Slave To What? (Romans 6:19-23)

Last time we learned from Paul that even though we are under grace we should not sin.  Not that grace is anything new, for grace is throughout the Tanakh.  Paul discussed we become slaves to the one we obey.  Either sin resulting in death or in obedience resulting in righteousness.  In our next set of verses Paul continues his analogy of being a slave.

I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.  Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.  But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to G-d, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of G-d is eternal life in Mashiach Yeshua our L-rd.  Romans 6:19-23

As Paul continues his analogy of being a slave, either to sin or to obedience, he says when you are a slave to impurity, lawlessness or iniquity it results in further lawlessness.  Once you start down the path of being a slave to sin, the slave master continues to ride you harder and harder, pulling you deeper into despair.  Very similar to the slave master in Pharaoh.  He rode the Israelites harder and harder.  Placed more restrictions on them.  Stopped providing ready made supplies and yet required the same amount of production.  So now, that you have accepted Yeshua HaMashiach submit yourselves as slaves to righteousness.  My personal opinion is this may be where some of the Pharisees went to far.  There zeal for the Torah was true, so to protect it they lifted their fences higher and higher resulting in the fences being more important than the Torah.  Yet, in a way I can see why the fences were made more important (not saying they should have been, just trying to understand their actions).  You see, if the fences are made important, then if you do not transgress the fence you will not transgress the Torah at least in their mind.

Anyway, when one was not united with Christ, slave to sin, your lawlessness led to more lawlessness.  When you are a slave to Christ, you are a slave to righteousness.  Paul is showing right here that he is not anti-Torah.  Become a slave to righteousness.  Obedience to Torah is good.  Trusting in possession of the law (remember chapter 2) and depending on works of the law for righteousness (remember chapter 3) is not good.  Further without Christ, we are slaves to sin, and the law can only lead to more sin (chapter 5).  Yet with Christ, we are free from this purpose of the law and can live in obedience to Him and His Word!

You see, it depends on your state of mind regarding the Torah.  If you are following the Torah in hopes for santification (again Chapter 2) you have no hope, but if you follow Torah with a circumcised heart, meaning you have true emunah (faith/faithfulness), this leads to righteousness.

Baruch HaShem!  Next we go into chapter 7 which knowing chapters 5 & 6 are key to helping one understand chapter 7.

Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!