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Slave to Something

Romans Walkthru  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We were once slave to sin, but now slave to obedience.

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The Question

Can we keep on sinning?

With his brief introductory question, What then? the apostle again anticipates the false conclusions his antagonists would derive from his declaration that believers “are not under law, but under grace” (v. 14b). To them, the idea of no longer being under law but under grace was tantamount to being free of all moral restraint.

The doctrine of grace has always been subject to that false charge, which the apostle first answers in the first half of chapter 6. But because the misunderstanding was so common and the issue so critical, he gives the answer again from a slightly different perspective. The doctrine of salvation by God’s grace, working only through man’s faith and apart from any works, is the furthest thing from a license to sin.

The Answer

No, a thousand times no!
John F. MacArthur Jr., Romans, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1991), 340.

Simple Logic

This is a logical argument that you already understand. Whoever is your master is the one that you obey. Either sin is your master or obedience is your master. A person’s general pattern of living proves who his his true master. The habitually unrighteous life cannot be a Christian life.
The popular notion that a person can master his own life and destiny is a delusion that Satan has foisted on mankind ever since the Fall.

The Argument

Paul explains and applies the principle he has just stated, namely, that a person is a slave either to sin and Satan or to righteousness and God.

Position

You are no longer subject to the slavery of sin. By the grace of God, habitual disobedience to Him is in the past tense. Obedience neither produces nor maintains salvation, but it is a inevitable characteristic of those who are saved.

Practice

Human logic does not do will with divine principles. Before salvation, believers were like the rest of fallen mankind, having no other desire or ability but to follow their natural bent to impurity and to lawlessness.

Promise

We are promised freedom from sin. But, freedom from sin don not mean that a believer is no longer capable of sinning but that he is no longer enslaved to sin. We are no longer sin’s helpless subject.

The Truth

The verse lays out two absolute truths. The first, the wages of sin is death. The second, the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If a person wants what he deserves and is working for on his own, the wage paid is death; eternal separation from God.
If a person wants what he does not deserve, God offers him a free gift, the gift of life from the only source, Christ Jesus our Lord.
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