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).

Alive unto God

Romans 6:8-14 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead died no more; death has no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he lives, he lives unto God. Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

‘Dead with Christ’ we are supposed to reckon ourselves dead with Christ, (6:8, 11) then only can we be alive in Him. Man must reckon or count himself to be dead to sin and alive to God; that is, he has nothing more to do with sin and everything to do with God. He is to reckon sin as a thing of the past and as non-existent as far as he is concerned. He is to reckon that God is all-and-all and the only thing that matters in his life. Just as parents can and sometimes do cast a child out of their home and cut him off from any further relationship or inheritance, and thus, as far as they are concerned the child is dead, so the believer must completely give up sin and count that he is dead to it. This can be done by reckoning it done by faith in Christ and by giving one’s self wholly over to God and a life of holiness in Christ.

The old man and the whole operation of the devil in life must be ignored and rejected once and for all. The old life, called our old man, which is nothing more or less than the devil working in us, must be done away with and renounced forever. We must reckon that we are new creatures in Christ and the old life dead and that we no longer live as we used to live in sins and lusts that damn the soul. The old life is past and the new life is here. The devil has no more part in us, so we reckon him dead (1 Jn. 5:18). The old sins are gone and are counted dead. We are alive to God and we recognize Him as our master.

‘Being raised from the dead died no more; death has no more dominion over him’ – what was it about Christ that died? Only His body (Jas. 2:26). Then this is what was resurrected to die no more. Death will have no more dominion over His body. This proves that Christ was resurrected physically, not as a spirit.

‘Dominion’ [Greek: kurieuo] “lord it over.” Used in Romans 6:14; 7:1; 14:9; Luke 22:25; 2Corinthians 1:24 and 1Timothy 6:15. Sin does not “lord it over” the believer in Christ. The believer “lords it over” sin (8:13; 2Cor. 10:4-7; Col. 3:5-10).

‘For in that he died, he died unto sin once’ literally, the death He died was on account of sin; for an expiration of sin; a sacrifice for sin (1Pet. 2:24; Heb. 10:10-14). ‘Once’ [Greek: ephapax] once for all.

‘Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord’ – as Christ died for sin once for all and dies no more, so we should die to sin once and live unto God forever (6:9-10). ‘Reckon’ [Greek: logizomai] to count, reckon, impute (2:26; 4:3-24; 6:11; 8:18).