Who do you belong to? Who do you follow?
REVIEW: Paul’s confession in 1 Timothy 1:13-15 Although born into Adam’s family, into sin, we are reborn into Jesus’ family and Jesus says in John 10:27-28
Question asked in 6:1 and answered in 6:2 By no means! (All other versions: God forbid! Certainly not! Absolutely not! Heaven forbid! May it never be! By no means! That’s unthinkable! What a ghastly thought! What a terrible thought!)
6:11-12 …count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. This is no game of “Let’s pretend.” So, do not let sin rule over you ·do not submit your bodies to (evil/sinful) desires.
6:14 The law demanded obedience, but grace supplies the will and the power to obey; grace breaks the mastery of sin as law could not. James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Found in Luke 11:24-26 What happens if you try to do this on your own? Jesus provides the answer.
Are we or are we not pretending? Ezekiel 33:30-32 Are we putting the word of God into practice or are we like the poor soul in Luke 11 trying to do it on our own? We absolutely need to put God’s word into practice.
6:15 Question: Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Similar and different from 6:1 Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? Answer the same as in 6:2 By no means! (All other versions: God forbid! Certainly not! Absolutely not! Heaven forbid! May it never be! By no means! That’s unthinkable! What a ghastly thought! What a terrible thought!)
6:16-17 Who will you serve? Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money / mammon.”
We are slaves to the one we obey – no ifs, no ands, no buts, we are slaves to the one we obey, it is that simple. The question is who are we going to obey? Who are you going to offer yourselves to? Who are you going to place yourself at the disposal of?
6:17-18 Thanks for Freedom and Slavery. Thanks for the teaching you whole-heartedly (from the heart, with all your heart, obeyed from your heart) follow. You do not pick and choose from God’s word, as mature Christians you are shaped by every page of the bible. Every page! That is how you become a mature Christian, that is how you become conformed to the image of Christ. Literally as in 2 Peter 3:18a We grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We gain an increasing understanding of His love and the Gift of His Grace.
6:19-20 I am an American! I am Free! Or am I? Choosing between “slavery and death” and “slavery and life.” In Rome at least 1/3rd of the population was made up of slaves. It does not matter how often we say we are free, slaves to no one or to anything, we are indeed slaves to sin (pride, arrogance, etc) or we are slaves to God. We simply have that choice. Slavery to Christ is liberating!! It is different being a slave to Christ than a slave to sin. One gives a life of shame, while the other is rooted in love. Paul says in Galatians 5:6b The only thing that counts is expressing your faith in love. As servants of sin, slaves of sin, we only knew shame. Freed from sin, we present ourselves to the One who loved us enough to die for us. Yes, we become His servants, His slaves and in the process while obeying in love we discover the secret of sanctification
6:21-22 Old life / New life … Let’s compare the benefits of our old life to that of our new life. We look upon our old life with shame. What fruit has come from our sin? What good came from a life of sin of immorality? Remember the final consequence of being a slave to sin is the ghastly horror of death. The benefit of being enslaved to God? How about eternal life and slowly but surely becoming conformed to the image of Christ.
6:23 So the choice is ours. We know the Wages of sin is death. And the Gift of Grace in Jesus is eternal life.
Let me caution you, remember Jesus said, No one can serve two masters. So, if we choose Jesus but do not present ourselves to Him as servants, we are on very shaky ground. Jesus Christ expects to be Lord of those for whom He is the Savior. You cannot take the one and skip the other. If you see Jesus as a convenient way to escape the penalty of death, but are not serious about offering yourself to Him in sanctification, you are not really serious about salvation. Jesus is a loving Savior, but He is also our Judge. There are wages to be paid. Make sure you receive the right wages. (Woodrow Kroll)
Same Question as last week: Are we pretending or are we serious are we putting the words of God into practice? Ezekiel 33:30-32