Slaves to Righteousness
Does living under God’s grace as Christians give us the freedom to sin as much as we want? In our reading today, the Apostle Paul answers that question with an emphatic, “By no means!” (v. 15). Paul then expands upon his answer by contrasting two types of slavery: slavery to sin and slavery to righteousness. Slavery was common among the Romans during the early first century. Some estimate that as many as thirty to forty percent of the population were enslaved! Slaves knew what it was like to have a master, and could only hope to one day be freed from their bondage. Being a slave to sin means to live a life of perpetual lawlessness and impurity, separated from God and subject to His wrath. The ultimate payment and judgment for this choice is death. But when we put our faith in Jesus, God through His infinite grace ransoms us from our slavery by paying a price – the blood of His son Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:20). Jesus died and was raised again so that we may be reconciled to God to live eternally with Him. Sin is no longer our master. God is our master. We are now slaves to God and to His righteousness.
When I reflect on this passage, I am thankful that God has broken the chains of sin in my life, cast off my old sin nature, and is daily renewing my life in Him. I am nothing without Him!
Stepping Out in Lent – If it sometimes seems that this basic Christian doctrine fails to alleviate the guilt of our sin, we would do well to dwell on this verse and claim its promise: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Author – Elaine Ford loves serving God wherever He leads. She is currently the co-chair for the English Fayre and she and her husband, Mike, serve with the Charles Simeon Institute. Their daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter also attend St. Peter’s.