CMF eZine

The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.

Author: Bob Flynn

Bob Flynn was born and raised in Los Angeles County, California.  He is the son of a watchmaker and jeweler.  He spent 23 years in the Navy where he enjoyed flying on the P-3 Orion as a flight engineer and serving as a manager in aircraft maintenance.  He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Nancy, for 49 years and they have two grown sons.  Bob came to the day of salvation as an adult while caring for his mother as she was dying of cancer.  Bob joined the Christian Military Fellowship in 1981 and served as Local Representative and then later as President of the governing Counsel.  Upon retirement from the Navy, Bob was called to serve on the staff of CMF as the Coordinator of Ministries, later Chief Operating Officer, and now President and Chief Executive Officer.  His undergraduate and graduate university studies include business management, human resource management, church ministries, Biblical studies, and information technology management.

Romans 7:02 - Death and Marriage

For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. (NASB)
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. (KJV)
For example, when a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive. But if he dies, the laws of marriage no longer apply to her. (NLT)
For a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of the marriage. (NET)

This is a simple illustration and one should not engage in puerile fantasy when gleaning its very upfront meaning—that death dissolves all those things that bind us to the law in life. Remember that in verse 4, "You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ," we can consider that our death to the law is brought about in union with our benefactor, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul had to be precise here by not saying that the law died, but rather our obligation to the law.  We can look upon this from several aspects.  If we continue the contrast from chapter six where sin is the master and we are the slave, sin did not die but the slave did.  Here again we have the contrasts of two husbands represented by Christ the creator of the law and the benefactor of Grace.  In one sense the law remains and the wife (us) is dead brought about by our death in Christ yet we live on.

Rom 7:1-6
So long as a man continues under the law as a covenant, and seeks justification by his own obedience, he continues the slave of sin in some form.  Nothing but the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, can make any sinner free from the law of sin and death.  Believers are delivered from that power of the law, which condemns for the sins committed by them.  And they are delivered from that power of the law which stirs up and provokes the sin that dwells in them.  Understand this not of the law as a rule, but as a covenant of works.  In profession and privilege, we are under a covenant of grace, and not under a covenant of works; under the gospel of Christ, not under the law of Moses.  The difference is spoken of under the similitude or figure of being married to a new husband.  The second marriage is to Christ.  By death we are freed from obligation to the law as a covenant, as the wife is from her vows to her husband.  In our believing powerfully and effectually, we are dead to the law, and have no more to do with it than the dead servant, who is freed from his master, has to do with his master's yoke.  The day of our believing, is the day of being united to the Lord Jesus. We enter upon a life of dependence on him, and duty to him.  Good works are from union with Christ; as the fruitfulness of the vine is the product of its being united to its roots; there is no fruit to God, till we are united to Christ.  The law, and the greatest efforts of one under the law, still in the flesh, under the power of corrupt principles, cannot set the heart right with regard to the love of God, overcome worldly lusts, or give truth and sincerity in the inward parts, or any thing that comes by the special sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit.  Nothing more than a formal obedience to the outward letter of any precept, can be performed by us, without the renewing, new-creating grace of the new covenant. (Matthew Henry)
Robertson says; “The analogy calls for the death of the law, but Paul refuses to say that. He changes the structure and makes them dead to the law as the husband (6:3–6). The relation of marriage is killed ‘through the body of Christ’ as ‘the propitiation’ (3:25) for us.”
Translation. So that, my brethren, you also were put to death with reference to the law, through the intermediate agency of the body of Christ, resulting in your being married to another, to the One who was raised up out from among the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.
(Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader)
In this passage he used the illustration of a husband and wife to show that the believer has a new relationship to the Law because of his union with Jesus Christ.…But in Paul’s illustration from marriage, it was the husband who died and the wife who married again.  If you and I are represented by the wife, and the Law is represented by the husband, then the application does not follow the illustration.  If the wife died in the illustration, the only way she could marry again would be to come back from the dead.  But that is exactly what Paul wants to teach!  When we trusted Christ, we died to the Law; but in Christ, we arose from the dead and now are “married” (united) to Christ to live a new kind of life! (The Bible exposition commentary)
How can we legally be free from the Law? (Rom. 7:1–3)  Paul turned to marriage for an illustration.  A married couple is bound to each other under the Law until one of them dies.  The death of a partner frees both, so that the living partner is free to remarry.  Our union with Jesus is a real union too, so when He died we were legally released from any obligation to the Law.  God considers us to have “died to the Law through the body of Christ” (v. 4), and so to be free from any past obligation to live “under” it (6:14).
(The teacher's commentary)
To match the Christian experience of dying to sin and living to God, Paul used an illustration in which someone is set free by death, but still lives.  Jesus Christ acted both as the husband in the believer’s bondage to the law and as the new and living husband in righteousness.  The human illustration requires two husbands to make its point.  But the great truth of Romans 7 is that Christ is at the same time the one husband who dies to the state of bondage and the one who brings his bride, the church, into a new state of freedom.  Romans 6 shows that believers are dead to sin; Romans 7 shows they are dead to their old relationship to law. (Tyndale concise Bible commentary)
When a woman is married to a man, she is bound to that man until he dies.  Then she is free to marry again. Before we met Christ, we were bound by the Law and condemned by it.  The Law, however, did not “die” when we were saved; instead, we died in Christ.  We are no longer “married” to a system of regulations; we are “married” to Jesus Christ, and the Law has no control over us. Read v. 4 again and again and absorb its wonderful message.  Our old “husband” has no control over us: we are in a wonderful new relationship through and in Christ.  When we were lost, the Law triggered the “arousings of sin” in our old nature, and this produced death (v. 5).  But now we are delivered from the Law and can serve Christ in newness of the Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter (v. 6). (Wiersbe's expository outlines on the New Testament).
7:1–6 Freed at last, from bondage to blessing.  In a further effort to illustrate our freedom in Christ, Paul compared the law, with its tendency to make us want to sin (7:5), to a demanding husband. As long as the husband lives, his wife is bound to him; when he dies, she is free to marry another.  Likewise, the law and the sinful desires it arouses have no more claim over the believer; he or she is now free to be united with Christ (7:4; compare John 3:29; Eph. 5:25–27; Rev. 21:2). (Willmington's Bible handbook)

