Summary: Freedom gives hope to the weakest believer!
Living Free in Christ, Romans 6:17-22
Pastor Trey Rhodes
"If you do the ’do’s’ you ain’t go time to do the ’don’t’s.’ So you don’t and that’s cool." - Mike Warnke
For Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do. -Isaac Watts
Background: There is hope for the weak! (v. 19b) Whatever you yield to becomes your master. Before you were saved, you were the slave of sin. Now that you belong to Christ, you are freed from that old slavery and made the servant of Christ. Because of our weakness, we are told that as humans there is help! Romans 6:19 also suggests that the Christian ought to be as enthusiastic in yielding to the Lord as he was in yielding to sin.
1. Living Free in Christ Begins with Obedience to Christ (Romans 6:17)
Explanation: It is great to know that the believers in Rome had obeyed the Lord. It was so obvious that Paul thanked God for their testimony in obedience. What did they do? They had heard about the life of Jesus (from their pastor and other teachers…maybe even read some tracts that were moving throughout the churches) and then followed His example.
They understood that they should follow Christ and be obedient to him and His word.
How about you? Is that where you are? Are you patterning your life after Jesus?
Step 1 - Practice Obedience
"Chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ" 1 Peter 1:2
2. Living Free in Christ Continues through Bondage to Christ (Romans 6:18)
Explanation: Here now is where the understanding of freedom comes into focus. Freedom will naturally follow obedience. Remember that pattern!
It is because of the change that has happened in their hearts that has made it so that they were free. Free from service to sin and, in turn, have become the servants of righteousness. Here’s the bottom line, freedom from serving Satan is by necessity and definition, bondage to the Lord Jesus Christ. You cannot be his bondservant if He is not Lord. As Lanny Wolfe once sang, "If He’s not Lord of everything, then He’s not Lord at all."
Who owns you? You are owned by the one you serve. Do you serve hate? Money? Desire? Your job? Determine who you serve and then you can tell who owns you. Let’s all turn to Jesus serve Him and let the Lord Jesus Christ be our owner.
Step 2 - Accept Ownership
Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ Jude 1:1
3. Living Free in Christ Is the Opposite to Your Sinful Lifestyle (Romans 6:19-20)
What is it that drove you to that sinfulness and wickedness?
Explanation: The entire idea of the slave is used in this passage to show to ALL believers their weakness. Slaves are the weakest order of humanity. They have no rights, no life of their own, no money or belongings that could be called theirs, and they are at the beck and call of the master. That is whoever bought and paid for them. We are cannot negotiate from strength with our old lifestyle, we are weak!
So, here’s what we do. We live our lives for Christ with the same zeal that we lived for the world, the flesh, and the devil.
However you lived lived for those things, now place all your energy into serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
Step 3 - Think Opposite
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
4. Living Free in Christ Is Kept in Check by Shame (Romans 6:21-22a)
Explanation: Now we have a biting question if you or I would even entertain living a life of practicing sin. What kind of fruit did we have from yielding lives to sin? The problem is that sin will ALWAYS promise more than it can deliver. None of the fruit that sin "promises" is worth having, and the actual and ultimate result of sin is death (see v. 23).
As a result, we should be ashamed of sin. We should be ashamed that we were fooled by sin. But, whatever the fruit and whatever the sin, we must ashamed of sin and that we were ever involved.
I ask you…have we lost our ability to be ashamed? We need to re-capture the ability to blush and be ashamed. We must realize how utterly horrible and what a betrayal sin is to the character and person of the Lord Jesus. And ask ourselves if we were acting this way in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God. Let’s recover shame and be ashamed when we don’t live as a bondservant to the Lord Jesus Christ.