Free From Sin
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 4 Lesson 7 Thursday
19 I state this as simply as possible, using human terms, because it is easier to understand and learn that way: Just as you used to choose to use your bodies in lewd, vile and debasing ways, so now you choose to use your bodies to do what is right, reasonable and healthy, which leads to purity and holiness. 20 When you slavishly indulged selfish desires, you avoided what was healthy, right, and good. 21 But what good did that do you? It only caused pain, heartache, and ultimately–death. 22 But now that you have accepted the truth about God, you have been restored to trust, and set free from fear and selfishness. You are wholeheartedly committed to God and are receiving complete re-creation of heart and mind, resulting in eternal life. 23 For the infection of selfishness leads only to death, but the gift of God is eternal life through the healing Remedy procured by Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:19~23 [Remedy]
So here Paul points out that when you are slaves to sin, slaves to “indulged selfish desires” you avoided what was healthy, right and good. Now for some people thats a good place to be. We are not saying that in the ultimate sense it’s good but people feel, “hey i’m in a good place because I’m free from doing all those things that are healthy, right and good”. Now in saying this you probably have met people who have grown up in the church and so on have just thrown it off. Don’t get me wrong, they are happy about it. You can often here them say “wow, that was just a burden on me”
So when you are slaves to sin, slaved to indulged selfish desires, you are avoiding what is healthy, right and good. Some might say that you’re free from righteousness. However, when you are freed from sin, and freed indulging selfish desires, then you are free to become healthy right and good. As some bible versions put it you’re going to become a slave of righteousness. To become a righteous person, meaning to be set right, to be put right, which we like to say here at the Sabbath School Quarterly Additional Commentary we become “Rightified”
So Paul is clearly operating in world in which to some degree humans beings are never seen as totally independent but you have to balance that with the larger picture of Paul all the way around where Paul definitely says the true Christian is;
- Very free
- Has choices
- Doesn’t always know what is black and white
- Has to wrestle with these things in a very challenging ways
So Paul clearly is using this “Slavery” as a limited analogy so that people can understand but he is not using it in the wider scope of things, as this is the way things are, he sees a much broader concept of freedom as well.
Let’s not forget these two verses;
“15 I do not want you to be my servants, because servants only do what they are told but do not understand what the master is doing, nor do they understand the master himself. Their hearts are not in harmony with the master, and what they do they do not do freely. I want you to be my friends—to understand what I am doing—and to freely choose to be in unity with me. That is why I have told you about everything the Father and I are working to accomplish, so your hearts and minds will be in harmony with us.” John 15:15 [Remedy]
7 Rejoice! You are no longer childlike, needing the supervision of a slave, but are adult children, wise and mature; and as mature children–heirs with Christ of all that is promised! Galatians 4:7
So in John 15:15 we have Jesus telling us He doesn’t want us to be servants but wants us to be friends and in Galatians Paul says we graduate from slaves to sons, is the transformation as well. So Paul can do it that way, but certainly doesn’t do it in Romans chapter 6. He is really hammering home the idea that you have two choices, so you can go one way or another but don’t think that you’re really free by following sin, because sin is a hard master, it will slave you to addictions, etc.
So we have wrestled a bit with Paul here in Chapter 6, here he has been discussing what happens after Justification, what happens after being set right, being put right, being rightified. The struggle with how to obey in the context of trust, in the context of faith. It’s my prayer that everyone who reads or listens the Sabbath School Quarterly Lesson Additional Commentary, as challenging as each of these things can be, that each and every one of us come away with at least one insight on how to walk more faithfully.
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