Romans 7:01 - Ignorant and Bound

The Christian, or, to say better, the believer, has part in Christ as a Christ who has died, and lives to God, Christ being raised from the dead through Him.  What is the force of this truth with regard to the law (for the law has only power over a man so long as he lives)?  Being then dead, it has no longer any hold upon him.  This is our position with regard to the law.  Does that weaken its authority? No. For we say that Christ has died, and so have we therefore; but the law no longer applies to one that is dead. (Dr. John Darby)
The apostle shows how by death the Christian is freed from the law, which, good as it is in itself and in the divine intention, nevertheless, owing to the corruption of man’s nature, instead of helping to make him good, perpetually stimulates sin. (Denny as quoted in Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader)

Released (7:1–3).  A spouse is no longer bound by the law of marriage to a partner who has died.  Death freed him or her from that law.  Similarly the death of Christ, which we shared in our union with Him, frees us from all legal obligations to God’s Law.  (The Bible readers companion)
Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? (NASB)
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? (KJV)
Now, dear brothers and sisters—you who are familiar with the law—don't you know that the law applies only while a person is living? (NLT)
Or do you not know, brothers and sisters (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law is lord over a person as long as he lives? (NET)

Coming to Christ is not the toughest part of the journey we face.  Following Christ is the road less travelled and most maligned.  The world is a graveyard of lost ships who have professed their faith only to crash upon the rocks.  If Jesus is the way the truth and the life, it would beg to question why the ditch at the side of the road remains so full.  Woefully, the saddest epitaph is that the Road in question is Christ Himself.  It is the deception of the flesh and its song sung well by the chief of deceivers that brings each one of us to this ditch at one time or another.  It is only the tenacious love of the Savior that brings us back to the road.  So complete is the deception that draws us into the ditch, that those with whom we travel are not always able to turn us from this plight.  In the Lord's economy, a believer may travel thousands of miles to encourage someone who is in the very midst of the saints.  I do not mean this to be a pejorative slight at those who are still traveling on the road but rather to illuminate the wiles of the enemy and how easily all of us are deceived.  It is not that I would give glory to the one who travelled far for it is the Lord who brought him as well.

