Reading through Romans
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory. You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.
A reading from Romans: Romans 6:15-16 (NLT)
Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.
Reflection: Romans 6:15-23 (John Stott, The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World)
United to Christ and enslaved to God (6:1–23)
God’s grace not only forgives sins, but also delivers us from sinning. For grace does more than justify: it also sanctifies. It unites us to Christ (1– 14), and it initiates us into a new slavery to righteousness (15– 23).
b. Enslaved to God, or understanding our conversion (15–23)
What Paul does in the second half of Romans 6 is to draw out the logic of our conversion, as in the first half he has drawn out the logic of our baptism…. Since through baptism we were united to Christ, and in consequence are dead to sin and alive to God, how can we possibly live in sin? Since through conversion we offered ourselves to God to be his slaves, and in consequence are committed to obedience, how can we possibly claim freedom to sin?
(vs 16) The principle: self-surrender leads to slavery
Self-surrender leads inevitably to slavery, whether we thus become slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness (16b)….
Conversion is an act of self-surrender; self-surrender leads inevitably to slavery; and slavery demands a total, radical, exclusive obedience. For no-one can be the slave of two masters, as Jesus said.
Once we have offered ourselves to him as his slaves, we are permanently and unconditionally at his disposal. There is no possibility of going back on this. Having chosen our master, we have no further choice but to obey him.
Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen