Romans 6: 17 – 18 [highlighted verses in bold] … 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.
My Journal for Today: Oh how the Apostle Paul, the great discipler, wanted the Roman Christians (and for you and me, by extension) to grasp the truths in today’s (and yesterday’s) passages, which would allow them (us) to be free from our past in Christ. And another Apostle, John, must’ve felt much the same thing when he quoted Jesus in John 8: 31 - 32: “To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Both Paul and John wanted the bonds for believers who surrendered to Christ to our past sins to be broken by the Living Truth, Who, of course is Jesus. As John MacArthur puts it, “Christian liberty is not the freedom to choose to sin, but the freedom to choose not to.” And in today’s passage we read of the spiritual heart transplant performed in the life of the true, born-again believer who moves from being a slave to sin to becoming a slave to righteousness.
I believe … from Paul in Romans 6 and John in 1st John 1 and Peter in 1st Peter 1 … there’s ample biblical truth to say that true Christians are spiritually compelled to become slaves of righteousness; … that is, we are convicted with a growing sensitivity to sin as well as a growing power in the Spirit to overcome its grip on our lives. And that maturing conviction and enablement comes from our building/growing relationship with Christ and our surrender to His Spirit, where we will glean the empowerment to make the choices which lead to our freedom from sin and unto righteousness.
A Christian’s first step of repentance in faith to truly believe and receive Christ as Savior and Lord at conversion begins this process of relationship building with our Lord; but it is matured and completed as a spiritual process in our lifelong sanctification, carried out by the same Holy Spirit Who saved us. This change, as we’ve seen in past devotionals is documented in 2nd Cor. 5: 17, Gal. 2: 20, and/or Phil. 1: 6 [all verses one should have thoroughly memorized and internalized]. And our sanctification is the reality of each of us, as Christians, becoming loyal volunteers and surrendered slaves to Christ, humbly and joyfully wearing His Robes of Righteousness to cover over our rags of sin (see all of Colossians 3).
So, we must ask ourselves … do we feel under a compulsion to become an indentured servant of Christ, free from the enslavement to sin in our past? If so, what patterns in our life demonstrate our willingness to surrender to Christ’s Spirit and wear His robes to allow others to see Christ by the way we choose to live? When we answer that with our 24/7 lifestyle of worship, we’ll be the “living sacrifices” of Rom. 12:1, which reflect the freedom in truth Christ talked about in John 8: 32.
My Prayer Today: You are my Master, Lord! I pray my life choices show to others that I’m a slave to righteousness. Amen