Video Transcript: Slaves to God

What's the biggest challenge to believing or to continuing to believe? It may depend a little  bit on the person what your greatest challenge is. And for some, it might be, oh, I've  discovered new ideas, or I've run into new arguments against the truth of the Christian faith,  or I have encountered this great difficulty, or I've met people from other religions, and I'm  having a hard time sorting out which of those religions is true. But for a good many people,  one of the hardest things. And one of the most difficult things in coming to faith, or  maintaining faith is this. What Christians are like how Christians behave? One of the most  disheartening things for a church leader is how many church people behave. And one of the  hardest things about maintaining faith is the conduct of Christians, that you happen to know  or church goers that you happen to know. One of, the hardest things as a parent is seeing a  child head off in a different direction. One of the hardest things is to work with people, week  after week, year after year, and to see almost no difference in their lives. If you consider the  state of American Christianity in general, very often, the behavior of those who are involved  in churches isn't really significantly different from that of others. And so that begs the  question, is all of this real? Even if you can make a good case at an intellectual level and bring out good arguments and good evidence? Does Jesus really make a difference in anybody's  life? If you look at children, even who grow up in good, apparently healthy Christian families,  and they yet are, they seem to be messed up? They seem to be walking a different road. And  you think, what in the world? Does it make any difference? To believe in God? Sometimes you  wonder, is there a God? Because if there is, shouldn't there be a bigger difference in those  who claim to know him? That's kind of the practical side of the more theological questions  that Paul's dealing with in Romans chapter six. Because he's explaining Romans, what a  wonderful thing it is that God brings forgiveness. What a fantastic thing it is to have peace  with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, to be in Christ instead of in Adam. But then some  people say, Well, yeah, but doesn't that mean then that we can just go on sinning that grace  may abound? And so it seems like there are some people who don't even want it to make  much difference in their lives that Jesus Christ has come, they want their lives to go on pretty  much as usual, and then get off the hook in the end. So after Paul has said, hey, where sin  abounded Grace abounded all the more, then comes this question, Well, should we go on  sinning so that grace may increase? And his short answer is by no means? And then he gives  a little longer answer and, and speaks of dying with Christ and rising with him. And of the  meaning of baptism, we were buried with Him, through baptism into death, in order that just  as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. In answer to that matter, I raised a moment ago, how do how do we know Christianity is real?  If it doesn't seem to make much difference in people's lives? There's quick intellectual  answers to that and say, Well, you can't judge Jesus by what some of his followers do. And by  their failings, or you might trot out the old bumper sticker, Christians aren't perfect, just  forgiven, you know, some that sort of thing. But that doesn't quite cut it does it? Because  there needs to be reality. And the Apostle says, Christ was raised from the dead through the  glory of the Father. And that same power that raised Him from the dead, is out at work in real  Christians, raising them to new life. And so if there isn't new life, then we have every right to  wonder what has gone wrong. And then after explaining the meaning of baptism, and that we  die with Christ to an old way, we come to life with Christ into new life. He says, The first  command really in the whole book of Romans, count yourselves, dead to sin, and alive to God  in Christ Jesus. Think of yourself in a particular way. This is a this is one of the most important  statements that we can gain here in the book of Romans is to realize that we have to view  ourselves in a new light. And think of ourselves in a new manner. I mentioned in preaching on  this before that it's a bit like a child who started out life in a really miserable, nasty home  situation. And then was taken away from those abusive, evil parents and brought into a home  of very loving and kind adoptive parents, it's still pretty hard to shift mindsets and realize I'm  in a brand new situation. I have new parents who love me now, I have new opportunities that I never had before. And now I need to, I need to tell myself to be in that new situation, and that child of those new parents and start living that way, or a person who has been released from  prison, you can't go around thinking like a prisoner anymore. You can't be intimidated by a  bully prison guard whom you happen to meet out on the street or in a restaurant who has no 

power over you anymore. Because you're in a brand new situation. He's not in charge of you.  Or think of having a job. And it is a miserable job. And one of the most miserable things about it is your boss. He doesn't like you, he's mean to you. He looks for ways almost to make your  

