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. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” (Romans 6:17–18, NKJV)
Independence Day. We are not talking about July 4, but an even greater day on which freedom is not only declared, but obtained. We are talking about the day the sinner is “set free from sin” and from sin’s death (v. 18, 23). It is very troubling that so many people cannot identify the Bible’s Independence Day from sin (the day of salvation). This passage helps. When these sinners “obeyed from the heart” the gospel of Christ (“that form of doctrine”) they were “set free from sin”. Their Independence Day occurred when they obeyed the teaching of the gospel. The gospel (“that form of doctrine”) commands the lost to believe the gospel, to repent of sins and to be baptized in order to be saved (read each of these gospel commandments, Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 2:38). Did you think you were freed from sin without obeying Jesus? If so, the call of the gospel is still being delivered to you. Obey the gospel of Jesus now to be freed from your sin.
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Romans 6:15–16, NKJV)
Christians dare not take a light, careless view of sin. Being under grace does not mean we can “continue to sin that grace may abound” (Rom. 6:1). Unfortunately, not a few Christians appear to believe grace allows them to sin with escape from consequences and exemption from eternal punishment. It remains true that “the soul who sins shall die” (Ezek. 18:4). Since Christians have chosen to obey Christ, we present ourselves to Him and serve His will instead of serving sin. Since we are under grace, the result of obeying Christ is that one’s faith is accounted for righteousness (Rom. 4:4-5; Eph. 2:8-10). This passage condemns the Calvinistic doctrine that equates obedience with “works salvation”. Yes, salvation is by grace. But that is not a license to sin. It is our signal to obey Jesus! It is our duty is to trust and obey our Master (Luke 17:10). Do your duty.
10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.” 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” (Romans 6:10-13, NKJV)
Jesus Christ died once for sin, and now, having been raised from the dead, He lives to God (Rom. 6:9). In the same way the person who is “buried with Him through baptism into death” dies to sin and is raised to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4). Thus, the Christian is “alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (v. 11). This passage presents a problem for those who believe sin indwells every person due to a corrupted nature. Sin is a choice, not inbred by nature. Now that you are in Christ you make the choice not to let sin reign in your mortal body. You choose not to obey its lusts because sin is no longer your master. Jesus is. Therefore, present your body to God to serve righteousness and do not yield to sin’s allurement.