A New Master

A New Master

What is sin? “Surely you know that when you give yourselves like slaves to obey someone then you are really slaves of that person. The person you obey is your master. You can follow sin, which brings spiritual death, or you can obey God which makes you right with Him.” Romans 6:16

When Paul says this, there is no hidden meaning. But, why would Paul equate slavery to sin as well as righteousness? As strange as it seems, in the Greco-Roman Empire, to be a slave was to move up the chain socially. Slaves were guaranteed food, shelter and work for 200+ days of the year; while farmers maybe worked 100+ days. If not born into slavery, people would sell their children or themselves into slavery to pay off their debts. Slavery meant that even though you were someone’s property, you could make it, better than you could on your own.

Paul explains that God gives us a new master, therefore, we must obey that master. As one person puts it, coming off of what Paul says, “when we habitually offer ourselves to someone, we become a slave of that to which we offer ourselves. Sin then is a serious matter. Though set free from it, we can in effect become its slaves again if we give ourselves to it.” With each transfer of a slave to a master, is their transfer of commitment to that new master. Our service should be committed to righteousness as much as it was to sin.

“For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freeman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.” 1 Cor. 7:22-23

When we sin, we’re not worshipping God. We don’t worship when we don’t act right, hurt other people, post or view things that bring shame to God online, don’t tell the whole truth about something, take something that isn’t ours, get jealous, laugh at crude jokes, participate in gossip, put someone else or even ourselves down, are in a relationship with someone who doesn’t chase Christ, have sex with someone we aren’t married to; all of these things mean we’re not worshipping Christ. We don’t worship when we settle for anything less than Christ.

So, why isn’t our service committed to righteousness as much as it is to sin? Do you realize that you are an ambassador of Christ? If you’re living like everyone else, why would they ever want to follow your Jesus? It’s one thing to just say you have an identity in Christ, but to possess means that we are showing only Christ to others and none of ourselves. The way we present ourselves as Christians is important; what we allow people to perceive about our Christian identity creates our image and our reputation. Identifying as Christians isn’t about some religion.

“Christianity minus Christ equals religion.”

Paul tells us that Christ has set us free from our slavery to sin, but in turn we should be committed to serving Him for His grace. “God expects us to obey Him, but our very obedience is the product of His grace.” If we want to worship God, then why do we keep serving sin when Christ, as our new master, has set us free from that? A new master means a new life and a new commitment.

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