life miserable. He's constantly brow beating you. And you just can't stand being in that job.  And, and he's got you're so beaten down, you wonder whether you're any good at anything  anymore. And then a new job, a new boss. And it might take you a while to get out of the ruts  and the and just the thought patterns of having that old boss, you might still wonder and be a little paranoid whether your new boss is out to get you whether, one little mistake, and he's  going to grind you down into the dirt. And you may even have some old work habits. Let's  admit it, that weren't so great under that old boss, because when you get down and  discouraged and you're ia a rotten job, and maybe you start doing a rotten job, and you're not putting forth much effort, you're not very enthusiastic about it. And all of a sudden, you're in  a new company with a new boss, where people actually work and do a good job. And the  company's run well, but you kind of got to get up to speed. Because you're used to being a  slacker because everybody in your old company in your old company was kind of a slacker,  because that's just the way things were you need to count yourselves in a new situation, and  change your mindset because you've got a new boss. And that's a big part of what's being  emphasized in the passage we're going to consider today. The fact that we have to think of  ourselves differently and then start acting like it because we're under new management. The  first part of Romans six talks about the new situation that you're brought into through the  faith and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and baptism into him dying with him and  rising with him. And then the last part of Romans chapter six talks about the fact that you  have a new master your slaves to somebody different now not slaves to sin, but slaves to  God. Therefore, beginning at verse 12, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you  obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness,  but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life, and  offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your  master, because you are not under law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because  we're not under law but under grace? By no means? Don't you know again, there's that  phrase, don't you know? That when you offer yourself to someone to obey Him as slaves, you  are the slaves of the one you obey? Whether you're slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to  obedience, which leads to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in  your natural selves, just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery, to impurity and to ever increasing wickedness. So now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to  holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What  benefit Did you reap at that time from the things you're now ashamed of? Those things result  in death. But now that you've been set free from sin, and have become slaves to God, the  benefit you reap leads to holiness and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death.  But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. This ends the reading of God's Word  and God always blesses His Word to those who listen. Offer yourselves to God The Apostle has said, consider yourselves dead to sin alive to God in Christ Jesus. That's how you need to think of yourself. And now realize that you are under new management, and offer yourselves  willingly to the new management to the new master. The fact is that every one of us is going  to be a slave, we're going to be serving somebody. And so we have to make a conscious  decision about whom we're serving. Faith involves believing and embracing that God saves.  But faith also involves commitment. Or another word that's often used for it. conversion.  Conversion means changing from one thing to another. Repentance is very closely associated  with that, to the old Hebrew and Greek words for repent just omit turn, you know, you turn  from one thing toward another, or from one master to another, you convert from one boss, to  a new boss, you convert from one kind of thing, to a different kind of thing. Sometimes, you  can convert a building from one kind of use to a different kind of use, but conversion is  changing. And so a big part of conversion is simply consciously embracing that change,  committing yourself, all of yourself to that change. And that involves a negative side, the  turning away from or the rejection or the dying to, and conversion involves a positive side,  turning towards something and somebody and committing to somebody. And so the Apostle 

says very clearly here, what that involves don't let sin reign. Don't let the old boss run your  new life. That's one of the great tragedies that occurs among us Christians. When we come  under new management, and we act like the old still has the right to run our lives. We still act  like we're the prisoner. Even though we're on the outside, we still act like that vicious old boss has the right to run the run our lives and call the shots instead of living for the new boss. And  so the Apostle says, Don't let sin reign and don't offer the parts of your body to sin. Don't  offer your mouth to gossip, and lying and backbiting. Don't offer your eyes to lust and to  greed. Don't offer your hands to violence and cruelty. Don't offer your sexual parts to  immorality, but rather to purity and you can go through every part of the body. Don't offer  your ears to listening to the wrong kinds of teaching or to evil music don't offer the parts of  your body for this bad stuff. Instead, offer every part of your body sometimes it might be even wise to pray that way. Lord, I offer you my brain help me to think your thoughts help me to  study your truth. I offer you my eyes, keep them directed toward good and godly things. I  offer you my lips let me speak words that build up not words that tear down words that honor  your name, not swear words or filthy language, I offer you my hands to build others up not to  steal or to grab, but to work hard, and to be able to help others who are in