Romans: Day 15

From Slaves of Sin to Slaves of God

by

Today's Text: Romans 6:15-23, Galatians 5:13-14, 1 Peter 2:11-17

Scripture Reading: Romans 6:15-23, Galatians 5:13-14, 1 Peter 2:11-17

When I was in elementary school, I decided I was going to grow an apple tree in our backyard. I didn’t tell my family about it. I wanted to do it secretly so that one day when there was a blossoming apple tree growing out of my mother’s flower bed, everyone would be amazed and I could reveal that I had grown it.

I hoarded an apple seed from an apple I had eaten earlier in the day and smuggled it into the backyard when no one was looking. I dug a shallow hole in the flowerbed, placed the seed inside, and covered it with dirt. Then I hoped for the best.

In our last Romans passage we learned that Jesus’ death and resurrection does not mean life is a free-for-all, or that we can live however we like because of God’s grace. It means our motivation has changed. We don’t live under the yoke of the law any longer; we live under the covering of Christ, and that gift of grace motivates us to live by God’s Word.  

In Romans 6:15-23, Paul gives us another reason why Christians should not continue to sin simply because grace is now at play: fruit.

Before you knew Christ, Paul says, you were slaves of sin (Romans 6:17). And “…when you were slaves of sin, you were free from allegiance to righteousness. So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification—and the end is eternal life!” (Romans 6:22).

When we interpret the message of grace as permission to continue sinning, we miss out on living a life that bears fruit, and instead, we live lives marked by death, for that is what sin is. This is not only harmful to our own souls; it is harmful to our witness. First Peter 2:12 says, “Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that when they slander you as evildoers, they will observe your good works and will glorify God on the day he visits.”

Our lives do not bear fruit in order for us to look good to others. Our lives bear fruit so that others will see it and know its Source. A fruitless life does not point to our Creator. A fruit-filled one glorifies Him with each step we take (John 15:8).  

You can probably guess what happened with my apple seed in the backyard. Absolutely nothing. While I had the big idea right—apple seed leads to apple tree—I went about it all wrong. If you really want to grow an apple tree in your backyard, it’s much more complicated than burying a seed and hoping for the best. I looked it up. The real process involves things like “germinating” and “grafting” and transferring the plant from various-sized pots until it is ready for the ground. Then maybe, hopefully, your tree will grow and bear fruit.

I eventually forgot all about my apple tree. Days, weeks, and months went by, and since nothing was growing, I forgot about the seed and my little secret plan. It had been a fruitless effort because I had not properly cared for its growth.

Oh, that my Christian life would be the opposite of that poor, non-existent apple tree, that I would live motivated by grace so that others would see a life in full bloom, and that its beauty would point them to its source.

SRT-ROMANS-instagram15

Leave a Reply to JoAnn Cancel reply

/

  • For the past year or so, I have been feeling really distant from God. Sometimes wondering where He was or if He was even real. At the beginning of this month, I went with my college bible study group to Catalina Island for our fall conference and God completely met me there. He revealed himself to me so tangibly. On the last night of the conference, I woke up unable to shake 6:22. Not sure what it meant or why. That day I decided to open to Romans and just for laughs, read Romans 6:22. I immediately began crying. God was freeing me from the pressure and feeling of having to do so much on my own and in my own timing. This is now my life verse. God is so amazing and so so good.

  • Joyce – we need to rub elbows so your wisdom rubs off on me! I am so grateful for the strong sisters I have at church! You at a blessing.

  • Joyce, your words are so inspiring! It gives another visual to others when we are striving to get the picture being taught! Thanks for being so encouraging! :)

  • Love that!

  • Reminds me of a Master Gardeners lesson I studied. If you plant an apple seed from an apple you have just eaten, you will not get the same kind of apple because it has been cross pollinated with another kind of apple.
    So just because God planted the seed of Grace in us doesn’t mean you will be an instant flawless and faithful Christian. You have to soak up his glory everyday and “pollinate” others so they can see His fruits of beauty and glory in you and in turn want in their life too!!

