Romans 6:15-23 - Whose Slave Are You?
Intro: I read a story this week of a young girl who accepted Christ as her Savior and wanted to be baptized . An old deacon in the Church wanted to find out where this girl was really at in regards to her relationship w/ the Lord asked a few questions†† "Were you a sinner before you received the Lord Jesus into your life?" "Yes, sir," she replied.† "Well, are you still a sinner?" "To tell you the truth, I feel I'm a greater sinner than ever." / †"Then what real change have you experienced?" This was her response †"I don't quite know how to explain it," she said, "except I used to be a sinner running AFTER sin, but now that I am saved I'm a sinner running FROM sin!"
A) That was a great answer and one that should mark the life of every believer who has exercised faith in Jesus Christ !
B) Now in our study here in the book of Romans we have seen in Ch. 5 that when we became Christians we entered into a new standing in the Lord
1) †In Adam we were Dead in our sin - Penalty of sin was judgment condemnation & death.
C) But through faith in Christ we were made alive - freed from the penalty of sin / and able to live under the grace of God !
1) †Ch. 5:20 But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,
D) Understanding that means† We are free & able to enjoy life as it was really intended to be lived in freedom and in fellowship w/ the Lord
1) †But some have misinterpreted this freedom to mean I can go on sinning - I can live however I want to because God is gracious
E) He will forgive me ! / Now in our study last time we noted that such thinking was illogical
1) †Not the attitude of a person who truly has an understanding of Grace
F) Grace doesnít lead to lawlessness / but to Liberty to live in the Lord !
1) †But we also noted that to think that we who have received grace would just indulge in sin is not just illogical but also unscriptural
G) Because Paul says in v. 2 that we who are in Christ have died to sin!
1) †That when Christ died on the cross we died / and because of our identification w/ Him / we who were dead in sin became dead to sin
H) we who were freed from the Penalty of sin were also freed from the Power of sin!
And in V.1-14 Paul presents 3 important Principles to help us make sure that this positional truth - becomes a practical reality in our lives
A) V.6 Know old man crucified w/ Christ that the body of sin might be done away w/ - Lit. rendered inactive - paralyzed
B) Once you know that V. 11 Reckon it to be so - add up the facts make a reality - Appropriation
1) †Practical application:†† Present your members to God as instruments of righteousness †††Members = Body & mind / instrument =tool
C) Focus of our study last time - key understanding - if you desire to live a life of Victory & freedom in the Lord !
This morning we are going to pick up in v. 15 where Paul in closing out this section on the believers relationship to sin adds one more point
A) To continue in sin because we are under grace is not just illogical & unscriptural / but it is also dangerous - that is the focus of this last section
15† What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!
16† Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17† But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.18† And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.† 19† I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.† 20† For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.†† 21† What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.
22† But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
23† For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So Paul begins here by answering a similar Question in v.15 that was presented in v.1
A) The difference lies in this: In v. 1 the rhetorical question Paul asked is can we continue in sin- Lit. live habitually in sin/ since under grace
B) Paulís answer -NO WAY !
1) †In v. 15 the question is not dealing w/ the issue of habitual sin but of occasional sin
C) It is the idea that a person might have - it is no big deal if I give into this sin or that temptation - because God is going to forgive me
1) †A little sin / a little compromise isnít going to hurt me !
D) In the following verses Paul answers that question in a 4 fold way - showing that
1) †If you, as a Christian, go on and sin deliberately, even if it is only occasionally, you must face what sin† will do to you.
E) Paul reveals 4 dangers of giving into sin!†
†So in the rest of our time this morning we will look at these 4 things that Paul shares concerning the danger of presenting ourselves to sin /
A) And we will† also note what Paul instructs us to do instead!
B) So Paul says 1st of all† donít give into sin because sin makes you its slave ! v.16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
C) Now w/ this mention of slavery Paul would have really got his listeners attention. It is estimated that 1/3 of the pop. Of Rome in 1 century were slaves
1) †In fact the slave population was so large that slaves were no longer required to where a distinctive style of clothing to identify them
D) Because the governing authorities didnít want them to realize their numerical strength.
1) †Because the Slave Pop. Was so large in Rome - many of the people in the Church were slaves or used to be slaves .
Now although none of us here can really relate to the idea of being a slave - it is true that all of us in this room are slaves to something
A) Given aspect of human nature is man is made to be mastered
B) T-SHIRT Iím a slave of Christ - on the front - whose slave are you on back /†† Bob Dylan was right - serve somebody
C) Some people are enslaved to their work . They have one abiding allegiance in life and that is to their Job. All time & energy - work
D)Some are enslaved to things - they are enslaved to their possessions
1)All their waking thoughts are given to taking care of what they have or††
††† dreaming about how they can acquire more .
