12. Slaves to Righteousness Romans 6:15 – 7:6 p. 1042
Slaves to Righteousness Last week: We are no longer slaves to sin: Our sinful natures have been crucified (v 6) We are no longer under Law but under Grace (v 14) We have been given freedom to CHOOSE ! ! ! “Shall we sin because we are not under Law but under Grace?” (v 15)
Slaves to Righteousness... Comes at the question from the opposite end: Previously: Perspective of the oppressive power of sin Now: Perspective of our freedom to choose. Key concepts foreign to us in the modern world. Slaves + Freedom Righteousness + Shalom Law + Spirit
1. Slaves & Freedom Modern Western world – two ideas: Individual autonomy: a definition of freedom Rationalism: only Natural laws – no supernatural. Ancient world: Everyone had a duty to another Part of the right ordering of the cosmos. Today: Freedom = do what I want, when I want.
1. Slaves & Freedom... Paul: We are all slaves to someone. Only two possible options: Slaves to Sin – reward is death (v 21, 23) Slaves to Righteousness – reward is Life (v 22, 23) We are slaves to the one we obey (v 16) Obedience, righteousness, holiness, life – all intimately related.
1. Slaves & Freedom... Key word: “Offer” (v 19) We get to choose who we offer ourselves to. We cannot be our own masters: We end up being slaves to sin. Human nature finds peace when oriented to God We were not created to be our own masters!
1. Slaves & Freedom... Example from everyday life – term “slaves” Being slaves to God is no slavery at all !!! It is the ultimate freedom. Freedom to be all that we were created to be. Freedom to do all that leads to fulfillment and flourishing – SHALOM ! To be His slaves is to be truly free.
2. Righteousness & Shalom Obedience, righteousness, holiness, life intimately related. Who do we serve when we are “slaves to God”? We are serving our own best interests ! Doing whatever I like without reference to my long-term wellbeing or that of others or the environment is not a life of perfect freedom! No Shalom in selfish ambition, greed, vanity,... We find shalom in life lived in intimacy with God.
2. Righteousness & Shalom... Offer ourselves as slaves to righteousness...... path to Shalom. Choosing righteousness is not a magic spell...... It is a path to a fulfilled life Not easy because we are surrounded by the ravages of sin. Perseverance is required.
2. Righteousness & Shalom... Think about Shalom in your own life. Are you living with fulfillment and joy? What things are a block to a closer walk with God? Ask God to set you free to be a slave of righteousness Lent starts in one month – Wed Feb 22 nd. Consider spending 40 days pursuing righteousness.
3. Law & Spirit Illustration and application: We know that the Law is changed by death Example of marriage (v 1-3). We died through Christ (v 4) so that we could belong to another. Purpose: so that we could belong to another. – Jesus. So that we might “bear fruit for God” (v 4) Previously bore fruit for death (v 5)
3. Law & Spirit... A new piece to the puzzle of salvation We live in the Holy Spirit. No relationship with God based on the law ! Relationships don’t work that way. Life in the Spirit takes us to the heart and purposes of God. Only payment for sin is death; God offers Life.
Slaves of whom we Obey “We are slaves of the one we obey” (v 16) One form of slavery leads to death The other is no slavery at all It leads to Shalom A life of joy and peace. A life of SHALOM [wellbeing, all as it should be]