Summary: The One power that can free you from your sinful nature is not involved in your problems, because, you haven't decided to make Him your Savior. You are not designed for shame or regret. You are designed for power and a purpose.
The word 'slave' is terrible word with a horrible meaning. Today we don't use the word slavery as much as we use the word trafficking. But, it's the same thing. According to the UN 2.5 million human beings are bought and sold as property all over world. According to this same report 1.2 million of those traded, bought and sold are children. More children are sold into slavery every year in our world than all the people who live in Nova Scotia. Slavery means the same thing today as it did when Paul wrote the book of Romans. A human being who is regarded and owned by another as property is a slave.
I don't know anyone who believes they are a slave. But you are. I am. In every sense of the word that we are owned by our sinful nature, or we are owned by Jesus. When we are owned by our sinful nature we feel ugly and shameful. Our sin isn't pretty compared to the glorious perfection of Jesus.
But it's difficult to convince folks of this, because, the power of the human spirit, the world says, is strong. Human beings are capable of achieving just about anything we want to do. Or at least we convince ourselves we can. Go to the moon? No problem. Swim the English Channel...been there, done that. Fly around the world, wow, that was like a hundred years ago. We believe ourselves to be so powerful that many of us actually think that mankind is capable of destroying the earth.
If we listen to ourselves, if we believe what we say about each other, then we are deceived, because the Bible tells us that human beings are slaves. Slaves are not powerful. Slaves are owned.
And this is the word Paul uses in Romans 6. But here's the Good News. You weren't designed by the creator to be owned by your sinful nature. You weren't created by God to be a slave to sin. A slave to sin is full of shame and regret. You were created by God to live in harmony with Him. You're a beautiful thing. Here's how Paul put it, "God bought you with a high price". This means that you're not designed for shame or regret. You are designed for power and a purpose.
As we discuss Romans 6 reflect on this question: Are you living with shame and regret or for power and a purpose?
Human beings are slaves to what they choose to obey. Romans 6:16
I don't know very many people, other than Jesus followers who will readily admit they are powerless slaves. Jesus followers will proudly admit that we are slaves to Jesus Christ, but, I've never heard someone proudly claim to be a slave to their sinful nature. Usually if a person comes to the conclusion that they are "obeying" a substance for example, this is not a proud moment, it's a moment of shame.
We can choose to be owned by our sin. We can see ourselves through the lens of failure, and what is reflected back is not pretty. Jesus speaks into this truth in John chapter 10. "The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." I would like for you to do something for me. In the Scripture we just read, where Jesus used the word, 'thief's' I want you to write your name. So here's how this would read for me, "Daren's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy, but my purpose is to give Daren a rich and satisfying life." How does it feel to read the first part? How many of us are feeling sanctimonious right now?
"How dare you suggest that I would steal, kill and destroy." Some of you might think that I'm taking this a little too far. I've said it before and I'll say it many, many times again and again, learn the truth from Jesus. What do the red letter words say. You really think you're above your sinful nature that seeks to steal, kill and destroy?
Read Jesus: "But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell." Matthew 5:22
In the same sermon Jesus also said this, "But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:28
Jesus wants to give you a rich and satisfying life. But you have to want His life. You're not designed for shame or regret. You are designed for power and a purpose.