In this series, we tackle the idea of being slaves to God. In our natural world, slavery is rather reprehensible. Abraham Lincoln said that we know slavery is wrong because no man would choose it for himself. However, this is not the kind of slavery Paul speaks of in Romans Ch. 6. Let us explore how God’s brand of slavery sets us free.
What then [are we to conclude]? Shall we sin because we are not under Law, but under [God’s] grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that when you continually offer yourselves to someone to do his will, you are the slaves of the one whom you obey, either [slaves] of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness (right standing with God)?
In Paul’s letter to the believers in Rome, he does not mince words. He plainly states the condition under which we all find ourselves, which is that of being slaves. We are slaves either to evil or to righteousness; there is no middle ground. As we live our lives, we continually offer ourselves either to the things and purposes of the world and the devil, or those of God. This echoes the truth Jesus spoke of those who do not follow Him. [Matt. 12:30] No one rides the fence in ambivalence. Everyone submits to one or the other, and we must understand that when we do not choose God we choose evil.
Once we come to a saving knowledge of Christ, we are free from the power of sin. That means it cannot control us any longer. Our giving in to sin is not because of its power but because of our disobedience. That disobedience manifests when we are not wholly submitted to God as a slave is to his master. However, we cannot confuse this with man’s brand of slavery over the ages or the devil’s brand of slavery over humanity. Those kinds of slavery serve to tear down and destroy. God’s brand of slavery builds us and saves us. He knows that living in this world we will be bound to something. Being bound to God is a liberation from the shackles of destruction.
Obedience should not be a chore in the life of the believer. We should desire to be obedient not only because it honors and pleases our Father, but also because it is the best thing for us. In a world in which we are bound to death from the outset, God graciously provides the option of liberty and life. Submission to God is submission to freedom. Father, give us hearts that desire to obey you in all things out of love for You and your righteousness, and because of your love for us.