need, and to just  pray, in a sense over your whole body a part at a the time where you're consciously  dedicating and offering your body not to sin, but to God. And there's a sense in which this can be a one time conversion or a commitment where you decisively say Lord, I am yours take  every part of me I yield my whole self to you. And there's another element where this can be  a daily thing, where every morning you get up in the morning and you say I got to remind  myself I am dead to sin, I am alive to God in Christ Jesus, Lord, you're my boss. This other  stuff. Sin is not my boss, I yield the parts of my body to you for your service today. And as I  mentioned before, it is very important to talk to God about this to yield yourself to God. And  it's important to just talk to yourself. Talk to God in prayer. And as you're meditating on these  things, keep on considering yourself dead to sin. keep on thinking of yourself as alive to God  in Christ Jesus. keep on saying I've been seated with Christ in the heavenly realms and it is so  important that your mind be in tune with God's truth here. Because otherwise you're going to  find yourself just out of old habits, agreeing with Satan You're going to be making agreements with him and saying, Well, I don't think God is going to look out for me today. And I am going  to have to look out for myself. I don't think God, and His way is going to be very satisfying  today. But I know some other ways to get some quick satisfaction. And your mind will just slip  back into old deadly habits. And that's why it's so important that you don't just stumble into  each new day on whatever momentum or whatever you happen to feel like in terms of your  urges, start your day with the Lord. Start your day again, offering yourself to God, if you want  to understand a little bit of why many Christians are the way they are. They go through life  almost without thinking. And almost without deciding. They just go with whatever the  momentum is, and let's face it, the flesh, and our very bodies have a lot of habits just kind of  ingrained in them. That unless you make decisions, unless you consciously turn from sin to  God, sin is going to reign in your mortal body. It just is. And so you need to believe by faith  every day, that you are in Christ, that you are risen with him. And you need to dedicate  yourself afresh to God everyday to listen to His word, and then to speak to him. And give  yourself a good talking to every day. Not in the sense that you can just kind of talk yourself  into new things. But as I said before, you're not telling yourself false things. You're reminding  yourself of true things. The reason you have to talk yourself is not because you're lying to  yourself and trying to psych yourself into something that isn't true. Instead, you're talking to  yourself, because you need to keep telling yourself the truth. Otherwise, just old lies will keep  playing their old track. And in these all these matters, Satan will be talking to you, and He will talk to you as the occasion. Best suits him. If you are unconverted at all, or you're living far  from the Lord, Satan will say Do whatever you please, you know, you're your own boss, have  some fun, do what you feel like and don't worry what anybody else thinks. Don't worry what  God thinks. And so you follow his advice. And you do that for a while. But then you find out  and you begin to take seriously the things of God, and the truth of God and even the law of  God. And then Satan has a word for that too. You no, good, rotten, miserable scumbag. Look  at what you did. He doesn't remind you that he's the one that wanted you to do that. But he 

will blast you with all kinds of guilt, and just get you to wallow in misery. And sometimes  wallowing in misery. You say, Well, I've already blown it this bad I might as well just keep on  blowing it. I mean, it's not real rational. But I know that that's a way that some of us can think you say, well, I I'm already so messed up, I really can't mess up much more. This is just the  way I am. So he gets you so down on yourself. And then you discover the wonders of salvation in Christ or you are fresh at peace with God. And then Satan will say, ah, Grace, Grace,  marvelous grace, isn't it great to feel peace in your heart? Let us go on sinning that grace  may abound. forgiving people is God's job. So let God do his job and you do yours. And and  then if you do live wickedly, then all of a sudden, he'll swing back to that accusation again.  And so you always find yourself either under the condemnation of the law, or trying to live  just apart from God's commands, but he never wants you to actually live as though somebody new is running your life and has built a new power, the resurrection power of Jesus Christ has  taken over your life. He just wants you to keep on either giving it your no effort at all, or  giving it your own best effort. But never actually knowing who you are in Christ, or living out  of the power that comes from Christ. But the Apostle says, Now you got to count yourself  dead to sin alive to God in Christ Jesus. Because you are. If I say to one of my, if I say to my  teenage kid who wants me to do everything for them, or isn't being very responsible today,  you're not a baby anymore. Now, am I lying? No, they're not a baby anymore. Don't act like a  baby. Now. If I say that to my little granddaughter, little baby, Anna, you don't act like a baby.  