Servants to Righteousness

Romans 6:15-19 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know you not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as you have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 

‘Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey’ millions today have not learned these simple facts: that you cannot be a servant of sin and satan and a servant of righteousness and Christ at the same time; that if you commit sin you are a servant of sin and satan (John 8:34; 1Jn. 3:8) and not a Christian; that if you sin, satan is your master and not Christ and that sin is the service of satan and righteousness is the service of God.

‘But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart’ the question here is what is God to be thanked for? That you are not saved from sin or that you are?

‘Form of doctrine which was delivered you’ this refers to the gospel truths Paul is here making clear by his arguments. Here Christianity is pictured as a mould or die, into which people are cast, and from which they are stamped with the image of God and of Christ, and are made the holiness of God by the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 6:11; 2Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:24). They are cast into the mould of doctrine and the Word of God is stamped on the heart (2Cor. 3:1-3).

‘Free’ [Greek: eleutheroo] set free. ‘Servants’ [Greek: douloo] to make a slave or servant.

‘Manner of men’ [Greek: anthropinos] Greek writers often used it to signify what was easy to understand. It means the opposite of the loftiness of poets and the sublime obscurity of philosophers.

‘Infirmity of your flesh: for as you have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness’ – because of the weakness of your flesh. As you have yielded your physical members to sin and uncleanness, you must now do likewise to righteousness and holiness (6:19-20). ‘Holiness’ [Greek: hagiasmos] Christians are commanded to be perfect in holiness in body and spirit (6:19, 22; Luke 1:75; 2 Cor. 7:1; Ephes. 4:24; 1Thes. 3:13; 4:7; Heb. 12:10-14). Such is possible in Christ (1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:17-18). Ten facts are given on Christians and holiness: Christians are created in righteousness and true holiness (Ephes. 4:24); they are commanded to live in holiness before God all their days (6:19; Luke 1:75; Heb. 12:14); they must bring forth fruit unto holiness (Rom. 6:22); they must perfect holiness in the fear of God (2 Cor. 7:1); must have hearts unblameable in holiness before God (1Thess. 3:13); they are called to holiness (1Thess. 4:7); they must continue in holiness to be blessed (1Tim. 2:15); they must govern lives according to holiness (Tit. 2:3); they must be partakers of holiness (Heb. 12:10); they must follow holiness, without which no man shall see God (Heb. 12:14).

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