“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16, ESV)
“You are slaves of the one whom you obey.” Have you ever been reading and suddenly a phrase grabbed your attention? That happened to me recently when, all at once, I came face to face with this truth during my daily Bible study. I am a slave to someone. We’d like to believe we are autonomous, free spirits who are the masters of our own destiny, but even that wish points to our slavery.
And self is a tyrannical master, one who seems to have our best interests at heart only to leave us empty and unfulfilled, always reaching for one more thing to satisfy. Since I will be ruled by someone, it behooves me to choose carefully to whom I become an “obedient slave.” Who already has my allegiance?
Every decision I make reveals the true identity of my master. What does my daily life say about my priorities and my loves? If someone looked at my calendar or my checkbook, who would they find my master to be? Jesus came to set us free from the tyranny of self and sin.
He came as a loving Master who respects our right to choose, but Romans 6 also reminds us that our choices will bear fruit. There will be consequences. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (6:23).
Life or death. The choice is ours.
Originally posted in the Ministry Library of God’s Bible School & College.