Saturday 17 March 2012

Bible Book:

"For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace." (v. 14)

Romans 6:12-23 Saturday 17 March 2012


Having established that Christians are under grace not law, Pauldoes two things in this passage; he challenges believers to live asif dead to sin, and he challenges the idea that living under gracegives licence to sin. He uses the illustration of someone reportingfor duty, presenting themself for action. Although in CarloGoldoni's play The Servant of Two Masters, the attempts ofTruffaldino to fulfil the demands of two 'bosses' are seen ascomic, for the Christian, trying to serve both 'impurity' and'righteousness' can't work!

Paul talks of being "set free from sin" (v. 18), which some seem tohave taken to mean "set free TO sin". He wants his readers tounderstand that the idea of a disciple being "free" in the sense ofhaving no master at all does not arise; there are two alternatives,sin or God, and freedom from sin implies slavery to righteousness.We may find this language uncomfortable, and indeed, Paul himselfseems to apologise for it in verse 19, but still pursues thispowerful illustration. We may also be reminded of the words ofJesus, inMatthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters, fora slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devotedto the one and despise the other", or we may be taken further backand hear echoes of Joshua's words to the people of Israel justbefore entering the Promised Land, "Choose this day whom you willserve" (Joshua 24:15).

The oft quoted verse 23 demonstrates the rewards of the life wechoose; the wage which is paid for slavery to sin is death; whereasslavery to God and to righteousness brings about something which isnot earned, but is God's free gift - eternal life. Paul has led theway through some difficult waters this week, but his aim is thatall his readers should discover this free gift for themselves andlive in it.

To Ponder

Is it possible to serve two masters? Have youtried at times in your life? What happened? Or what do you thinkmight happen?

Might it be a helpful thought each morning to"present yourself" to God for your orders for the day? You couldtry it.

Is God's free gift of eternal life something fornow or something for when we die? Why?

Previous Page Friday 16 March 2012
Next Page Sunday 04 March 2012