Read Romans 6:15–23
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectWhat do your life choices show—that you are serving Christ or yourself?
Christ has set us free from the law of Moses. But Paul makes it clear that human beings are never autonomous. Autonomy looks attractive because humans are always tempted to think that they can “be like God” (Gen. 3:5). But this kind of freedom can lead to addiction, bondage and ultimately death, as many rock stars have shown. We become “slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness” (19). In the words of an old Bob Dylan song, “You may serve the devil, or you may serve the Lord, but you gotta serve somebody.”
In the ancient world powerful rulers would erect statues of themselves throughout their
empires to demonstrate their authority. In the same way, human beings are made in the image of God to demonstrate his kingdom. We find true freedom—and life—as we surrender to, and demonstrate, his rule of righteousness. We become like God as we offer ourselves to him in obedience, which leads to holiness (19).
Make this a declaration today: this day is a gift, full of possibilities. I can choose how I live and for whom I live. I choose life.