No Longer a Slave to Fear, Judgment, or Slavery
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? 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, and, 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 lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
You don’t have to be around Dave Ramsey or the Financial Peace stuff for long to see some people paying off huge credit cards debts. It’s so easy and enticing to see yourself there, debt free and generous to give money to friends or loved ones… But there is another story that happens that you don’t hear about so much.
What’s it like that first time you use your credit card after you’ve paid down thousands of dollars of debt? UGH! It’s awful!
All at once you think “Those poor people!” and then you think “How could they do that?”
Like the first scratch on your new car, or the first time you drop your new phone, that ding against something that previously seemed so perfect is a bummer.
Paul is sort of appealing to that same feeling here. You have been washed from your sin and made new. You have put on the righteousness of Christ. You have freedom from the law of sin and death. Why would you want to go back and offer yourself to your old master from which you have been freed?
Thanks be to God, Paul says, that we are now about to live with God from our hearts, not from fear. Instead of guarding that shiny new phone, we’ve been delivered from a world where the phone can get scratched or broke. Instead of guarding ourselves fearfully from committing sin, we have been delivered into a world where all of our sins have been forgiven.
Just like we wouldn’t slam that new phone into gravel now that we know it is scratchless, we don’t dive headlong into a life of sin now that we know our sins don’t count against us. Instead, we offer ourselves and our obedience out of love and friendship.
Living for God out of friendship and love is radically different than obeying God out of fear.
Jesus’ catchphrase after He rose from the dead? Do not fear
We are now under grace and are able to offer ourselves freely to the love of God.
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