You're five months old. Don't act like a baby. Well, you know, that's not the kind of speech you ought to give to a little baby, of course. She might just smile because she won't understand  anyway. But the point is, if somebody actually isn't a baby, and you remind them of that fact,  you're just reminding them of the truth about themselves and say, Don't act so immature  anymore. You're a little you should be doing better than that. Now you're grown up act like it  and and So it is here, you're in Christ, you have the Holy Spirit in you, you have a new  standing in Christ now, start acting like it, offer yourselves to God, and don't offer yourselves  to sin. Sin shall not be your master, because you're not under law. But under grace, that's a  key statement, sin shall not be your master. Sin has no right to rule over you. And it's not  accomplished by the fact that you get a whole new dose of the law being commanded to you,  but instead that there is a new power, the power of grace ruling over you. Now, again, that's  the whole question that comes up again and again, in the chapter does Grace promote sin?  The chapter begins, you know, right after the end of chapter five, where sin increased Grace  increased all the more What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may  increase by no means? And then this statement, you're not under law, you're under grace?  What then? Shall we sin because we're not under law, but under grace? By no means ‘me tipota’, the same same deal, God forbid, no way, never. So the apostle is struggling against  this notion that grace promotes sin. At the same time, he will not go back to just law, and say, Now you start by being being forgiven by grace, and then you just use law to keep on going  since you're not under law. But that doesn't mean that you're going to be sinning all the  worst, because you're not under law, because now you're under grace. You're under God's  reign of grace. And God's rule is at work in your life. And that's why you're not going to keep  wallowing in sin. Now, when we think of God's law, I just want to highlight what it means not  to be under law. And before I mention that, I just want to mention four lies about God's law.  The first lie about law is legalism. And legalism says that God's law is a ladder to God, and  you do good deeds to earn salvation. And you got to chalk up points with God, if you chalk up  enough points by keeping the law, then you make it otherwise, you don't. And that legalism is a deadly lie. Those, the Bible says if righteousness could be gained by the law, Christ died for  nothing. So legalism is a terrible lie. And it's one that the apostle opposes. But there's an  opposite error. Very long word antinomianism. Anti means against nomos means law.  antinomianism just means against lawism, you know, law is bad, ignore it, do whatever you  wish, sin will increase Grace, God likes forgiving, it's his job, give him something to forgive. So antinomianism is a great error that's existed throughout the history of the church in various  forms, that says, God's commands don't matter. Because hey, it's all grace, keep on sinning.  And then a couple more lies, one is ritualism, focusing all on the ceremonies that were given  in Old Testament law, you still have people today, who look at the ceremonies of this or that 

feast, or this or that ceremony. And they want to keep doing those things as though they're  essential to salvation, when in fact, they were signs pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ. And so  you can get a form of ritualism that focuses on various ceremonies or rituals, and not on Jesus Christ and His salvation, not on the Holy Spirit, not on the life of love, but just on certain  particular actions that you do in a ceremonial manner. And then there's a fourth lie, which I'm  not going to get into much today. But it is a misuse of Old Testament law and of the law of the scriptures in general, which says, well, your nation, and in particular, the United States, if you  happen to live there, your nation is God's unique people. And therefore, the government of  your nation should force all people to act like Christians. Now, the churches may not have any form of church discipline, or any kind of guidance to help people live according Lord, but the  nation itself should make everybody behave as Christians. Me tipota the United  States is not the chosen people of God. God has purposes for the United States. But the  United States is not the light on a shining Hill, as some have said, even some of our  presidents have, that is the Church of Jesus Christ, not the United States of America, do not  confuse the two. And of course, what gets enforced is you can't really expect unredeemed  unsaved people to act as though they were born again, and are controlled by the Holy Spirit.  So these are four errors about law and two especially the apostle's dealing with in Romans,  Legalism, and he's saying, righteousness comes not through the law, but through faith in  Christ. And at the same time he says if you think the law is bad, you better think again  because the law is holy and righteous and good, and has important purposes in God's plan. So having seen that, what does it mean that we're not under law? Well, four things it does mean,  it means that we are declared righteous apart from law. We're right with God through faith in  Jesus, who kept God's law perfectly on our behalf. So we're not under law when it comes to  our status from God, that righteousness from God comes apart from law. And it comes  through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe that's the point that Paul makes in Romans  three and in many other places. A second thing, that it means not to be under law, it means  that you're free from the law's covenant curses, in the law, especially in Deuteronomy 28,  through 30, and so on, it speaks of the curses that come on law breakers, and the blessings  that come to law keepers. Well, once you're in the category of law breaker, it's pretty grim.  