For the past month we have looked at how were are by natures slaves to sin.  However, in union with Christ Jesus we have been transformed by this union into slave of Christ and His righteousness.  Today we begin a sojourn in the study of our relationship with the law.  Perhaps said with more literary penash, "the Tale of Two Husbands."  Both are perfect and holy however, the first is not very helpful ("gives me neither feet nor hands").  The second, though, is helpful in every way but I cannot be the wife of two husbands.  If it were me, I would have done away with the first husband.  However, Christ chose to do away with the wife.  Since I am dead in Christ, I am no longer obligated to the Law but to Christ!  The law's ability to show the true nature of my fallen estate is slaked in Jesus and this wondrous union He created for me to walk within.

The chapter starts out proclaiming our ignorance (?γνοε?τε - from G50 ?γνο?ω) a word equated with heathenism (Josephus, Antiquities) and in general the opposite of wisdom.  A more stark way of putting it would be "ignorant brothers I am speaking to you who have come to a complete understanding of the law."  We have ignorance because we ignore! We can begin to see our plight here in that we were ignorant to our complete deliverance from the law that kept us chained to our fallen nature while at the same time being cognizant of its just authority to do so but bound only so long as we live.  Did the law weaken to facilitate our escape? No! We died!

Rom 7:1 The apostle continues the comparison between the former and the present state of a believer, and at the same time endeavors to wean the Jewish believers from their fondness for the Mosaic law.  I speak to them that know the law - To the Jews chiefly here.  As long - So long, and no longer.  As it liveth - The law is here spoken of, by a common figure, as a person, to which, as to an husband, life and death are ascribed.  But he speaks indifferently of the law being dead to us, or we to it, the sense being the same. (John Wesley)
We are delivered from the law.  What is meant by this?  And how is it an argument why sin should not reign over us, and why we should walk in newness of life?  We are delivered from the power of the law which curses and condemns us for the sin committed by us.  The sentence of the law against us is vacated and reversed, by the death of Christ, to all true believers.  The law saith, The soul that sins shall die; but we are delivered from the law. The Lord has taken away thy sin, thou shalt not die.  We are redeemed from the curse of the law, Gal 3:13. (Mathew Henry)

Romans 6:23 - Wage or Gift

We usually apply Romans 6:23 to the lost, and certainly it does apply; but it also has a warning for the saved.  (After all, it was written to Christians.)  “There is a sin unto death” (1 John 5:17).  “For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep” (1 Cor. 11:30, NASB).  Samson, for example, would not yield himself to God, but preferred to yield to the lusts of the flesh, and the result was death (Jud. 16).  If the believer refuses to surrender his body to the Lord, but uses its members for sinful purposes, then he is in danger of being disciplined by the Father, and this could mean death. (Wiersbe, Warren W.: The Bible Exposition Commentary.)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NASB)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT)
For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NET)

The word used here for wages is ο?ψω?νια (opso??nia ).  It was used originally to describe those things that were purchased to be eaten with bread (vegetables, meat, fish, etc.) and was the way that Roman soldiers were paid their wages.  It is used here to convey that which is earned or deserved.  Death then is the proper dessert or just reward for sin!  Remembering back to chapter one where the wrath of God is being revealed against all unrighteousness and all ungodliness, it is then easy to see that not one pain is inflicted upon a sinner that is undeserved but rather ALL has been earned.

Eze 18:4 For all people are Mine to judge—both parents and children alike.  And this is My rule: The person who sins is the one who will die. (NLT)

To the contrast of wages we have a free gift given because of Christ's mercy.  Each gift is of the same length (eternal - everlasting).  One will be awful the other glorious.  There will be no innocent martyrs in hell.  Those blessed with eternal life with Christ Jesus will all enjoy this blessing without merit but rather because of Christ's rich and sovereign Grace (χαρισμα του Θεου - the gracious gift of God).

Thus we see this wonderful doctrine of the Gospel unfold.  But it is useless to those who refuse to die to sin and rise with Christ, in the likeness of his resurrection, and enter into the newness of life He provides.  Look around your home, your neighborhood, you nation and see the untold millions who believe the whole Gospel and yet are living in sin! Don’t forget to look in the mirror!