E) Others are enslaved to habits which dominate their existence !
1) †The ill tempered are enslaved to their tempers / the sensual person is enslaved to their bodies
F) I think Bob Dylan like many others didnít realize what Paul is saying here that† what you present yourself to/ you† end up being that things slave
1) †All humanity serves under one of two slaveries† - either sin which leads to death or obedience which leads to righteousness
Now Paul† says that we Christians have been set free from the slavery
to sin. /† 17† But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
18† And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
A) In v. 17 Paul speaks of that form of doctrine as playing a vital part in our freedom .
1) †The word form in gr. speaks of a mold into which melted metal is poured so that it takes the shape of the mold .
B) The believer is the melted metal - the doctrine or teaching of the gospel is the mold .
1) †Kenneth Wuest the great Greek scholar is helpful here / Wuest reminds us that v. 17 doesnít read you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine† which† delivered† You
C) Now that is true statement - the message of the gospel did deliver us when we believed it but Paul is saying something else here / Powerful
1) †Notice again the v. reads you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. Or into which Ö.
D) In other words when we were saved God cast our inward natures into the mold described here in Rom. 6 / dead to Sin / alive in Christ
E) So The gospel not only delivers us from the penalty of sin & the power of sin, but it shapes our Character as well. / If we Present ourselves to it
But what happens when we as believers choose to do something that is wrong.
A) We are always confronted with this temptation to live for the moment and indulge ourselves in some sin .
B) And sometimes we try to kid ourselves into believing it is not very serious. "It won't hurt us anyway,"†† Just a little compromise
C) Paul warns you become a slave to that which you yield yourself to !
1)Jesus stated this† in John 8:34: "Verily, verily, I say unto you"He that†
†††††† commits sin is the slave of sin."
Now the 2nd thing that Paul mentions in v.19 is that sin leads to more sin
that is how that works . 19† I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.
A) In v. 21 Paul mentions the fruit of sin / these 2 are enter connected / sin is like a seed that takes root & produces a tree that produces fruit
1) †Apple seed produces Apple tree / which produces more apples
B) Sin / lawlessness results in more lawlessness / more sin! / Classic example is lying !
1) †What happens when you tell a lie / even just a little lie ? Often times you end up telling 20 other lies to cover the one lie!
C) But yielding ourselves to sin not only produces sin in us / but it affects those around us as well .
D) Ever notice how when you wake up in the morning - feel grouchy / so you begin to act grouchy - that is contagious
1) †You raise your voice at your wife & get a little sharp w/ her & she responds back the same way.
E) Kids / or if single roommate .
That is the inevitable fruit of sin, something that Paul reminds us of many times. In Galatians 6:7 and 8 he says,
"Do not be deceived [don't kid yourself]; God is not mocked. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the† flesh reap corruption..."
A) In other words You can't drop the seed of evil into your heart without reaping from it the harvest, the† fruit of corruption. "...
B) You will always reap what you sow†††
An Elderly† man boarded a train, one day & occupied the best seat, and then tried to reserve still another for himself by placing his luggage upon it.
† Just before the crowded train started, a teenage boy came running up and jumped aboard. "This car is full," said the man &†† "that seat next to me is reserved for a friend of mine who has put his bag there."†
The youth paid no attention but sat down saying, "All right, I'll stay here until he comes."† He placed the suitcase upon his knees while the elderly man glared at him in vain.† Of course, the "friend" didn't appear, and soon the train began to move.
†As it glided past the platform, the young fellow tossed the bag through the open window remarking, "Apparently your friend has missed the train.† We mustn't let him lose his luggage too!"† With a horrified expression on his face the old gentleman began to fume and sputter.† The lie had cost him his possessions!†† Reap what sow
Math. Of sin always same add sorrow / sub. Joy / Multiply problemsÖÖ
The 3rd thing that Paul mentions about sin is it makes us ashamed v.21 21† What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed?
A) Each of us can look back in our lives at something we are ashamed of. It leaves a stain in our minds when we† think about it.
B) Shame is the awareness of unworthy actions and irreparable damage that we do to others and† our painful feeling about it.
1) †We have all experienced shame at times. Sin---no matter what it is or how small it† always leads to shame.
C) We all know what it is like to have those shameful deeds that we would like to forget, but can't; hurtful words that we wish we had never said;
D) So when we indulge in those little sins - we are immediately confronted by guilt & shame & we open up the door for the enemy to condemn us
4th Thing Paul mentions as a danger of sin is also in v. 21 For the end of those things is death.