And if you read that list of curses, it's nasty. And the fact that Jesus suffered the curse, as it's  written, Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree, he suffered the curse of the law, and  canceled our debt. That means that we can again be brought into covenant with God, and  have all those curses against us taken away, we're not under law, in the sense of being under  its curses anymore, because Christ has taken the curse for us. A third thing, that being not  under law means is that we're empowered to live life by the Spirit, and not by the law. And  under the New Covenant, God's Holy Spirit writes his law on our hearts, and gives us  knowledge of God's will, but also the power and desire to do it. And the desire and ability to  do the law do not come from the law itself. When we hear God's law in an unredeemed state,  we hate it, or we just rebel against it, or it makes us want to do the opposite. But when we  have the Holy Spirit living within writing the law in our hearts, then we're not under the law,  as the law being the key to make our lives better, because it can't, it can't save us and bring  us forgiveness. But it also cannot transform us in and of itself. We're not under law, in the  sense of depending on it to change who we are, or how we live. And a fourth thing about not  being under law is that the Old Covenant signs give way to the New Covenant reality of  Christ. So those are some of the things that it means to say, we are not under law, and  instead we're under grace. But to not be under law doesn't mean that law therefore is bad, or  that God's commands and His Holy will reveal to us are bad things. It just means that we're  not under those things in the sense that we need them to be made right with God, or that  we're under the curse of them, or that we're counting on them to make us better, or that we  still need the old rituals. We're not under law in that sense. But we still listen to God's law.  Because through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can begin to live according to His truth, and  according to His guidance, and it all comes down to this as says the apostle you're not under  law and under grace. And if Grace and if God's grace, and the God of grace is your master,  then what you going to do? And you got to answer this question, Who's your master? Don't  you know that when you offer yourself to someone to obey Him as slaves, you are slaves, to 

the one whom you obey whether you're slaves to sin, which leads to death or to obedience,  which leads to righteousness. Jesus himself put it this way, everyone who goes on sinning is a  slave to sin. I mentioned at the beginning, how disheartening, it can be to find sin in other  people's lives and wonder whether the gospel makes any difference. It's very disheartening to find sin in your own life, and wonder whether the gospel is making a difference. And it is  important to be honest, and to examine ourselves. Because it just might mean not that the  gospel isn't true. But that I don't have new life, we do have to consider that possibility. I'm not saying that it's so every time you discover sin in your life, or every time you're battling sin,  but you do have to examine yourself and say, Well, now that I look at it and take a good hard  look at it, who's running my life? Who's in charge? And if you say, well, it's not God, then my  only answer would be if God's not in charge of your life. Don't imagine that he is still your  Savior. If Jesus is not your master. It means this You're a slave to sin, which leads to death.  That's the upshot of the apostles argument here. And the Bible talks about this on many  different occasions. The book Jude speaks of godless men who changed the grace of God into  a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ, our only Savior and Lord. So if you're just using grace as an excuse to do your thing, it means you're godless person according to Jude, or to  take James faith, without deeds is dead. Demons, he says, believe that God exists, or at least  they're smart enough to tremble about it. The apostle Peter says the same thing. They  promised them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity, for a man is a slave  to whatever has mastered him. And the apostle John, if we claim to have fellowship with him,  yet walk in darkness, we lie, and do not live by the truth. So we do have to examine ourselves very closely. If we reach the conclusion, God is not running my life, he is not my boss,  somebody or something else is my boss, then you have to realize that those whom God  saves, he rules. And the flip side is those whom God does not rule, he has not saved. That's  not meaning that you're saved by good works. But just get these two sentences in mind. We  don't get salvation through works. But when we are saved, we do good works. You don't do  good works in order because you don't, you're not saved because you do good works, you do  good works, because you're saved, okay? Maybe that's the best way to put it. You don't do  good works in order to be saved, you do good works, because you're saved. And if you don't,  then you have to say, well, do I have fake faith? Now, that doesn't mean again, that  everybody who is struggling against sin is there for loss. And every time you fall into another  sin, you should say, Well, I've lost my salvation all over again, it does mean that if the  predominant tone of your life is that I'm being run by some power, besides God, I have to ask  whether he has saved me at all. And if there is an alien power, but I also know God's power is  at work within me that I'm going to call on God's power to help me fight that enemy power of  sin that has no right to be running the show in my life. And I have to be very careful when I  been saved, to not go back into sin and say, Boy, I wish that I could