Romans 6:22 - Free Slaves

Rom 6:22
But now being made free from sin - As being free from righteousness is the finished character of a sinner, so being made free from sin is the finished character of a genuine Christian.

And become servants to God - They were transferred from the service of one master to that of another: they were freed from the slavery of sin, and engaged in the service of God.

Fruit unto holiness - Holiness of heart was the principle; and righteousness of life the fruit.
(Dr. Adam Clarke)
But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. (NASB)
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. (KJV)
But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. (NLT)
But now, freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. (NET)
John 3:36 And anyone who believes in God's Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn't obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God's angry judgment." (NLT)

The "end fruit," the culmination and completion (telos - completion as in a state of perfection) of God's plan is our sanctification and eternal life.  There is no more perfect example than that of Christ Jesus Himself who yielded to the will of the Father.  This is our fruit (derived benefit) of His holiness permeating every fiber of our being by His presence in our lives.  We are now delivered from sin's slavery and have been transformed into slaves of His righteousness (bond slaves of Christ) who is Lord.  It is hard for the American mindset to understand that there can be such amazing liberty in slavery because what our flesh really desires is freedom to do what our fallen nature desires.  But as we have seen this has been described as bondage with the illusion of freedom.  Only in Christ is there true liberty because our current tent of habitation is a vessel of corruption.  So we wait patiently for our Lord's return when these earthly bodies will be raised incorruptible and our final perfection realized.  However, the here and now is life in the Spirit who will lead us in the way everlasting.

In the Greek mind the idea of freedom (eleutheroo?) was in contrast to slavery (douloo?) and was considered in the political context. Aristotle phrase this as κοινων?α τ?ν ?λευθ?ρων ,the assembly of freedom (The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament). In this sense we are now the congregation of the liberated!

Romans 6:21 - Fruit-loop

Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. (NASB)
What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. (KJV)
And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. (NLT)
So what benefit did you then reap from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. (NET)
Translation. Therefore, what fruit were you having then, upon the basis of which things now you are ashamed? (Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader).
Ezekiel 16:61 (NLT)  Then you will remember with shame all the evil you have done.

What profit is there in the earthly sin that gives only the illusion of pleasure and brings with it only imaginary satisfaction?  If by my sinful practices, I would have gained the riches of the whole world and yet lose my soul to an eternity of torment, would I not be the eternal looser?  Would this not be a profit that evaporates in the heat of the final righteous judgment when Christ shall judge the living and the dead?

Romans 6:20 - Done Wronger

Ye were free from righteousness - These two servitudes are incompatible; if we cannot serve God and Mammon, surely we cannot serve Christ and Satan. We must be either sinners or saints; God’s servants or the devil’s slaves.  It cannot be as a good mistaken man has endeavored to sing: -

“To good and evil equal bent,
I’m both a devil and a saint.”

(Dr. Adam Clarke)
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. (NASB)
For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. (KJV)
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. (NLT)
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness. (NET)

There couldn't be a stronger way to describe the prevalence of sin as Paul does here.  We were free from righteousness — in no way capable of doing good!  The word reprobate seems to be an understatement (tested and found to be no good).  I suppose one could argue that we do some good (at least in our eyes) but the Word says our righteousnesses are but filthy rags.  The lie is on our lips as we deceive ourselves deeper into the pit where darkness appears as light and we are unable to distinguish the difference.  How sad is our plight before a Savior's love enters onto the scene with a love that is able to overcome our piteous estate and deliver us out of death and into a new life!

Romans 6:19 - Give Yourselves to Liberty

Every man is the servant of the master to whose commands he yields himself; whether it be the sinful dispositions of his heart, in actions which lead to death, or the new and spiritual obedience implanted by regeneration.  The apostle rejoiced now they obeyed from the heart the gospel, into which they were delivered as into a mould. As the same metal becomes a new vessel, when melted and recast in another mould, so the believer has become a new creature.  And there is great difference in the liberty of mind and spirit, so opposite to the state of slavery, which the true Christian has in the service of his rightful Lord, whom he is enabled to consider as his Father, and himself as his son and heir, by the adoption of grace.  The dominion of sin consists in being willingly slaves thereto, not in being harassed by it as a hated power, struggling for victory.  Those who now are the servants of God, once were the slaves of sin. (Matthew Henry)
I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.  For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. (NASB)
I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. (KJV)
Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this.  Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin.  Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy. (NLT)
(I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.)  For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. (NET)

Here is where we reiterated the transition from the positional to the practical.  We must give ourselves to be slaves of righteous living else we will not find the liberty we seek.  There is no picking and choosing!  Salvation has a cost, everything.  The sanctification that follows comes by walking with the Savior and submitting to His headship!

