Sunday, October 20, 2013

Romans 6:16-23 - Servants of Righteousness


Paul had answered the question, "Shall we sin, since we are no longer under Torah, but are under grace?" His response was, "God forbid!" He continued with this:

Romans 6:16-23 (KJV)
16 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?
17 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.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
19 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.
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul's response in verse 16 reflected some surprise. Didn't the believers understand they were servants to whomever they yielded themselves? There are two choices. They can obey sin and receive death, or they can obey righteousness.

Paul then thanked God because he was speaking about believers who HAD been servants of sin, but who had from their hearts obeyed the doctrine of Yeshua which had been delivered to them. In other words, Paul was grateful for his readers who had turned in repentance and trusted in the death and resurrection of Yeshua and were born again (verse 17).

Because of their trust in Yeshua, they were made free from sin, and became servants of righteousness (verse 18).

In verse 19, Paul acknowledged that the manner of his speaking was due to the "infirmity" of  his readers' flesh. Although, they were believers, they still lived in human bodies that could be weak, sickly, or otherwise infirm. In the same way that they had yielded their members (parts of the body) to uncleaness and to iniquity unto iniquity, they were to henceforth yield their members to righteousness unto holiness.

For when they were servants of sin they were free from righteousness (verse 20).

In verse 21 Paul spoke about the sin, the sin that they are now ashamed of, and the fruit of that sin, that the believers had "harvested" prior to their conversion to believers in Yeshua. The end of those things is death.

But now they were free from sin, were servants to God, and would "harvest" fruit unto holiness. The end of which is everlasting life (verse 22).

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Messiah Yeshua (verse 23).

As a reminder, Paul was not speaking about a works salvation, but rather works being the outcome of the changed relationship that occurs at salvation by faith. It is still possible for believers to sin, but since they are no longer captive in sin, righteousness should be the believers' standard of living. The believers' status change to righteousness through Yeshua results in eternal life!


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