Skip to main content

Romans 6:16: Do You Not Know That If You Present Yourselves To Anyone As Obedient Slaves, You Are Slaves Of The One Whom You Obey?

Romans 6:16
[16] Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? (ESV)

We do not like the word "slavery." With good reason. A few years ago I visited the slavery museum in Charleston, South Carolina. I looked at the images of black men treated as if they were less valued than animals. As my family made our way through the exhibits we realized that there was not a dry eye in the building. Slavery was cruel. Brutal. Deadly.

How is it that Paul chooses to use the image of slavery? The mere thought of this word being used offends our senses. Let's take a closer look. Paul is using slavery in terms of the believers relationship to sin. Slavery is a reality for us. We are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness, but either way we will be enslaved.

It is fascinating how unbelievers will say that they reject Christianity because they do not want to lose their freedom. They present themselves to their slave master, sin, and do it's bidding. They find themselves shackled to alcohol, drugs, sexual immorality, greed, lust, envy, malice, rage, hatred, bigotry, and every vile practice. Freedom? No, complete enslavement to sin.

What is the alternative? We can willingly choose to have a different master. If we reject the slavery of sin we can walk to the direction of an obedient heart. The burdens are light. The reward is righteousness. In this scenario our Savior, who is also our master, calls us friends and heirs. Slaves to sin inherit nothing but death. Slaves to Christ inherit eternal life.

We are slaves. Choose wisely. Will you be enslaved to sin? Or will you choose a life of obedience? One master is harsh and will bring you to death. The other is loving and will call you an heir, bringing you to eternal life.


Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 11:24: For If You Were Cut From What Is By Nature A Wild Olive Tree, And Grafted, Contrary To Nature, Into A Cultivated Olive Tree . . .

Romans 11:24 [24] For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV) We continue looking at the illustration of an olive tree. The root of the tree is the covenant relationship relationship of God with Abraham. Abraham's faith is what this spiritual tree is built on. The first branches would have been the faithful people of Israel, who like Abraham, placed their faith in God. They believed God, just like Abraham, and it was credited to them as righteousness. There were branches of the people of Israel who never placed their faith in God. Because these branches were not true followers of God they were broken off of the tree. Faith in God was the essential element that made the branches true branches of this spiritual tree. Some branches remained. Others, the faithless unbelievers, were removed. After Jesu

Romans 15:22: This Is The Reason Why I Have So Often Been Hindered From Coming To You.

Romans 15:22 [22] This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. (ESV) Paul was quite the traveler. As an Apostle to the Gentiles his task was literally to take the Gospel to the entire known world at the time. Many of the Epistles that Paul writes are letters written to places where he has already been. He preached the Gospel, many were saved, churches were planted, and Paul moved on to a new area. Rome was a place that Paul had never been to. He writes this entire letter to people whom he had never met. As an Apostle to the Gentiles he wanted to give them the good solid teaching they needed to grow in their faith. Likely, someone who was converted on the Day of Pentecost went back to Rome and first shared the Gospel there. Paul says that he has been often hindered from coming to Rome. He could have argued that all kinds of circumstances would not permit him to get to Rome. Paul would not have blamed circumstances. He would have understood that it w