  • Roxane Richardson

    This study on Romans I been such a huge blessing. All the days that I have read I can relate to my personal life. She Reads Truth has some very great studies. Over the summer my women group did”Open Your Bible ” study. I grew so much each doing the lessons. My pastors wife introduced to She Reads Truth and it has been a blessing in my life. Thank you ladies.

  • This was really good and much needed! Really liked “When we interpret the message of grace as permission to continue sinning, we miss out on living a life that bears fruit, and instead, we live lives marked by death, for that is what sin is… A fruitless life does not point to our Creator. A fruit-filled one glorifies Him with each step we take “

  • Praise God that he is so good to us! I am encouraged and very blessed by my readings today. Such Truth! May I be so filled with fruits of the Lord that others can’t help but see His beauty and glory and be grafted into the family.

  • I would like prayer. This devotion really spoke to my heart. I have been struggling in sin that I can’t release on my own. I don’t want to live a fruitless life. I want others to see God in me. Thanks!

    • Kelly

      I will pray for you!

    • Steph J

      Lord I pray for Jenna. I pray that you would give her all the strength she needs to be free from the sin she struggles with; free to love and honor you more. I pray also Lord that as she struggles to be freed that you would use even this time of struggle and trial to bring glory to your name oh Lord! As she is freed from her sin I pray that others around her would see the change and she would be able to point them to You as the source of her strength and freedom Lord. In Jesus mighty name, Amen

  • My son he been asking questions about Jesus and what it means to go to heaven , he is 10. I pray that I can help him care, grow, and nurture the fruit of curiosity and belief that is growing inside his heart . Thankful for his questions and the Holy Spirit guiding me in my answers

  • This was so encouraging and beautifully written. I want others to see the fruit in my life and know it’s Source!! Praise God for His grace and mercy, and above all, for freedom in Christ!

  • “Our lives do not bear fruit in order for us to look good to others. Our lives bear fruit so that others will see it and know its Source. A fruitless life does not point to our Creator. A fruit-filled one glorifies Him with each step we take (John 15:8).  ” YES! May we choose Jesus everyday so that our fruit may point back to Him!

  • “It had been a fruitless effort because I had not properly cared for its growth”. Wow…this spoke volumes! Thank You!

  • This is so encouraging. Sometimes I get so frustrated because I don’t know how to talk to some members of my family who have strayed from Christ. The rights words to bring them back elude me. But this devotional reminded me that sometimes it doesn’t take words to make an impact. I don’t have to have some elaborate speech to get their attention- sometimes kind actions and words go just as far. Living my life for Christ and letting Him be a part of every aspect of my interactions with them might grab their attention more than outright words will.

  • Loved teaching on Fruit of the Spirit. One of our senior ladies in church always told us she was a “fruit inspector”.

  • So good! As I am planning a conference for this fall I keep getting overwhelmed with how much work it takes, hours and hours every day for months and months and the conference will be over in a matter of a weekend. I can’t help but think that the fruit that comes out of it will be worth every hour of planning. He is the vine, we are the branches. The fruit all belongs to him and is a reflection of his glory!

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • “that I would live motivated by grace so that others would see a life in full bloom, and that its beauty would point them to its source …” Yes, yes, and yes again. This is what I strive for … probably will never approach that level of beauty and perfection, but to live like my Jesus, to become worthy of another brother’s or sister’s observation and reflection, to go to bed at night feeling that it is well with my soul … that is what I pray for and think about off and on throughout my days.

    That being said, I took a bit of umbrage at Paul’s words (or the translation from this version of the Bible) regarding being a slave. I can only think that he used the term because he was addressing the Romans – all of them – citizen and slave alike. It made me think about placing Paul’s writings within the political context of the times. It made me think how he uses the words ‘honor’, ‘fear’, and ‘love’ in those final lines of today’s reading — hmmmm. Perhaps in modern day parlance … ‘acknowledge and love’ everyone , ‘love, respect, and follow’ God, ‘love and nurture’ the brothers and sisters, ‘acknowledge and love’ the emperor … just my human ‘must have some free will control here’ attitude kickin’ in … sorry.

