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Romans 6 English Standard Version (ESV)
Slaves to Righteousness
15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,[c] you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- In the passage, Paul warned that even though Christians are set free, they can become enslaved to sin by yielding to temptation. As believers, we should learn to yield ourselves as slaves to righteousness. Obedience to sin yields unfruitfulness, shame, and death. Obedience to righteousness results in progressive sanctification and the abundant eternal life.
- “But what do you have to show from your former lives besides shame?” (v21, The Voice) This is a fair question. What does anyone get out of sin? A momentary thrill? An instant of satisfaction? A sense of power? This is what sin offers at best – and with sin comes a sense of guilt and deep dissatisfaction. When add endless death to the list, sin doesn’t seem to pay well at all.
- Search yourself for an area where you don’t walk in freedom but continue to struggle with sin. When do you easily give in to temptation? What comfort, relief or pleasure does the sin give you? What pain or discomfort does it bring? What do you fear you would lose if you gave up the sin?
- Pray and ask God to take over your struggle and unresolved problems. As you determine to obey God’s command, ask God for freedom from these bondages.