2013-10-31 - Slaves of Righteousness
Rom 6:17-18 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
This is a difficult idea for most who live in a western culture to grasp. The idea of being a slave is abhorrent. The fact of the matter is that the members of humanity have two choices - slavery to sin, or slavery to the righteousness afforded by Christ.
Let's be honest. Sin has its allure, at least on the surface. But it is not satisfying in any lasting way. It always leaves the individual empty and unsatisfied. There is always a need for more - more power, more pleasure, more wealth. Now money is not evil, but the excessive desire for it is! It's a trap not unlike sex or gluttony or control. These things are not in themselves destructive. The excessive or improper desire coming from a self-centered view is destructive.
Jesus says, "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt 11:28). The character Jacob Marley from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (public domain) is wrapped in the chain he forged in life. The chain is made up of things from his life as a banker. Ebineezer Scrooge is wealthy but alone and miserable, but he won't admit it even to himself. He is self-centered slave to greed and is shown that he will die alone and mocked. It is the essence of a worldly unfulfilling life.
And Jesus comes and takes someone just like Ebineezer, or ourselves, and buys them out of the slave market of sin (Rom 6:17). It is not because we have any worth or worthiness of our own or there is anything that we can do for Him. It is grace - undeserved favor. He is willing to free us from the burden of chains we are making for ourselves, if we will ask with a sincere heart and mind.
Matt 24:45-46 Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.
So what will it be? The choice requires making a change. Change is not easy until we look far enough down the road to see where that road is leading. Life can be connected to that which weighs a person down and does not ultimately satisfy. Or life can be connected to Him who pours life back in to a person a free heart of gratitude and willing, satisfying service.
Who will you serve?
Lord Jesus - open hearts and minds, eyes and ears to see and hear Your call to anyone who will hear and come. Amen.
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.