The Word of the Lord came to the prophet Hosea had this to say in His charge against them…
my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.Hosea 4:6
You see It wasn’t that they were uninformed. They had rejected God’s knowledge. And as a result of this rejection, God levees a charge against the Israelites.
As you can see we are continuing our stroll through Romans. As we close out chapter six (44.34%) Paul is elaborating on some of the concepts we have been working through are based around the ideas of what it means to die to sin and be raised to life with Christ. This idea of finding true life even though we die.
My prayer for us today is that by hearing this message, together you and me, would be endowed with godly knowledge to enrich our lives to a deeper and more significant allegiance to righteousness in Christ Jesus.
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 6:15-23
We Should Never Confuse Grace For Righteousness.
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?Romans 6:15-16
First, Paul uses the slave analogy to demonstrate an allegiance and obedience. As Americans we don’t like to use images like that, and for good reason. Paul’s desire here is to display his diligent affection and service to Christ.
Second, let’s keep in mind that is the 3rd time Paul has used this type of diatribe to make his point regarding sin and grace. Each time Paul asks the predictable question and then gives his own answer. Grace is not to be mistaken for righteousness. While it is true Gods grace is applied for our benefit, but it is not to be used as a license to keep sinning.
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.Micah 6:7-8
God’s grace is a precious gift and like anything of value, if we mistreat it the value is diminished. Its what we in “the Business” call “cheap grace”. Its this idea that one can continue life just as before without any consequences, because God has to forgive them. Friends, it does not work that way.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.Galatians 6:7-8
Church we are talking about the sacrifice of righteousness.
Psalm 4:5– Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the Lord.Psalm 4:5
Grace is a free gift from God, but living for Christ is going to cost you something. Don’t ever confuse grace for righteousness. Grace is applied to those who are deemed righteous by the relationship with Jesus Christ. No relationship, no grace!
Romans 3:22—This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,Romans 3:22
We hear it all the time, “I know I shouldn’t, but God will forgive me. And they do it any way. Here is the danger that we get into. The first time we willfully rebel, we will hopefully feel the Holy Spirit’s conviction. Here is the problem, without consequences, subconsciously we learn that we can continue to sin and nothing will happen. In a court of law, when we consciously decide to commit a crime… They have a term for that, for all of you Law and Order fans, it’s called “premeditated” And as you know it carries a much harsher penalty.
For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.Jude 1:4
Remember with God it’s all about the relationship.
“If you love me, keep my commands.John 14:15
Righteousness comes through relationship with Jesus. Grace comes by repentance.
I have offered myself wholly to my wife, and you better believe that sweet Pastor Julia expects me to live differently that I did before we met. Just because she is obligated to love me does not give me license to violate our vows. Now because I’m not perfect, there is grace applied. We understand that there are set boundaries to keep us free in our relationship with each other and with God. Now if I don’t make an effort to grow and work on our relationship, Sweet Pastor Julia will get the idea that I’m taking advantage of her grace. And there will begin a fracture in our trust that alter how we move forward. The same thing is true with God. We must never confuse grace for righteousness.
Embrace Your New Master, Righteousness.
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.Romans 6:18-19
You now have a new master. You have a new purpose. Congratulations! You have been upgraded. In this relationship there is a question that each person must ask themselves. What does the Lord require of me?
”…Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.”Romans 6:19
We must embrace our master Jesus Christ. And by the Power of His Holy Spirit he will bring the transformation in our lives. But we must begin by taking God’s word to heart. We give ourselves to prayer. We give ourselves to reading His holy word.
There is no such thing as a casual Christian. In Matthew 22:37-40 the experts in the law were trying to trick Jesus by asking him about which is the greatest commandment.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”Matthew 22:37-40
It doesn’t say you can just kinda kick it with God.
It says, “love the Lord your God with all your heart.”
It says, “love the Lord your God with all your soul.”
It says, “love the Lord your God with all your mind.”
It doesn’t say, “love your neighbor when ever you feel like it.”
