The children of Israel were slaves in Egypt. God sent his servant Moses to deliver his children out of slavery. Moses was a type of Christ in delivering God’s people from their slavery. And, the blood that they had to apply to their doors to be spared death was a representation of the blood of Jesus shed on a cross for our sins, which we must apply to our lives, too.
So, what if Moses had merely told the people that if they believed in him, that he was their savior, that they could be freed from their slavery, and so they believed. But, what if the people felt that didn’t mean they had to do anything? Would they have been delivered out of their slavery? No!
They had to cooperate with Moses, and they had to leave everything behind them and follow Moses to the land God had for them. And, only then were they truly free from their slavery to Egypt.
Yet, this was a physical deliverance from a physical place, but it is an antitype of our deliverance from our slavery to sin, which involves us cooperating with God’s work of grace in our lives, and us leaving our lives of sin behind us to follow our Lord in obedience to his commands for our lives.
“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” Rom. 6:6-8 ESV
Our freedom from sin, thus, requires our cooperation with God and with his work of grace in our lives. We can’t be set free from our slavery to sin if we won’t leave our “Egypt” (our sins) behind us to follow our Moses (Jesus) to wherever it is that he has us to go. For, the whole point of Moses was to deliver the children out of slavery to Egypt, and the whole point of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins in putting our sin to death is that we would no longer be enslaved (addicted, in bondage) to sin.
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” Rom. 6:12-14 ESV
So, because Jesus Christ died on that cross to deliver us from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin, we who have put our trust in him to be Lord and Savior of our lives should no longer let sin reign in our bodies, i.e. for sin to still be in control and to still have mastery over our lives. We should no longer walk (in practice, in conduct) in obedience to the passions of our sinful flesh, to do what ought not to be done.
Instead, we are to live our lives as though we truly have been delivered from death and have been given new life in Christ Jesus, and as though our sins truly have been put to death and they no longer have power over us. And, now we should give our bodies and our minds over to righteousness, holiness, purity, morality, honesty and faithfulness. For, the grace of God, which is amazing, set us free from our slavery (addiction, bondage) to sin.
“What then? Are we to 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?” Rom. 6:15-16 ESV
And, here is “where the rubber meets the road,” so to speak, i.e. the point at which something we believe is put to a practical test. For, if we truly believe that God, by his grace, has put our sins to death, and that he has rescued us out of our slavery to sin so that our bodies might become instruments of his righteousness, then our lifestyles should reflect this.
If we believe the Bible, then we believe this passage of scripture, and thus we should never see God’s grace as free license to continue in sinful practices without guilt or remorse. And, we definitely should not be looking for loopholes to excuse away sin, nor should we be trying to worm our way out of having to obey the scriptures.
So here now is the crux of the matter. If we, who profess faith in Jesus Christ, feel that God’s grace permits us to continue in our sinful practices without guilt, then we aren’t following what this scripture teaches. And, if we write off (ignore or reject) the fact that it says here that we are slaves to the one we obey, then we don’t really believe what we say we do.
For, we have to take this seriously. Paul was addressing the issue here of people having the wrong idea of God’s grace. So, he let them know that if they made it their practice to obey sin, that would end in death. But, if they made it their practice to obey obedience, that would lead to righteousness (cf. Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Eph. 5:3-6; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 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. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom. 6:20-23
I remember the first time I truly understood this. This first sentence here really jumped out at me. And, it is so true! For, when we are slaves of sin, we are free of righteousness. And, the opposite of that is true, too. If we follow (obey) Jesus Christ with our lives, we won’t walk (in practice) in darkness/sin (Jn. 8:12). The one cancels out the other.
And, what fruit did we get from those things of which we are now ashamed? We got guilt, sorrow, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, idolatry, immorality, lack of peace, lack of joy, shame, broken hearts, broken relationships, damaged emotions, and separation from God, etc. It is a horrible way to live!! You feel lost, hopeless, trapped, and empty inside, looking for love in all the wrong places.
And, again, if this represents our lifestyle, the way we live, the things we give ourselves over to day in and day out, as a matter of course, those things end in death not in eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17).
But, for those of us who have truly been set free of our slavery (addiction) to sin by God’s amazing grace, and who have now truly become slaves of God and of his righteousness, in his power and strength, the fruit we get is that we have been cleansed of our sins, the Lord is making us holy, and we are set apart from the world and unto God for his purposes. And, its end is eternal life.
Now, read that last verse in that context, and I believe you will come away from it with perhaps a different understanding than you had before. In context this is saying that if we obey sin, as our practice, it will end in death, not in life with God. But, if we obey (adhere to) obedience it leads to righteousness, and the end is eternal life with God. For, if we obey sin, we are still slaves to sin, not slaves to God, and thus not freed from sin.
Thus, we need to understand here that the wages of sin is death, and this is talking not about the sin nature but the practice of (slavery to) sin. It will lead to death. But the free gift of God is freedom from our slavery to sin so that we are now slaves of God and of his righteousness, because of God’s amazing grace. And, the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. But, “free” should never be interpreted as we do nothing or that we are now free to remain in slavery to sin only now without punishment.
I mean, the reason it is grace is because it sets us free from our slavery to sin. And, if you have ever been in prison, even in your own mind, or if you have ever been really addicted to something to where you felt your life was out of control, and then you were set free from it all, well, that is a picture of God’s grace! For, it is not grace if we are still left in slavery to sin, resulting in death. True grace sets us free from our addictions to sin and it frees us to now walk in Christ’s righteousness and holiness, and that is GOD’S AMAZING GRACE! AMEN!
An Original Work / September 21, 2011
Lord, I love to have You near me
As I go throughout my day,
Walking daily in Your footsteps,
As I humbly pray.
List’ning to You, hear You teaching
Me to live and work for You,
Lord, I pray You lead and guide me
Daily in Your truth.
Lord, I want to be Your witness,
Telling others of Your grace;
Telling how they can be set free
Of their sins today;
Share with them the love of Jesus,
He died on a cruel tree,
So that we’d be forgiven
For all eternity.
Lord, I want to serve You only,
As I bow on bended knee,
Making You my Lord and master,
And Your servant be.
Humbly walking in obedience,
Doing what You say to me,
Lord, may I be an example
Of one who’s set free.