Rom 6:15-18 “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
Paul has told us in the fourteenth verse that sin no longer rules our lives because we are now governed by grace and not by law. What does this mean to us? Since we are no longer under the law and sin does not rule us, perhaps we can just go out and dabble in ungodly things a bit. We are under grace, so it really should not matter in the end.
The simple truth is it does not matter in the end: it matters now! It matters so much that Paul said God forbids it. By Paul’s wording here, he felt it was plain to his audience then, and it should be plain to us today. We are the servants of whomever we yield our obedience to.
Even if I am a child of God, as long as I am pursuing sin then I am not a servant of God. There is no option here to not be a servant. We are either serving God or we or not. If we are not serving God, then we are serving sin.
In serving sin, we will find death. While we all will eventually die (or at least be changed), it is not this corporeal end that Paul is referring to. When we serve sin, we are dead to the joy of God’s kingdom. We are dead to walking humbly with our God in this life journey.
Yielding ourselves servants to God has the opposite effect on us. We find we walk in the newness of life. We are able to walk righteously in an ungodly world. There is joy and peace, even in the face of trials and tribulations.
Paul makes another important distinction here. If we are doing well, our tendency is to want some credit for that. We want someone to come along and pat us on the back. Surely we deserve some credit for not being the servants of sin, but once again it is pointed out that the credit is not ours.
God be thanked! If you understand that you were a servant of sin, but do not serve sin any longer, God be thanked. If you have obeyed from the heart the doctrine of grace, God be thanked. If the gospel of Jesus Christ was delivered to you, then GOD BE THANKED!
If we are free from sin, it is because we have been made that way. The phrase “made free from sin” carries with it the idea of being “liberated.” To liberate in this sense means to be set free. It is not something the captive does for him- or herself but rather something that is done for them by a greater power. God be thanked!
If we are free from sin, it is because we have been set free by the grace of God revealed to us through the Holy Spirit. When we are truly free from sin then we become the servants of righteousness. Serving righteousness is our evidence that we are free from sin. We may not yet be free of being a sinner, but we are free from sin by the grace of God that has condemned sin in the flesh.
May God be thanked that our sins do not rule us in this world and cannot follow us out of it!