be back in the good old  days where I could do what I wanted and had so much fun. There's an example of that that  we find in the Bible. You read the book of Exodus, we're talking about slavery. Today, the  supreme example of slavery was the people of Israel, under Pharaoh in Egypt, under his  taskmasters, and their whips. And the Pharaoh was very cruel. He had these taskmasters  forcing the people to labor hard and work hard, they weren't allowed to go and worship God  where they wanted. And when they wanted, they were forced to give up their own children  and the children were the little boys were murdered. That's the kind of slavery that they had  under Pharaoh. And they were mistreated, abused for long, long years, and their taskmasters  were cruel to them. And then God delivered them. And God said, slay, set plagues on their  masters, and rescue them from Egypt. And then he brought the people of Israel through the  Red Sea on dry ground. And then when the Egyptians tried to go through the sea after them,  God closed the Red Sea over them and drowned. The armies of Pharaoh. And the people of  Israel were free. They were out of Egypt. They were beyond the sea. The armies were dead.  Nobody from Egypt had the right to rule over them anymore. Nobody's made to have power  over them anymore. God had gotten the people out of Egypt. And then he led them on their  journey towards the promised land. He led them through the wilderness. When they got  hungry, he sent them manna bread from heaven to eat, and he nourished them with that  manna God was providing for them. And then one day they got up and they said, If only we 

had meat to eat, we remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost. Also, the cucumbers, the  melons, the leeks, the onions, the garlic. Now we've lost our appetite. We never see anything  but this manna for the good old day, free food, such good food, oh, man, we ate great in  Egypt, and we never had to pay a thing. That's selective memory. They didn't have to pay a  thing except the lives of their children being destroyed. They never had to pay a thing they  never had. They could never worship God where they wanted to or when they wanted to.  They never had to pay a thing. They got whipped day after day. Week after week, year after  year, but it was free onions for everybody. Whoo! And the apostle knows how we tend to think he says, you know, you've got to think about this. If you want to go back to that old master, if  you want your life to be run again, by sin, let's think back a little bit what Pharaoh was like.  Let's think not just about the onions and the garlic. Let's think just a little bit about the dead  babies. And the whip slashes on your back. Think about that for a little while. He says, I put  this in human terms, because you're weak in your natural selves, just as you used to offer the  parts of your body in slavery to impurity, to ever increasing wickedness. So now offer them in  slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from  the control of righteousness. Well, what kind of freedom is that? You know, each slavery offers its own kind of bondage and its own kind of freedom. Each offers its own kind of progress. He  says, if you're under the slavery of sin, it's always increasing its grip on you. It's getting  progressively worse. And you're freer and freer from righteousness, you lose more and more  of your freedom to do the right thing. And you're more and more enslaved. Sometimes it's the power of an addiction. And at first, you get addicted to it a little bit. But as it goes on, you  need more and more of that drug, or more and more of that alcohol to get the same effect.  You get addicted to pornography. But after a while, it's not just the same stuff you were  looking at, it's got to get nastier, it's got to get worse, to have the same effect. You you get  enslaved to greed. And early on, you know, all you wanted was kind of a hot car and, and a  few things in your bank account and you get on in the years and money money. You just got  to have more of it. It's never enough. You know, the old question, they asked John D.  Rockefeller, how much is enough? His answer was a little more. And he was already the  richest man in the world. But that's what slavery does to you, you gotta you go deeper and  deeper into ever increasing wickedness is the impact of slavery to sin. And on the other side  of it, when you're living for God, righteousness has its own kind of momentum early on, you  might only be able to take baby steps. And you might almost be discouraged at how little  progress you make in Satan may even use a sermon like this to say, well, he said that people  who are still sinning, you know, probably aren't saved at all. Well, that's not quite what I'm  saying. You know, when you start out, you may have, you may have to be taking only baby  steps, and you'll be very discouraged at the amount of progress you're making. But don't if if  you're living for the Lord and you're making progress take heart in that. Sometimes when  Satan says oh, you blew it, or you're back to square one. Well, that's not quite true. Let's say  you're hiking, hiking up a steep mountain path, and you stumble, well get up again and keep  going. That didn't bring all the way back down to the bottom of the mountain. So you should  not think that every time there's a stumble, you're back to square one. So there is  righteousness leading to holiness. And it's it's a progressive thing, just as sin progresses and  gets more and more of a grip on you. So when God's grace takes over your life, more and  more you grow in your ability to serve the Lord and each of these has its momentum. And be  aware of that. Because don't think that you're going to just stay the same. You don't you grow