Romans 6; 1 Samuel 15; Psalm 60
In a culture that believes in shadows and shades of gray the words of Paul are shocking. In a culture that believes in freedom, they are stroke inducing. We are either slaves of sin or slaves of righteousness. What? “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16) Yes, those words are right there in the Bible. We are slaves. We have a choice, though, of our slave master. We can be slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. In truth, most of us don’t recognize our slavery. We muddle through life under the idea that we are free and can choose whatever we want. Without that commitment to righteousness, though, we choose the ways of sin because we are in fact, slaves of sin. At some point, we hear the gospel message and are faced with the choice: do I continue in the way of sin or do I embrace the righteousness that God offers in Christ? That is the most critical decision we will ever make. It determines whether we continue to muddle along under the mastery of sin or whether we live as slaves of righteousness. It pays to be a sinner. The wages sin pays is death. Righteousness doesn’t pay – it’s gifted with eternal life. That life begins the moment we choose slavery to obedience to God and continues throughout our life. We are sometimes bad slaves of righteousness and fall back into sin, but God continues to forgive. We can’t bring anything to God to gain forgiveness; all we can do is obey. Sinful slavery, when it recognizes God, seeks to appease Him and make Him not angry. Righteous slavery seeks to please Him in all we say and do. As Samuel said in today’s readings, “To obey is better than sacrifice.” So the question remains: whose slave are you?
Dear God – I so want to be free and I don’t recognize the hold sin has on my life. Let my commitment to righteousness shine forth each day. Let others see in me the joy of life with you. Let my life lead others to leave their life of slavery to sin and join in slavery to righteousness