“You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”
Romans 6:18 (NIV)
Oh Shirley Jennings, where are you? I want to personally thank you for walking me through the book of Romans 15 years ago and for opening my eyes to biblical truths that no one, for 32 years of my life, could ever answer. One of those truths, which I believe you were quoting Dr. Vernon McGee, is, “There is no free will, either you are a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness.”
We’re celebrating the 4th of July today; the day that America gained independence and became a “free” nation. I would bet there isn’t a person reading this that wouldn’t agree that the freedom’s we are privileged to enjoy have come at a cost.
And so it is with our faith. Free from sin means we are eternally destined for heaven with streets paved with gold, gates made of pearls and many, many rooms. God promises this, but His promise comes at a cost…
Jesus Christ paid it all on the cross.
The debt of our sin; past, present AND future.
EVERYTHING that we do, think or say that displeases God… and those sins – which are inherent in our existence, separate us from God – means there is nothing, NOTHING, that we can do in our humanness to bridge that gap (Ephesians 2:8-9). The bridge is Jesus. Our part is our ability to believe “Jesus IS the way, the truth AND the life” (John 14:6) through faith (Hebrews 11:1).
We have a responsibility to either take it or leave it.
You take it… you take on the desire, the commitment and the choice to live every day with gratitude for what he did and show that gratitude through obedience to His Word and His commands.
You leave it… You are owned by and controlled by Satan. Simply put.
Oh how my heart grieves for those who are enslaved, entrapped and completely unaware of their slavery to sin; worldly pleasures. God gives us the ability to know Him and know – with confidence – that we can spend eternity in heaven with Him, but it takes work (the decision to follow Christ), it takes commitment (there is no other god) and it takes focus (love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength ((Mark 12:38)).
I am feeling convicted as I write and I mean no threat or harm to those who do not know what they do not know, but I write because I hurt for the lost, confused and deceived. For I study God’s Word and it is alive and active in me (Hebrews 4:12) and today I celebrate a different kind of freedom as a slave to righteousness. Even though I fail often, I am overwhelmed by his glorious grace.