A) Sin leads to death ! Now it might not result in physical death but sin has a deadening effect on us
B) When I give into sin / deadens my sensitivity to the H.S. / sin can kill intimacy in a marriage or friendship
1) †Sin not dealt w/ always produces or results in death !
C) I think a very clear picture of what Paul is describing here as the results of sin is† seen in the life of Samson.
Of all the guys in the O.T. Samson is probably the most vivid picture of a wasted vessel†
A) The H.S. would come upon this guy and empower him w/ incredible strength enabling him to conquer whole armies single handedly
B) We read of one time where he killed 1000 men all by himself
C) Yet Samson instead of yielding himself to the Spirit of God - continually yielded himself to his flesh.
1) †One compromise after another / lit. playing w/ sin - thinking he was untouchable / he went so far as to completely ignore his Nazarite Vow
D) Listen to what happened to Samson Judges 16:21 Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.
E) And the Philistines would go by & mock Samson - How the mighty Samson has fallen† - kids know doubt threw stones at him
Guys that is what exactly sin does ! It will blind you / it will bind you & it will leave you grinding in misery & shame in as itís slave !
A) Samsonís sin led to his eventual death w/ the Philistines
B) God still accomplished his purposes but it could have been another way!
C) Samson could have ended up as a hero instead of a picture of wasted potential / of a wasted vessel
1) if he would have just presented himself to God
What about You ?† Whose slave are you?† Paul says you are either a slave to sin or you are a slave of righteousness
A) It all depends on who you are presenting yourself to !Who you are obeying
B) Paul says you are free in Christ - now act like it / present yourself to him
V.22,23 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.23† For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Now I was reading in Luke Ch.9 few days ago in my devotions & the Lord reminded me of something that relates to what Paul is saying here about being those who desire to be instruments of righteousness / turn
A) V.23 "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
B) Jesus was the consummate example of a life that was yielded as an instrument to God
1) †He was the consummate example of a man who presented his members as instruments of righteousness to God
C) Now† Jesus said : "If anyone desires to come after Me -† or if anyone desires to be like me ††Here is what you do !
1) †Deny self - your ambitions - desires - rights† - needs - that desire to please self
D) That is what gets us in so much trouble is self ! / Jesus says to deny self
††† & die to self - take up your cross & follow me †-† DAILY
1) †Daily thing - Paul Rom/12† Present yourself as a living sacrifice
Understand that when Jesus says to take up your cross He is not talking about enduring through a bad marriage
A) Not talking about suffering from allergies / or enduring through a bad Job
B) The cross was an instrument of redemption - and it was the greatest expression of the Love of God man has ever seen
1) †Jesus - Denied Himself when He left the glory of heaven & concealed His deity & came to earth as a man / not to be served but to serve
C) And then He took up the cross & laid down His life in order to redeem lost man - the cross was an instrument of death that brought life
D) So if we are going to be those who like Jesus presented His members as instruments of righteous to God
1) †We daily need to deny ourselves & die to ourselves in presenting ourselves to God as a vessel through which He can display His love
E) So that we might be as Paul says in 2 Cor. 5:18 Ministers of reconciliation
Now in closing - Some of you here are missing out on what God has for you / because instead of presenting yourself to God
A) Instead of denying yourself & seeking to die to self / you are still serving yourself - still trying to please your self
B) But you are frustrated because it is never enough - never satisfied - never fulfilled - you slave away at work - move up the ladder of success
1) †You accumulate more stuff - but there is never a lasting satisfaction
C) Surrender to Jesus today !
But as I pondered all of this yesterday - I realized that the reason why many of us do not present our members to the Lord to be used as instruments for His glory
A)It isnít because we are out there pursuing self & sin - but it is simply because we have been duped into thinking - He doesnít want me
1) †He canít use me / I have no talents no skills nothing to give nothing to bring / God would never use me !
B) As I pondered all of that - and I know that is how many of us feel from time to time / reminded of another passage in Luke 9 :12
Feeding of the 5 thousand - Took 5 loaves & two fish / which Johnís gospel reveals was given by a young boy
A) Jesus took that which was given and multiplied it to feed the multitude
B) Guys that is exactly what the Lord does w/ us - He takes the little that we have to give / what ever that might be and He multiplies it
C) So we need to not focus on our lack of sufficiency - but on Him who is totally sufficient - Present ourselves to Him
IíM A SLAVE OF CHRIST - ( BONDSLAVE - I HAVE A CHOICE ) WHOíS SLAVE ARE YOU ?
Now for some of us here the thing that keeps us from being a vessel is no