Summary: A look at what it means to be a slave unto God.
SLAVES TO SIN or SLAVES TO OBEDIENCE
PART ONE: SLAVES INDEED BUT TO WHOM—
“Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods of which your fathers served beyond the river and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24: 14,15
We will always be slaves according to scripture. The point of impact for us is whose slave will we be? It is this vital place of decision that we approach today. We look left and we look right wondering which way to go. But we know that “we can not serve two masters, for we will hate one and love the other or love one and hate the other.” Matthew 6:24 There is a call on the life of every believer to “choose today whom you will serve.”
A. Let’s start by a comparative look at Romans 6:15-23. These verses speak plainly that there is a decision to be made and even outlines the consequences and benefits.
1. Slaves to Sin
A. Unto Death (condemnation) v.16
B. Presented yourselves slaves to impurity and lawlessness resulting in more lawlessness v.19
C. free from righteousness v.20
D. No benefit... Shame v.21 (see 1 Timothy 6:7... to store up things in this world is to lose them in the end)
E. wages of sin is death v.23
2.Slaves to Obedience
A. Unto righteousness v.16
B. presented yourselves slaves to righteousness resulting in sanctification. V.19
C. Free from sin v. 18
D. Benefits: eternal life and sanctification v.22 (see 1Timothy 6:6 and note that godliness is of great gain when accompanied with contentment)
E. free gift of God is eternal life v.23
You can see by this comparison that to be a slave to sin is to bring condemnation, impurity, lawlessness, unrighteousness, shame and ultimately death; yet so many throngs of people rush headlong into the work of being a slave to sin. Daily countless thousands of lives are found destroyed or deteriorating because of the great love that man has found for sin. Contrast that with what it looks like to be a slave to obedience and you will see that to be such a slave brings righteousness, sanctification (which is holiness), freedom from sin, and eternal life. You will notice that righteousness is listed three times in this passage while sanctification and eternal life are listed twice. You may find that the text actually uses righteousness four times but on one occasion it speaks of freedom from righteousness so we call that contrary to the will of God. Why the repetition throughout this passage of righteousness, sanctification, and eternal life. I believe that it is because whenever God had firmly decided an issue he would say it twice (Genesis 41: 32). There are a multitude of parables that Christ spoke in two forms. Many times when God spoke to a man He would call out his name twice. Or how many times would a godly man receive two dreams or two visions? We would not have enough time here to tell of how God would show Himself repetitiously to His people. I believe that there is very deliberate significance to the emphasis placed on these words. It is because the matter has been determined by God to quickly bring about these things in the body of those who are His slaves through the body of our resurrected Lord.
Sanctification (holiness) is: God’s will 1Thessalonians 4:3
God’s eternal purpose 2Thessalonians 2:13,14
Necessary Hebrews 12:14
Righteousness is: Through Christ Romans 5: 19
Our breastplate Ephesians 6:14
A crown 2 Timothy 4:8
Eternal life is: God’s free gift Romans 6:23
In Christ John 3:16
Knowing God and Jesus John 17:3
B. We have seen the comparison of serving sin or obedience. Let us say for the sake of argument that we have resolved to stay as slaves of God. Slaves to His will and ways. I think that perhaps some questions will arise. At least one question will arise. “why should I stay with my master?” Many people over the years have thought it. “But it is more fun to do what I want to do. The world and sin is more fun that all of that religious stuff.” Yet we know what the consequences of that lifestyle are. Consider the following passages as a possible explanation as to why someone would stay with their master.
“But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,’ then his master shall bring him to the judges who act in God’s name, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.” Exodus 21:5,6