Sunday, 2 June 2013
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. Romans 6:22
As so often occurs in the apostle’s writings, “but” is introduced. It is given as a stark contrast from the previous thought in 6:20, 21. Reflecting on all three verses will allow for a fuller comprehension of this contrast –
“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 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.”
What was once true is no more: The bonds which confined us have been removed. The sin that infected us with corruption is replaced with holiness. The master who assured only rewards of punishment has been exchanged for God who rewards with grace and love. What once condemned us is swallowed up in salvation. Everlasting life has replaced eternal death. All of this is tied up in “but.” It is the glory of calling on Jesus Christ as Lord.
We have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God. Because of this, one could ask, “Isn’t this then exchanging one type of bondage for another?” No. The answer is because God is infinite. In Him, there is no true confinement. Being a slave to God means sharing in His infinite stream of love, grace, mercy, truth, and holiness. There is no bondage where there are no bounds which limit our movement. Becoming a slave of God is to become the freest being of all.
Jesus told us this in John 8:34-36 – “Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.'”
Life application: Because we have believed and stand justified, we should behave and become sanctified. Of what use is the old self? Of what use is sin? It is bondage and confinement, but in Christ is freedom and expanse. Live now as if eternity has been realized in you, because it has.
Lord, if sin is bondage and confinement, then holiness must be freedom and movement in broad places. If sin brought in death, then righteousness must surely restore life. If the devil is our master of condemnation, then You, O Lord, are our Master for salvation. The work is done and I receive it by faith. I look to the cross for my freedom and restoration. Amen.