Sunday, July 02, 2017

Slaves of Righteousness

This Sunday's Epistle reading is from Romans 6:12-23. In it, Paul reasons that even though we are saved and no longer under "the law", we are slaves of righteousness and therefore should not fall to the temptation of sin.

"Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 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 greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.
When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Alas, I think we are still slaves of sin. This should make us desire all the more to serve Christ as slaves of righteousness, and it should make us all the more grateful for his tender mercy.

Or as Paul goes on to conclude in Romans 7:24-25,

"Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin."


  1. "This Sunday's Gospel reading is from Romans 6:12-23." Pewster, I think you mean Epistle Reading.

  2. Romans 7 could be best understood by the hit song, "I fought the law and the law won". Thank God for Romans 8.