September 22, 2012

Slaves to Sin, Slaves to Righteousness

Romans 6:15-23

At the end of your life you will groan… “How I hated discipline! … And I was soon in serious trouble in the assembly of God’s people.”
—Proverbs 5:11-14


Murder does not generally come from out of nowhere; adultery does not spring full-grown all at once. These sins begin like cute little cubs, from small indulgences that grow and grow till they are raging beasts.

A person may be overcome with love, looking into the eyes of their beloved as they repeat, with good intentions, “I pledge to be true to you, forsaking all others.” But when temptations creep in, they may think, “Well, a little wayward thought can’t be too harmful.”

Or even a nice person, when crossed, may fume and rant inwardly and coddle hate.

“You used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness,” says Paul. It grows if you let it. You may think, “Just a little …” But it doesn’t stop at that. Like one too many drinks, the addiction grows.

Being set free from slavery to sin includes taking Christ’s yoke onto your shoulders, pulling the plow, and learning from him. Taking up his yoke implies there’s some hard work involved when you might want to just lie down rather than pull. That’s probably why Paul uses the metaphor of being slaves to righteousness.

True repentance says, “I’m sick of this evil. I want to learn goodness from Jesus.” It’s the beginning of a new life, of health for the soul.

Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart. Help me to fol-low you and to learn from you. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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