Romans 6:18 - Emancipation Proclamation

Being then made free from sin - Ελευθερωθεντες is a term that refers to the manumission of a slave. They were redeemed from the slavery of sin, and became the servants of righteousness.  Here is another prosopopoeia: both sin and righteousness are personified: sin can enjoin no good and profitable work; righteousness can require none that is unjust or injurious. (Dr. Adam Clarke)
eleutheróo?; contracted eleuthero??, fut. eleuthero??so?, from eleútheros (G1658), free.  To make free, liberate from the power and punishment of sin, the result of redemption (John 8:32, John 8:36; Romans 6:18, Romans 6:22) (The Complete Word Study Dictionary, Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D., General Editor)
and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. (NASB)
Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. (KJV)
Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living. (NLT)
and having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. (NET)

We cannot overstate the liberty that is bestowed upon the believer because it is contrasted with the total and complete bondage that is sin! I have often said that sin is like a fishhook, no matter whether you push it through our pull it out, the pain is excruciating!  The concept of deliverance from this bondage to a new life in Christ Jesus at some level becomes mind boggling.  Yet this is exactly what is being communicated here by the Apostle.  In union with Christ we are free to become all that He has designed us to be!  Will my flesh continue to strive against this liberty?  Yes, but I am no longer obligate to (listen under) obey its voice!

Rom 6:18 Being then made free from sin,.... Not from a sinful nature; nor from a corrupt heart; nor from vain thoughts; nor from sinful words; nor from sinful actions altogether; but from the damning power of sin: sin brought all men under a sentence of condemnation; Christ has bore the execution of this sentence in himself for his people; hence, as considered in him, they are free from it; and such as are born again have passed from death to life, and shall never enter into condemnation: likewise, such persons are free from the guilt of sin; men are in a legal sense arraigned for sin, accused of it, and being convicted, are pronounced guilty before God; and awakened souls have a sense of it in themselves; but the blood of Christ sprinkled on their consciences frees them from it; though fresh sins committed bring fresh guilt, which requires the continual application of the blood of Jesus for pardon and cleansing: but what is chiefly designed here is freedom from the servitude of sin, as appears from the context. Now God's elect are not released voluntarily by their former masters; nor is their freedom obtained by their own power and will; but it is of God, Father, Son, and Spirit; and the Gospel is generally the means of it, and happy are those persons who are blessed with it! They are rid of a bad master; are freed from the worst of bondage; will be no more servants, as before; are delivered from the power, and out of the kingdom of darkness; are heirs of heaven, and shall enjoy the glorious liberty of the children of God: and for the time present are 
become the servants of righteousness; servants to God, whose Gospel they obey; servants to Christ, whose righteousness they submit to; and servants to the law of righteousness, as held forth by Christ; they give up themselves to a course and life of righteousness, in which there are true honour, peace, and pleasure. (Dr. John Gill)

Romans 6:17 - Cast into a New Mold

That form of doctrine - Τυπον διδαχης; here Christianity is represented under the notion of a mold, or die, into which they were cast, and from which they took the impression of its excellence.  The figure upon this die is the image of God, righteousness and true holiness, which was stamped on their souls in believing the Gospel and receiving the Holy Ghost.  The words εις ο?ν παρεδοθητε τυπον refer to the melting of metal; which, when it is liquefied, is cast into the mold, that it may receive the impression that is sunk or cut in the mold; and therefore the words may be literally translated, into which mold of doctrine ye have been cast.  They were melted down under the preaching of the word, and then were capable of receiving the stamp of its purity. (Dr. Adam Clarke)
But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, (NASB)
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. (KJV)
Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. (NLT)
But thanks be to God that though you were slaves to sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were entrusted to, (NET)
2Ti 1:13 Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. (NLT)

Thankfulness seems a understatement for having been delivered from the slavery of sin.  But here we see the supremacy of the Gospel that casts us into its mold where the likeness of Christ is delivered into our being so that we can see His pattern upon us and can wholeheartedly obey, (listen under, conform, heed, hearken) as newly created righteous vessels.  A new nature gives sustenance to a new life lived in union with Christ Jesus.

