Summary: Are we slaves to sin or righteousness?
THREE PROBLEMS, ONE SOLUTION
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.[NKJV]
Ok, you pull into your driveway. You have had a long day at work, and all that is on your mind right now is, you want to veg out in your favorite chair and take in some tube. When you pull into your drive way you notice ice on your driveway. As you carefully enter the house you notice that your kitchen is flooded and you can hear that distinct sound of water gushing from a broken pipe. You realize that you have three problems here, ice in the driveway, flooded kitchen, and a broken water pipe. What would be the most logical thing to fix first? If you chip the ice out of the driveway first, it would just come back because you have not fixed the source of the water, likewise, mopping the floor would be to no avail. Before you can fix any of the minor problems you need to fix the major problem or the cause of the problem.
There are three basic things wrong with man. First we are slaves to sin [6:17]. Second we engage in lawlessness and impurity [6:19]. Third we are headed for death [6:16] and eternal doom [6:21].
Listen to this carefully; I will repeat it because I think it is worth repeating.
Because we are what we are,
We have done what we have done.
Because we have done what we have done,
We are going where we are going.
If we are to be made holy it wouldn’t do to fix what we’ve done wrong or where we are going. That would be like chipping the ice off the drive way or mopping the floor and leaving the gushing pipe still gushing. So to change our destination and our actions we need to change our attitude.
When Adam decided to disobey God That disobedience was passed down from generation to generation all the way to you and me. God set into motion a plan that would cleanse the stain of that disobedience. But; that is only part of the problem. Unless we change what we are, we will continue to do what we do.
There are two reasons man does what he does. The first being a lack of knowledge of anything better. The second is the knowledge is there but the passion is not. We figure that we are sinners and there is nothing any one can do about it. We become slave to the very sin we are ashamed of.
I heard a sermon once where the preacher talked about anger issues. I want you to think about this for a moment. When you get mad at someone because they hurt you, whether intentionally or unintentionally and you hold a grudge against this person. Who are you really hurting. If you continue to think of the revenge you’re going to get. Who is the slave to your grudge?
Sin is the same; let’s say you have lustful desires. Every time you look at a woman you only think about one thing. Does this make you free? No; you have become a slave to those desires. I chose lustful desires because that is what Paul is talking about in our text for today. Lustful desired don’t have to be for the opposite sex. You could desire food, or more money, anything that will make your sinful nature active to achieve these desires.