Jesus our Lord!


How strange it is this great freedom granted in being released from the bondage of sin results in renewed slavery. This new master we serve pays no wage as did our former master, yet this is the very lure that attracts one to make the change. We don’t want to receive what we deserve as a result of our works. Our new master’s gift is so much more than we deserve yet it shows His love for those who wholeheartedly obey His will.

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