  • ” You take our failure
    You take our weakness
    You set your treasure
    In jars of clay
    So take this heart, Lord.
    I’ll be your vessel,
    The world to see,
    Your life in me”

    – Broken Vessels (amazing grace)

  • This commentary with the Scripture today was SO GOOD. thank you!

  • Gina Johnson

    I wish I could underline on my phone!

  • Hi! How do I get the Romans study guide?

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi friend! You can order the study book at ShopSheReadsTruth.com! So glad to have you studying with us!

      – Stormye

    • PeggyR

      I ordered mine from SheReadsTruth online store because I saw the announcement and was anticipating the study. It’s a beautiful book and it helps me want to spend time in the Word. Don’t know if it’s too late to order…

  • “Our lives do not bear fruit in order for us to look good to others. Our lives bear fruit so that others will see it and know its SOURCE!” Thank you for this reminder. Often, it is so easy to get caught in trying to look like the amazing christian woman (something along the lines of the Proverbs 31 woman), and it promotes a secret, unspoken competition among women at the church. Especially as a young and single woman in the church, I desire to have a faith that is attractive. However, it is easy to create a picture of a holy woman, and become discouraged when I inevitably fail. It is such a good reminder, that the WHOLE POINT of my faith is to point to its Source! When I try to be this awesome christian woman, I miss out on the reality that God already has counted me as righteous! It is not some picture of perfection that I am still trying to attain.

  • Today’s reading allowed for very good quiet time with lots of journaling in Roman’s! This study causes me to meditate on the words of Paul as I go about my busy days…it really is all about grace and love and being that person that one might ask, why does SHE have so much joy?
    It all comes from my “source!” ✝
    Have a blessed day ladies!

  • Amen to the reading of Romans and to all of the wonderful comments shared. Have a safe & fruitful week.

  • Been meditating on fruits of the Spirit and this comes at a perfect time – thank you!

  • Romans 6:16-18 really struck me this morning. As Paul says, “Do you not know….” I thought to myself, “Do I believe the Bible to be true? Am I practicing truth in my life, in my thoughts?” No! I am believing the little voice that says I won’t ever be able to stop sinning. The voice that says the power of my selfish anger response when my kids do something wrong is too powerful, too ingrained to really go away, even though I have seen tremendous growth over the past year in this area of my life. I need to say goodbye to that voice and believe I am a slave to righteousness, crucified with Christ, sitting at the right of the Father, and a new creation. Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.

    • Cecelia Enns Schulz

      I can totally relate to that kid part. Something I subconsciously think – well, this is NORMAL. I have always been this way…I listened to a message the other day and the guy said’ “if it seems normal, it’s no good. The way that seems right to a man is the way born of Adam. We are now born of God and our normal has to be his!” Holy Spirit stir up my faith to truly believe and to walk in this! I want to be like my Daddy God. I want to look like him!

    • CC

      I can relate to this too! Sometimes I really fail to believe that the Holy Spirit can still work in my life, transforming me and molding my heart to be more and more like Jesus. Sometimes it feels like the sin is way too entangled in who I am. But that’s simply not true! And like you said, am I really believing that what Scripture says is true? If so, I can know that those thoughts simply aren’t true!

    • Emily B.

      Amen! We are risen with Christ! He has made us victorious over our sinful nature and the snares of the devil. I pray His voice will drown out all others as you seek Him more.

  • I have been in the rut of just living life but not showing fruit through it. My attitude has really stunk about a lot of things and, for whatever reason, I have had feelings of frustration, resentment, and sometimes even anger. It’s mainly directed toward my family, one of which doesn’t see the need for God in her life. My prayer is that I will be reminded of Romans 6:11-23 and I need to focus on producing fruit for others to see.

