Day15

From Slaves of Sin to Slaves of God

from the Romans reading plan


Romans 6:15-23, Galatians 5:13-14, 1 Peter 2:11-17


We do our best to keep things open-ended. We try hard to keep all options open. We don’t RSVP to the party too early lest something better comes along. And we do all this in order to remain free.

Or, so we think.

Sadly, this loose-ended, unattached freedom proves to be its own slavery. For in refusing to commit to relationships, we’re ensnared by loneliness. In always remaining open to the better offer, we’re trapped by anxiety. And whenever a better offer doesn’t pan out the way we hoped (and that will happen time and again), we spiral into depression. Isn’t it true that sometimes our best attempts at freedom turn into the worst kinds of captivity?

It’s actually through serving that we find freedom, and we’re all serving someone or some thing. Bob Dylan understood this, as the lyrics from his 1979 hit, “Gotta Serve Somebody,” make clear:

You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

Dylan is absolutely right. You’re gonna serve something. But whether it’s the devil or the Lord – well, that will make all the difference.

We learn in today’s reading that the truly free life of the Christian is not so much a freedom from slavery as it is a freedom to be bound to Someone in the right kind of way. Which makes sense if you think about it, for that is exactly how true love works.

When we love a friend or a spouse, we willingly restrict ourselves in service to them. We spend money on them. We carve out time to be with them. We give to them our attention and affection. We do this not because we have to, but because we want to—because we love them. Our love for them leads us into a voluntary, life-giving, joy-spreading life of service. It’s the same way with Jesus Christ, “…having been set free from sin, [we] become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:18) in love for Jesus Christ.

The more we see and experience what Jesus has done for us – paying the penalty, breaking the power, and one day removing entirely the presence of sin – the more we can then return His love with love that willingly renders us “slaves of God” (Romans 6:22).

Brothers, take in the love of Christ for you today. Let His love free you to such a degree that you willingly and joyfully enslave yourself to God and His righteousness all the days of your life.

Written by Nate Shurden

Post Comments (4)

4 thoughts on "From Slaves of Sin to Slaves of God"

  1. Adam says:

    I haven’t looked at my freedom the Romans put it. My freedom is found by being submitted and enslaved by the Gospel. Living by God’s way and submitting to what he says to do opens up the doors to a flourishing life. It’s how life is meant to be.

  2. Chris Greenwood says:

    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.

    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.
    -Romans 6

    We do our best to keep things open-ended. We try hard to keep all options open. We don’t RSVP to the party too early lest something better comes along. And we do all this in order to remain free…Sadly, this loose-ended, unattached freedom proves to be its own slavery. For in refusing to commit to relationships, we’re ensnared by loneliness. In always remaining open to the better offer, we’re trapped by anxiety. And whenever a better offer doesn’t pan out the way we hoped (and that will happen time and again), we spiral into depression. Isn’t it true that sometimes our best attempts at freedom turn into the worst kinds of captivity?

    …the truly free life of the Christian is not so much a freedom from slavery as it is a freedom to be bound to Someone in the right kind of way. Which makes sense if you think about it, for that is exactly how true love works.

    When we love a friend or a spouse, we willingly restrict ourselves in service to them. We spend money on them. We carve out time to be with them. We give to them our attention and affection. We do this not because we have to, but because we want to—because we love them. Our love for them leads us into a voluntary, life-giving, joy-spreading life of service. It’s the same way with Jesus Christ, “…having been set free from sin, [we] become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:18) in love for Jesus Christ.
    -Nate Shurden

    So good!

  3. DES says:

    This is a freedom I have desired for so long. A freedom I thought would feel like an arrival or an accomplishment when it was attained. But, I seem to be realizing truths that should have been apparent long ago in a slow and meandering manner. I am free when I realize I can’t do anything. I can only choose to ask for help and seek to let God work through me. My freedom is robbed when I am proud of my accomplishments and reflect on how great “I” have done/been. Freedom in Christ is a daily walk. A daily dance. It’s a process of being transformed. Lord, thank you for not giving up on me. For working in, through, and on me. Thank you for the grace to do better today than yesterday. And for your presence that works for me.

  4. Dan Lamgo says:

    Sin…my old enemy. You have pretended to be my friend, led me astray through your lustrous allurements, but you are disgustingly vile and merely a trap which snaps shut in a weak moment. My prayer today is that the Holy Spirit gives me the strength to say “enough.” I seek to discipline my body, bringing it under control, and kick sin to the curb. Grant me the wisdom to know Christ more.

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