in grace, or you grow and sin but you're not going to just kind of get set at one particular level there is this ever increasing impact? And the Apostle said, don't just think about the impact of how things are messing up your life, or making your life a more righteous one but also think in the long term. Just think back what benefit Did you reap at that time? From the things you're  now ashamed of? And think clearly remember what the what the Israelites thought once they  were out of Egypt? What did they remember? The free food? Well, what better so what are  some of the other benefits along with the free food? Well, the slashing on the back the dying,  of being mistreated in slavery, the killing of your children, the lack of opportunity to worship  God and all that other stuff. So you got what before you start getting the turnaround party to  go back to Egypt? Remember what Egypt was like? What benefit Did you reap at that time for 

the things you're now ashamed of? Those things result in death? If you were addicted to  drugs, if you were addicted to pornography, if you were addicted to greed. If you were  addicted to being a jerk, who says whatever comes to your mind and losing your temper all  the time, was that a lot of fun? How'd that work out for you? It ruined relationship after  relationship. So think back to what sin does for you. It just results in death. It results in the  death of relationships, it results in eternal death if you'd stayed on that path. But now that  you've been set free from sin, and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to  holiness. That's benefit. Number one, you're already being changed right now. You're  becoming more and more like the Lord Jesus, don't you want that? If he's living in you, if he's  running your life. That is tremendous benefit to see that you're at least inching bit by bit  towards becoming more like the one who loved you and gave his life for you, and took over  your life. So the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result, eternal life, reigning with  Christ, having your whole life set free from every kind of illness and disease and everything  that is wrong, living with him forever enjoying the fellowship of angels, enjoying the fellowship with all believers who've gone before you think about the benefits. So the Apostle was asking  us to think, think, think, think about who you are, and who you're not think about who's living  in you, and who has no right to govern you anymore. Think about what you're becoming,  whether more righteous or more holy, and think about am I on the path that leads to eternal  destruction and death? Or am I on that path that results in eternal life? And then he sums it  all up the wages of sin is death. But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. If  you say, well, who's my boss? And who do I want to be my boss? Well, then consider what's  the wages of the one boss, he pays out at the end of the day? Death, that's what you get at  the end of your pay period, Death, and Hell. And what does God pay? Well, he doesn't pay a  wage, there's a big difference there, he doesn't pay the wage that you've earned, he gives  the gift that's the kind of master he is, he gives the free gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus, our  Lord. So, in short, just compare the two slavery's you're going to be a slave to somebody, Bob Dylan was right, it may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you gotta serve somebody. So  you're going to serve somebody and you're not going to be your own boss. That's, that's point number one, you're gonna serve somebody. So given that fact, who you want to serve? Well,  slavery to one master means freedom from the other, you're going to be free from  righteousness and free from God, if you want him to be your master. And if you want God to  be your master, and if he is your master through faith in Christ, well, then you're free from  sin. And the only reason he has any power over you anymore, is that you let it you believe lies that Satan tells you. But it's not true. You don't have to act like a baby anymore. You don't  have to act like a prisoner anymore. You don't have to be the employee of the old boss  anymore. With all the bad habits you picked up there, you're under new management, you're  a new person. So remember that and be free of the one master and live for the other one,  then realize that each slavery keeps changing us Are you being changed more and more into  the likeness of Jesus or not? Each slavery leads to a final destiny, The wages of sin is death.  The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, slaves to God, what a tremendous  blessing, that is, slaves to sin, the what a horrid curse. And we've been set free from that  curse, by faith in Jesus Christ. Just every morning you get up, wake up and say, God, I'm  yours. And then give yourself a speech self, I'm God's talk to him, talk to yourself, and then  get out there and offer your bodies as servants to him and the parts of your body as slaves of  righteousness. Dearr Father, we pray that you'll help us in our daily life, to reflect the eternal  realities that have become true of us in Christ. Help us learn to believe these truths and to  build our lives upon them, not to build our lives on the lies that Satan tells about us he'd love,  Lord, to ruin our witness to ruin our joy, even after we've been saved to spoil the good work  that you're doing in us, but we pray that we will refuse and reject Him. And more and more  live in newness of life through the power of the Holy Spirit, through the resurrection life of  Christ. And under the wonderful rule of our great master. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

Last modified: Monday, January 3, 2022, 6:36 AM