It doesn’t say, “love the neighbor that you like.”
It says, Love your neighbor like yourself.”
Church we have to get serious about God. I don’t want sound rude, but some of you out there are trying to play house with God. You’re going to hear me say this a lot, because it bears repeating, If this is you and you think your safe because you’re on the fence with God, you know what I Mean. You have one foot in the church and the other in the world. You think you’re slick. But I’m here to tell you now the devil isn’t playing with you. You’re on the fence with God, here it is, the Devil owns the fence. We must learn to embrace our new master, the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
When we were slaves to sin, we gave ourselves to it. When I was in the world, I pursued my selfish interests like no other. I will never attempt to glorify my past, because I live in the now and in eternity in Christ Jesus. Amen? However, God has given me a testimony that must be shared in order to relate to you and others. If you’re just tuning in, you may just be seeing me for the first time and think why should I listen to some pastor who has probably never walked in my shoes? I will tell you that I have not always been the man that you see today. There was a time when I lived a very messy life. I was a slave to sin. I chased after the things of this world with everything I had. And now that I am free from sin, Now that I have a new master in Jesus Christ. I am a new creation Praise God And now I chase after Him with everything that I am. I’m embracing my new master.
“…now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.”Romans 6:19
Righteousness Reaps Holiness, and Holiness, Eternal life.
21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.Romans 6:21-22
Here Paul asks the rhetorical question. He qualifies this time by reminding them of their shame. Now he switches gears. But now… Now we have been liberated from sin and are now bound to God. Let’s see how we get there.
for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”1 Peter 1:16
This is not a suggestion, It is a command. Now what does this mean, be holy? It means to be set apart/ consecrated for God’s purpose, sacred. This is Christ in us making us more like Him. It is through faith that we receive his mercy and grace. We are declared innocent. We are made righteous in His blood. We are set apart for Him.
Every day we choose how we will live our lives. Each of you will choose which master you will serve.
“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.Matthew 6:24
When we allow our relationship with Jesus to deepen, we are becoming like him. We are made holy and becoming holy at the same time. This is also known as sanctification. Because Jesus, the righteous judge has made us new we have been sanctified and made holy, but it doesn’t stop there, the Holy Spirit is working within us to continue to grow. In God and develop spiritual maturity. The end game here Church is not to be really cool here on earth… But to be with God in heaven, Ruling and reigning with Christ.
I am not a morning person, Lord knows, I wish I was. I know this about myself, so I have trained myself to do this one thing every day. Every morning when my alarm starts going off, I begin to pray. It’s nothing elaborate. I pray that God will give me the strength and grace to glorify Him in all that I say and do. This is what this does, each day I have started my communication with God. I have informed myself that once again I am choosing to set myself apart for God. I’m also putting the Devil and all his minions on notice that today is not looking good for them. I’m devoting myself to my master. Pledging myself to the Lord. I’m aligning my spirit to His will and His purpose.
Righteousness Reaps Holiness, and Holiness, Eternal life.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 6:23
Are you catching the focus here? We are zeroing in on Christ and his will for our lives. Why is this so important.? This is so important because He is coming back soon. He’s coming for his church that is without spot or wrinkle. Friends let me just let you in on a little piece of information that is right in your very own Bible. Are you ready? There is nothing left that needs to happen for Christ to return. The rapture is eminent. Trust me, you will want to be ready when he comes. Many will be like I described earlier, casual with God or on the fence with God. And the Bible says that they will be left behind. Will you understand the difference between grace and righteousness today? Will you embrace your master who is Jesus Christ, the righteousness of God? Will you set yourself apart from this world to be used by God?
Will you open your hearts today and receive what God has for you? Will you call on him today? Will you ask Him to Help your unbelief today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today.
Is there some form of hindrance or bondage in your life or your relationships today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today.
You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late. It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today?
Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life. If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me.
Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.
“‘“The Lord bless youNumbers 6:24-26
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’