Daily Devotional – Slaves of Sin or Slaves of Christ PT.IV

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November 29, 2019 by directorfsm

Today we conclude our series on Slavery, Romans 6:15-23, I pray everyone (in the US) had a very happy Thanksgiving Day and for our friends elsewhere that your day was filled with joy. – Mike

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21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit [c]to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the [d]gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.(NKJV) 
21 ¿Pero qué fruto teníais de aquellas cosas de las cuales ahora os avergonzáis? Porque el fin de ellas es muerte. 22 Mas ahora que habéis sido libertados del pecado y hechos siervos de Dios, tenéis por vuestro fruto la santificación, y como fin, la vida eterna. 23 Porque la paga del pecado es muerte, mas la dádiva de Dios es vida eterna en Cristo Jesús Señor nuestro. (RVR 1960)

On Wednesday we looked at how Paul made it a point to say he was writing in human terms v.19 because mankind apart from Christ is incapable of understanding God’s righteousness. We concluded when we were slaves to sin we did so compulsively, as slaves to righteousness we do so willingly for His glory v.20

     Today we will look at the final three verses in this series, including one of the most noted and quoted in the bible v.23. Paul makes a clear concluding argument for the benefits of Righteous Slavery in Christ. Let’s break it down:  

21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 

As you know fruit in the bible represents the evidence of achievement of one’s labors almost always in a positive manner.  Strong’s (fruit) (2590) (karpos) is used in its literal sense to refer to fruit, produce or offspring, which describes that which is produced by the inherent energy of a living organism. Here it has the meaning of something that comes from producing an effect or result (benefit, advantage, profit, utility). The (AMP) puts it this way: So what benefit did you get at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? [None!] For the outcome of those things is death!

22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit [a]to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 

I have said it before (and got laughs and in trouble once) I love “buts” in the bible.  They cause us to pause and think of what has been written beforehand. In this case But now, forces us to ask the question But now what?

Now I know, that all that I did before Christ had no benefit and the end of those things is death

Now I know, that I have been set free from sin

Now I know, that I have become {willingly} a slave of God

Now I now, I have fruit [a]to holiness 

Now I know, I have an end, everlasting life

John Piper writes that “Becoming a Christian is to have the sovereign captain of the battleship of righteousness commandeer the slave ship of unrighteousness; put the ship-captain, sin, in irons; break the chains of the slaves; and give them such a spiritual sight of grace and glory that they freely serve the new sovereign forever as the irresistible joy and treasure of their lives. That’s how we got saved. God freed us from one master and enslaved us to himself by the compelling power of a superior promise. So embrace this work of God. Receive Christ and his promise as the treasure of your life. (See complete sermon Slaves to God, Sanctification, Eternal Life)

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the [b]gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Wages (3800) (opsonion from ópson = cooked meat + onéomai = buy) whatever is bought to be eaten with bread. It meant rations for a soldier and so his stipend or pay. At Athens it meant “fish.” It came to mean the “provision-money” which Rome gave its soldiers. The wages paid by sin.

Free gift (5486) (charisma [word study] from charis = grace + the ending –ma which indicates the result of something, in this case the result of grace) means a “gift of grace” or “free gift,” and in sixteen of its seventeen New Testament uses is connected to God as the Giver. Charisma emphasizes the freeness of the gift.

Death can be “earned”. Eternal life is God’s gift.

ILLUSTRATION OF WAGES OF SIN by Charles Haddon Spurgeon “A cruel king called one of his subjects into his presence and asked him his occupation. The man responded, I’m a blacksmith.’ The ruler then ordered him to go and make a chain of a certain length. “The man obeyed, returning after several months to show it to the monarch. Instead of receiving praise for what he had done, however, he was instructed to make the chain twice as long. “When that assignment was completed, the blacksmith presented his work to the king, but again was commanded, ‘Go back and double its length!’ This procedure was repeated several times. At last the wicked tyrant directed the man to be bound in the chains of his own making and cast into a fiery furnace.” Like that cruel king, sin exacts from its servants a dreadful price: “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). But the good news is the last part of that verse: “The gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” If you are not a Christian, consider the consequence of your sin. Then “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31)

Harry Ironside in Illustrations of Bible Truth has the following illustration on..The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). You cannot earn a gift. It would cease to be a gift if it were purchased with money, or paid for, in whole or in part, in any other way. Years ago, a wealthy lady in New York built a beautiful church. On the day of dedication her agent came up from the audience to the platform and handed the deed of the property to the Episcopal Bishop of New York. The bishop gave the agent $1.00 for the deed, and by virtue of the $1.00, which was acknowledged, the property was turned over to the Episcopal Church. You say, “What a wonderful gift!” Yes, in a certain sense it was, for the passing over of $1.00 was simply a legal observance. But after all, in the full Bible sense it was not a gift, for it cost $1.00; and so the deed was made out, not as a deed of gift, but as a deed of sale. It was sold to the Episcopal Church for $1.00. If you had to do one thing in order to be saved, if you had even to raise your hand, to stand to your feet, had but to say one word, it would not be a gift. You could say, “I did thus and so, and in that way earned my salvation.” But this priceless blessing is absolutely free. “If by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Ro 11:6note). That is what the SPIRIT of GOD tells us in the Word.

 

 

 

 

 

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