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The Blessed Bondslave

“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? 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. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 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. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.” —Romans 6:16-20

Preaching Christ CrucifiedIn this portion, the Greek word for “servant” (δουλος) used six times and the term “became servants” (εδουλωθητε), once (but also again in Romans 6:22, δουλωθεντες). “Servant” would be more correctly translated as “slave.” This is a term readily understood by the New Testament apostles and prophets for they referred to themselves as slaves (δουλος, δουλοι, δουλους): (1) Paul did so in this letter, “Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ…” (Romans 1:1; also of himself and Timothy in Philippians 1:1, and of himself in Titus 1:1); (2) James calls himself “a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1); (3) Simon Peter refers to himself as a slave (2 Peter 1:1); (4) Jude does as well (Jude 1:1); and (5) so does John (Revelation 1:1). And why wouldn’t they think themselves slaves to this majestic and magnificent Master, Jesus Christ? He purchased the elect with a price of infinite value: Himself. It is written, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20). So let’s read it again, inserting the word “slave” for “servant.”

ROMANS 6 as slaves…

16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves slaves to obey, his slaves 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 slaves 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 slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members slaves to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members slaves to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the slaves of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 6:12-23,Being Made Free from Sin,” on November 15, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.

Read the previous article in this series,A License to Sin under Grace? No Way!” (Romans 6:15).

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