τυπος here, is used by the Jewish writers for a form, copy, pattern, or exemplar of any sort of writings This form of doctrine is ????, "a Cabala", but not like that of the Jews' oral law, or form of traditions, handed down, as they say, from one man, and set of men, to another; but this is delivered from the Father to Christ, from Christ to his apostles, and by them to the saints; and "into which they were delivered", as it may be rendered, as into a mould; and so received the impression of it, and were evangelized by it: so such are who have a spirit of Gospel liberty, in opposition to a spirit of bondage; who live by faith on Christ, and not by the works of the law; who derive their comfort from him, and not from anything done by them; whose repentance and obedience are influenced by the grace of God, and who are zealous of good works, without any dependence on them. (Dr. John Gill)

Romans 6:16 - Slaves of Righteousness

To whom ye yield yourselves - To whom ye give up yourselves for servitude or obedience.  The apostle here refers to voluntary servitude; but where this existed, the power of the master over the time and services of the servant was absolute.  The argument of the apostle is, that Christians had become the voluntary servants of God, and were therefore bound to obey him entirely.  Servitude among the ancients, whether voluntary or involuntary, was rigid, and gave the master an absolute right over his slave (Dr. Albert Barnes)

doúlos; gen. doúlou, masc. noun.  A slave, one who is in a permanent relation of servitude to another, his will being altogether consumed in the will of the other (Matthew 8:9; Matthew 20:27; Matthew 24:45-46).  Generally one serving, bound to serve, in bondage (Romans 6:16-17). (Word Study - Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D.)
Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? (NASB)
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (KJV)
Don't you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. (NLT)
Do you not know that if you present yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness? (NET)

Once again the Apostle make the argument from the standpoint of "knowing."  Quite literally, don't you know that you become a slave of who you stand beside and listen under.  If we stand next to sin we are once again enslaved!  However, if we stand next to Christ we are liberated from sin's power and empowered to live righteous lives.  Beloved, our life of liberty is found in slavery!  A volitional choice we make each day is who then shall we serve.  If you want to live in compound misery, try deluding yourselves into thinking you are serving two masters (sin and Christ) a Non sequitur (doesn't follow - fallacy).

When I rise in the morning, my body hurts and rebels against my wishes almost from the minute of conscience thought.  If I were to base my life upon feelings, I would be thwarted before my feet could touch the floor.  My faith must be in the Word alone that lives forever, Amen!  "I dare not trust the sweetest phrase but wholly lean on Jesus Name" (my Rock and my Redeemer).  I am a slave of Christ by choice yielding to his perfect goodness and steadfast love for me a lowly sinner for whom he bled and died.  This love given to me undeserved is what puts wind in my sails and give meaning to my life today as I enter into His Sabbath Rest!

The word δουλος, which we translate servant, properly signifies slave; and a slave among the Greeks and Romans was considered as his master’s property, and he might dispose of him as he pleased.  Under a bad master, the lot of the slave was most oppressive and dreadful; his ease and comfort were never consulted; he was treated worse than a beast; and, in many cases, his life hung on the mere caprice of the master.  This state is the state of every poor, miserable sinner; he is the slave of Satan, and his own evil lusts and appetites are his most cruel task-masters.  The same word is applied to the servants of Christ, the more forcibly to show that they are their Master’s property; and that, as he is infinitely good and benevolent, therefore his service must be perfect freedom.  Indeed, he exacts no obedience from them which he does not turn to their eternal advantage; for this master has no self-interest to secure. (Dr. Adam Clarke)

Christian Military Fellowship

An Indigenous Ministry • Discipleship • Prayer • Community • Support
Encouraging Men and Women in the United States Armed Forces, and their families, to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

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    PO Box 1207, Englewood, CO 80150-1207

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