Slaves to Righteousness
This week I want to talk a bit about being a slave. Many of you upon seeing that probably had to do a double-take, but I am talking about becoming a slave to righteousness. It is a fact that whether intentional or not we either make ourselves a slave to the world or a slave to God, based on how we live our lives and unto who or what we submit ourselves. Let’s see what the book of Romans can tell us about this.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Here Paul begins by telling us to use our members (our bodies) as instruments of righteousness, not evil. Simply put we should be devoting out bodies to serve God, as opposed to using it for ungodliness. And then he continues in verse 15.
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?
This is true in all aspects of life, we become slaves to that which we present or submit ourselves. Just as one can become a slave to drugs due to addiction, if we surround ourselves with darkness and ungodliness then ultimately we are becoming a slave to that.
And really this doubles back around to a topic I often touch on; The topic of feeding your spirit and starving your flesh. Paul’s not done yet though, he has more for us:
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.
So lets break this down a bit. Paul says we were slaves of sin, but from our heart we obeyed the doctrine to which we were delivered. So while being slaves to sin we were delivered to righteousness through Jesus, by obeying this deliverance from our heart we become slaves of righteousness. Most people when they think of the word “Slave” we associate it with being forced to do things against our will, being whipped, beaten and so on.
By definition a slave is someone “who is property of another and is forced to obey them”.
Being that God created us there is no denying that we are his rightful property, and in this case God does not per se “force us” to obey him as we have free will, but being his children we should rather be compelled to obey him. He is not standing over us with a whip yelling “MUSH!”
But wait, theres more.
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.
Things are pretty clear here, just as a tree yields fruit so do our actions. The fruit or wages of sin are death, while the fruit or wages of righteousness are holiness, and everlasting life.
What are you a slave to and who is your master?