  • jenn in GA

    i was struck by the words of Paul in verses 18 and 19. i am a slave! when i chose God’s free gift of salvation as a four-year-old, i had no idea what all the life of a follower of Christ entailed. not only does it entail submitting myself to God as a slave to righteousness but it also involves embracing suffering. as someone who has grown up with freedom as a birthright, choosing slavery and suffering for the purpose of being someone through whom God can produce fruit is HARD. of course i believe that i want to please God but i know there is a war within me when i’m faced with the decision to enslave myself to righteousness instead of to sin. thanks be to God for saving me from my own way and from the eternal consequences of my sin!!

  • This past week I have helped a friend. It cost me a great deal of time and energy. This morning I woke up feeling tired, overwhelmed by being so behind with my own tasks at the beginning of the week, and indulging in more than a little self pity. How amazing to read the devotion this morning. It completely reframed my mindset and I realized that in helping my friend I was able to produce fruit for her and serve God. I have a new sense of energy this morning and am ready to go!

    • Michelle

      Your story brought a smile to my face this morning. Semper fi.

    • Kylee

      Yes. I need to remember this as I indulge in self pity after helping friends. Spot on comment. Thank you!!

  • I am no longer enslaved to my sin patterns. The Lord has set us free. I’m so thankful for scripture that reminds me of God’s intention for us….there is freedom in righteousness!

    I pray “I will live motivated by grace, so that others will see a life in full bloom.” Even when it’s hard, May my mouth and my actions be His vessel for truth, kindness and grace.

  • As a public school teacher, it’s rare that I discuss my faith at work. However, God revealed to me several years ago that while I may not be able to openly discuss my beliefs, His love shines through me and can still lead others to Jesus. My strength, patience, love and grace for my students comes from Him, and I’ve had several middle schoolers ask me if I’m a Christian because they’ve watched the way I interact with them & my colleagues.

    • Ana

      I’m a psychologist and that happens to me too. God bless you and your work!

    • Allison

      So true! What a beautiful testimony you bring without even saying a word!

    • buildingmyfaith

      Same here. We may not be able to have devotionals with our students and colleagues but we can show them Jesus by our actions: compassion, patience, love. We may not be able to talk the talk but we can surely walk the walk.

    • Katalina

      Oh this is so beautiful!

    • Meghan

      Same here! Teaching has taught me, more than anything else, how important my actions are to the testimony of God’s grace and love in my life.

    • Emily B.

      That’s awesome! I had the same revelation when I was a teacher, and it’s amazing how people are drawn to the qualities of Christ without even realizing it.

    • candacejo

      Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words. ♥ Bless all of you for your faithfulness!

    • Karen

      By faith, I’m hoping I’m light in my job as a mental health therapist. I wish I could do more but knowing that loving those God has placed in my path has to be enough. I have wanted to be more opportunity yet God knows what He is doing.

  • churchmouse

    “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.”
    I’ve never been a fan of that quote.
    Break the rules because you can rely on the largess of grace.
    No. I don’t think so. There’s something not quite right about that.
    Romans 6:15 confirms that, indeed, this is not the way God would have me live.
    Yes, God is abundant in His grace but that does not give me license to live recklessly, without regard to my witness. Sin should not abound just because God’s grace does. I’m called to conduct myself honorably (1 Peter 2:12)- my life reflecting my love for, and my allegiance to, my Savior.
    Help me Lord to take sin seriously. And may I always be grateful for your grace. Amen.

  • Andrea, I love the clarity of all your posts! I always look forward to them. Perfect example today to bring this idea to heart!! Thank you SRT team!!

  • This study of Romans is being a blessing.
    Thank you.

    • She Reads Truth

      So glad you are enjoying it, Ana! Grateful to have you studying with us!

      – Stormye

Further Reading...