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Slave or Free?

16 Don't you know that you are slaves of anyone you obey? You can be slaves of sin and die, or you can be obedient slaves of God and be acceptable to him.

Romas 6:16 (CEV)


The language in this verse can make us uncomfortable because we think of ourselves as autonomous, mainly because our culture teaches us that we have the right to pursue happiness and freedom. But, if we follow Christ, are we enslaved?


The writer of this verse looks at our relationship with Christ in an interesting way. He is writing to a group of people who were actively practicing slavery in their culture. He wanted to bring to light an opposing view. He says if we live without Christ, we have a debt that we are bound to pay because we are a slave to our sinful nature. That bondage will lead us to our death.


But he tells his readers that there is hope. Although we are born into slavery to sin, we can be set free. Christ has paid our debts, and we are no longer bound unless we choose to remain in bondage. Christ has set us free, and now we are bound to Him. He frees us from death and binds us to life. If we believe He has the authority to set us free and we put our faith in Him, we are no longer slaves to sin!


Here's the deal, as set-free believers, we are called to live a new life, a life of service to Christ. When we were bound to sin, our path was leading us straight to death; even though it felt we were in control, really, we weren't; our future was determined.


Our lives are now set apart for God's glory and great work. Our new path that leads to life was paid for by death, Death on a cross. Jesus has paid for our new life in Him.


23 Sin pays off with death. But God's gift is eternal life given by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:23 (CEV)


What can we say about this great gift from God?


Our hearts should cry out with gratitude because Christ has set us free from sin and death! We are new in Him. Our lives are no longer bound to destruction. We should commit to Him and pledge to live differently than we have in the past. We do that by obeying His word. We'll never do this perfectly, but our lives should reflect the fact that His wonderous grace has forever changed us.



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