Summary: If Jesus is our Master, we cannot continue to do our own thing or indulge in a lifestyle of sin. It just doesn’t work! If Jesus is our Master, His values and His leadership will be evident in our lives. Christians can only serve one Master wholeheartedly
Intro: Previously, we looked at the first 14 verses of Romans 6 and talked about the fact that we’ve been freed by grace. The former person that I was before Christ found me and transformed me is dead and gone! I’m not the same and never will be by the grace of God! Paul started that section with a question: Romans 6:1 “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” Then he spent some time showing why that doesn’t work. It is totally inconsistent with who we are in Christ! We are new people! We are free from sin! We have a new nature that leads us in the right way! It would require a U-Turn to go back to a life of sin.
-In v.15 Paul asks another question: 15 “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!” Then Paul uses the analogy of a slave to show how a lifestyle of sin doesn’t work for someone who has been bought by the Lord and belongs to Him.
-Now here is something to think about. Everyone is a slave. We were born to serve. The question is who will be our master? To whom will we present ourselves to obey and follow? That question must be answered by each of us because it will directly impact the way we live our lives. If Jesus is our Master, we cannot continue to do our own thing or indulge in a lifestyle of sin. It just doesn’t work! If Jesus is our Master, His values and His leadership will be evident in our lives. Christians must live their lives wholeheartedly for the Lord and not hire themselves out to sin any longer. We can only serve on Master wholeheartedly – and that Master is the One who created us and loves us more than we can comprehend.
-Let’s take a closer look at these verses and the idea of slavery and see what we can take home with us in the way of life-changing truth. Please follow along as I read.
Romans 6:15-23 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don'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? 17 But 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. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 I 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. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But 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. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I. Marks of Slavery
1. Submission – v.16 says that whoever you offer yourselves to becomes your master. Some translations use the word “present” or “yield.” The idea is submission. I think of people like Abraham and Samuel and Isaiah in the OT. When the Lord spoke to them, their response was, “Here I am.” They presented themselves to their Master when He spoke to them. And that is what we do when we first come to Jesus. We offer ourselves to Him because we’ve heard Him speak into our hearts. He has called our name and we have responded.
-I must admit, sometimes when I hear my name called I am reluctant to respond. See, there’s this beautiful blond lady I live with. And when I hear, “MarkO?” Somehow I know how that sentence is going to end. It’s probably not going to end with, “Will you sit down so I can rub your feet for you?” I’m probably not going to hear, “MarkO, why don’t we go on a fishing date?” Now please understand that I’m happy to oblige most any request because it has to do with cooperation in making our home a happy place. It is what I signed up for. As a partner in the relationship I cannot simply do what I want to do. I have learned to surrender my will to what is necessary and best for our family.