Romans 6:15-23: The Gift of God
March 9, 2019
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Numbers 21-22, Psalm 56, Matthew 24:1-14, Romans 6:15-23
Paul is continuing to talk about the way that the gospel does not lead to license to sin. In particular, now he addresses the question as to whether because we’re not under law but under grace, does this mean that we can sin as much as we like. The answer to that question is at first the same as the answer to the similar question in verse 1 of this chapter: by no means! No way. Not at all. Not in the least. But why is that?
Paul uses the illustration of slavery. We were once slaves to sin. But now we are slaves to God. Of course, God’s slavery is perfect freedom. But the point is that we have a new master. So grace transfers our allegiance from that of being a slave to sin to now being a slave to God. So just as in the past, before we became Christians, we offered our bodies and our selves as slaves to sin, so now we offer ourselves as slaves to obedience to God. Really, grace has accomplished what the law never could: it has transformed us and transferred us so that our slavery is now to God.
What can we learn from this?
First, that the gospel is not against the law. The gospel enables us to obey God – what the law commands, grace accomplishes. It enables us to be slaves of God and therefore to grow in our obedience to God.
Second, that the way to grow in Christlikeness is to offer ourselves as slaves to Christ – to let the radical nature of the picture of our slavery to God take root in how we think and how we behave.
Third, to rejoice in the truth and power of the gospel that undergirds all of this, as Paul summarizes it in verse 23:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God’s grace, received through faith, is a gift from God that we might have eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rejoice in this truth today!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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