I'm sorry I went missing this week-- too much to do, too little time, and too many headaches! :P
"What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 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? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness."
This is going to be a very tricky sermon to summarize due to the subject matter-- law, good works, and grace. But it is SO important to understand because Jesus is either Lord of all, or not Lord at all in our lives. In our generation, there has been a serious perversion of the gospel in our land-- a movement towards "fire insurance" Christianity which preaches that repentance is not necessary for salvation. That you can go on living your life as you did before you had faith. God's ways having a say in your life is totally an option, 'cause Salvation is all about how it makes man feel.
This isn't what the passage is promoting, is it? Instead, it says that we are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. 1 John 3:4 defines sin as "lawlessness". Paul is not saying that because we are saved we can now be lawless, still in sin. He begins his whole argument here on the back of telling us that as Christians, we are now under grace and sin has no dominion over us, we are dead to it! But, our fallen minds wrestle with this still and draw false conclusions.
When we read about not being under "law", we think of the 10 commandments and the other moral laws found in the Old Testament, don't we? But in the original text, Paul uses the word for law which means "system of merit". This was so eye-opening to me. We are no longer under a system of merit like we were when we did not have Christ as our Savior... we don't have to earn our way to heaven (and that's not even possible...). We are in a system of grace! Paul isn't saying that the moral law no longer applies to us, he is saying that we are now liberated to obey the law because we have His grace!
- You are no longer a slave to sin, but to righteousness. Think about the parallel Paul draws in 6:16-- we expect that when saying that sin leads to death, obedience would lead to the opposite of that-- life... but it doesn't. Instead, the verse says that sin leads to death and obedience leads to righteousness. What Christ was. What we want to be. We can't obey to save our lives. Paul was well-versed in grammar and this parallel was not an accident. He wanted us to meditate on the implicit truth that if we sin, we die. Every sin has consequences. If we yield to sin, the outcome is death. But at the same time, when we obey, it leads to greater righteousness, greater faith.
- Our quality of life is affected when we sin. There is a deadness that comes. Depression, discouragement, anger, fears-- sin brings about a lack of peace. We cannot think that one sin is inconsequential, because it does affect us.
This pink cardigan I found when out shopping last Friday. It's a new favorite! I wish it would stay warm so I could keep wearing it.
Cardigan: Rue21: $5
Belt: Thrift store: 10 cents
Tank: Target: $6
Skirt: Made by me
Boots: Shoe Carnival: $35
ModeEsty.com sent me a big box of stuff and this hat was in there! It matched my outfit perfectly. I love it! Can nevvvver have too many hats! ;)