DEVOTION, January 23, 2020, Free slaves
But now you have been set free from sin and are the slaves of God. Your gain is a life fully dedicated to him, and the result is eternal life (Romans 6:22, GNT).
This verse presents us with a paradox. On the one hand, we are set free from sin, but we become slaves of God. Which is it? Freedom or slavery? Paul says it is both. When we trust in Jesus, our sins are forgiven, and we have been set free from sin. But God does not free us from sin to live life any way we choose. Once we are set free from sin, we become slaves of God. Out of gratitude, our lives are fully dedicated to God. Both sides are true, but we must make a distinction. Freedom from sin is a gift. Living as a slave to God requires our active obedience. How well we live as slaves does not impact the free gift of eternal life. It does affect whether we receive divine blessing or divine discipline.
If we fall short in our service to God, we must repent or face divine discipline. Our disobedience does not cancel the free gift, but we can never disobey God and not suffer consequences. Out of love, God disciplines His wayward children. The good news is where it all ends. The end of the Christian faith is eternal life. All who trust in Jesus with integrity will receive eternal life, even if they have not always lived as faithful slaves. However, the more faithful we are, the less we will face divine discipline. So, as the hymn suggests, we are to “Trust and Obey.” Trust brings eternal life. Obedience brings divine blessings. Our verse gives a succinct summary of the Christian life.
Father, I thank You for the free gift of eternal life. I thank You that I have a reservation in heaven because of what Jesus has done for me. Help me to live my life as a willing slave, seeking always to obey Your will. I want to honor Jesus in my daily life. Amen.