Sunday Morning Sermon Notes
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!
Sound familiar? He said a similar thing in verse 1.
V1: Sinning to gain more grace; v 15 sinning because of grace.
Previously he’d been discussing sin as slavery.
16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey,
- Romans presented themselves: Nobles to the emperor; soldiers to their officer; clients to their patron; slaves to their master.
- It showed obedience, respect and from it new orders were received or favours granted.
whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
- No such thing as human autonomy- we’re under sin, or under God.
- It’s not ‘will I have a master’, but ‘which master will I serve?’
- Master Sin vs Master Righteousness
John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
- Why sin vs obedience, not sin vs righteousness, or sin vs God?
- The Christian is not free to do as he pleases, but rather free to obey God
17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
- Slaves that disobeyed one master to serve another?
- Sin was never our rightful master; we have been returned to our rightful lord by the gospel
- Are we delivered to doctrine? The believer here is passive, speaking of God’s election
- We are subject to gospel truth and doctrine; we submit to scripture.
18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
- Now he uses ‘freedom’ as a description of out status as well as slavery
John 8: 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
- Image of the freedman? One man buys another slave and frees him; the freedman still has moral and legal obligations to him.
- Notice the passive status of the believer; a slave cannot free himself.
19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.
- Slavery is a metaphor. Jesus too taught in parables.
- He’s not apologising for his slavery metaphor: but a metaphor only goes so far: slaves are cowering, scared and abused; the Christian is no such thing.
- Weakness of flesh: our mind are so insensible to spiritual truth? Because of our tendency to try and live independently?
For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.
- Members probably means physical body parts.
- Our bodies belong to us, it is the slave of our spirit; but as we belong to Christ, so does our body
- Our bodies have been the means by which we sinned- our eyes, our mouths, our private parts, our legs.
- May they now be used in His service.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
- Righteous actions rather than righteous status
- Unbelievers, though they can tell the difference between right and wrong, and not free to do good; they are deaf to God’s commands and incapable of being righteous; hence we were ‘free’
21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.
- John Calvin: ‘He only then is imbued with the principles of Christian philosophy, who has well learned to be really displeased with himself, and to be confounded with shame for his own wretchedness’
- Our pre-Christian lives produced poisoned fruit
22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
- The paradox of freedom and slavery is used again;
- In our Christian lives, we produce good fruit- some holiness now, and everlasting life
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Sin pays a wage- death. God offers a gift: life.
Faith. When I came to the foot of the hill called Difficulty, I met with a very aged man, who asked me what I was and whither bound. I told him that I was a pilgrim, going to the Celestial City. Then said the old man, "Thou lookest like an honest fellow: wilt thou be content to dwell with me, for the wages that I shall give thee?" Then I asked him his name, and where he dwelt. He said his name was Adam the First, and that he dwelt in the town of Deceit. I asked him then what was his work, and what the wages that he would give. He told me that his work was many delights; and his wages, that I should be his heir at last. I further asked him what house he kept, and what other servants he had. So he told me that his house was filled with all the dainties of the world, and that his servants were his own children. Then I asked him how many children he had. He said that he had but three daughters, the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eyes, and the Pride of Life, and that I should marry them if I would. Then I asked, how long time he would have me live with him? And he told me, As long as he lived himself.
Faith. Why, at first I found myself somewhat inclinable to go with the man, for I thought he spake very fair; but looking in his forehead, as I talked with him, I saw there written, "Put off the old man with his deeds."
Faith. Then it came burning hot into my mind, whatever he said, and however he flattered, when he got home to his house he would sell me for a slave. So I bid him forbear, for I would not come near the door of his house. Then he reviled me, and told me that he would send such a one after me that should make my way bitter to my soul. So I turned to go away from him; but, just as I turned myself to go thence, I felt him take hold of my flesh, and give me such a deadly twitch back, that I thought he had pulled part of me after himself: this made me cry, "O wretched man!"