Summary: Romans 6:15-23
15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There is a saying from a man named John Chrysostom that goes like this, “It is absurd…for those who are called to reign with Christ to choose to be captives to sin, as if one should throw down the crown from off his head and choose to be the slave of a hysterical woman who comes begging and covered in rags…How is it that sin can reign in you? It is not from any power of its own but only from your laziness.”
So here is a question for you. Do you think God has given you free will? There is no such thing as absolute freedom for anyone. There is only one being in this universe that is totally free and that is God. Free to do whatever He wants. All of us are at the least limited in our freedom and at the most completely enslaved by one of two things. We are either enslaved to sin, or enslaved to righteousness. So the real question is who are you a slave to?
As I said last week if we as Christians have been joined to Christ there is no looking back for us, the only way for us is to go forward, forward in righteousness.
Paul gives us here five reasons why we shouldn’t be slaves to sin.
Sin is slavery – The first reason why Christians should not return to sin, even though they are not under law but under grace, is that sin is actually slavery, and it would be foolish to be delivered from slavery only to return to it again.
I talked last week about the inmate that was released and how foolish it would be for him to want to go back to prison. Imagine maybe he was on death row for murder and maybe they found some new evidence that was able to get him released. Then what does he do, he goes to the bar that night to celebrate and gets drunk and kills someone while driving home.
We as humans find this difficult to understand sometimes, especially living in the United States. We think that being able to do whatever we want is actually freedom not slavery. But the truth is that was the lie that Satan told Eve in the garden. That sin would set her free. We know that once sin gets a good grasp on us that it is very difficult to break free from it. We for sure become a slave to it.
Sin leads to death – The second reason why we must not sin, even though we are under grace, is that sin leads to death. We know that Adams sin brought us both physical death and spiritual death, and once we accept Christ our spiritual self is then saved from the death of Hell and now made alive with a guarantee of life forever in Heaven.
Paul says this several times in these verses: “sin, which leads to death” (v-16), “Those things result in death!” (v-21), and “For the wages of sin is death” (v-23).
Don’t let the Devil trick you. God told Adam and Eve if they sinned “You will die.” The Devil told Eve “You will not surely die.” Who was right? God was both Adam and Eve died! First there spirits died and then their bodies died.
Trust in God who tells you that sin is death and that righteousness is life.
Christians have been delivered from sin’s slavery – The third reason Christians are not to continue in sin, even though they are not under the law but under grace, is that they have been delivered by Jesus from sins tyranny if they are truly Christians. Paul gives praise to God here when he says “17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness”.