Summary: Paul says in Romans 6 that we have a choice to be enslaved to sin or righteousness. What are you chained to?
1. My manuscripts are basically my thoughts on paper. Typically, I use them as a guide, not verbatim. Very rarely do I preach my message exactly the way I wrote it. If you would like to hear the message preached, please visit Abundant Life Fellowship’s multimedia page at http://www.abundantlife-lompoc.org/multimedia.html
2. I preached this sermon with chains wrapped around my wrists. As I began talking about all the things that I used to do before I came to Christ, I had a brother connect other chains to my wrists.
There is a part of American history that I personally wish I could turn back the hands of time to re-write. There was a period where people enslaved others. Slaves were not considered humans, rather they were looked upon as property of their owners. Believe it or not, those who supported slavery believed that there was Biblical foundations for it. What’s more amazing is that this belief isn’t dead.
Yes, we find instances in the Scripture where slavery is mentioned. According to God’s Law, one would only be enslaved until a debt was repaid, six years of service was completed, or the year of Jubilee, which ever occurred first. God never intended for one person to oppress another. His plan was for mankind to live under His subjection.
Slavery in America ended when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. This declaration freed many who were in bondage, working against their free will, for the benefit of someone else. The Emancipation Proclamation, now known as the 13th Amendment to the Constitution reads:
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Sadly, when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, there were many slaves who continued to serve their masters. Many did so because they couldn’t believe such an act had happened. Any many more died as “free” slaves because no one told them about their freedom.
Thinking about how horrible slavery is, how can we look at the opening passages of the book of Romans and be excited? Paul says that he is a bondservant of Christ. Is that a good thing or not?
When I was born, I had the chains of sin already around my wrists. Now, this may seem hard to believe how something as innocent as a newborn baby is bound by the chains of sin. But the Bible clearly teaches us that when we entered the world, we were in sin (Romans 5:12).
Now I grew up in a Christian home. But, without Christ, I was still bound. I began doing things, which I thought were very liberating, but instead of making me free, enslaved me even more. I was adding chains instead of removing them.
Growing up in a Christian home, I was taken to church every Sunday. Church alone will not break your chains. Church doesn’t set you free. Church does not make you a child of God. You can sleep in the garage all night, but you won’t be a car when you wake up. ONLY Christ can set you free.
So I decided to accept Jesus into my life. When I did that, the chains of sin were broken. But because I didn’t completely enslave myself to righteousness, I had one hand bound to Christ, and all my other little chains bound to the other. It wasn’t a very comfortable position to be in and I was miserable.
The reason for this is because I had not chosen to completely give my life to the Lord. Paul in verses 12-13 of the sixth chapter of Romans says:
Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to its lustful desires. Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God.
Paul states that we become enslaved to whatever we choose to obey (v 16). So in essence, it is our choice what we are chained to.
What are you chained to?
Are you chained to something that controls you? Slaves are bound to their masters against their free will.
You are a slave to anything that prevents you from serving God.
Paul clearly outlines in Romans 6, that we are either a slave to sin or a slave of righteousness.
Once you were slaves of sin, but now you have obeyed with your heart the new teaching God has given you. Now you are free from sin, your old master, and you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness – Romans 6:17-18