From Slaves of Sin to Slaves of God

from the Romans reading plan

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

BY Andrea Lucado

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.

Post Comments (67)

67 thoughts on "From Slaves of Sin to Slaves of God"

  1. melonee Lentell says:

    We are all a slave to something or someone. The word slave brings a negative feeling to me but if you put it into the perspective of being “led” by someone or something it gives a new meaning. I WANT to be led by the Lord and not by the devil and his evil schemes. I WANT to be led to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord and not to do things out of selfish gain. Praise God that I can be a slave to the one who laid His life down in love for me.

  2. Steph C says:

    “But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life” (6:22). Freed from sin, freed to serve God. Not freed to do my own thing and pursue my own desires. I was created to worship God and delight in Him. He has freed me to do exactly that. My life will show who I worship- myself or God. May the fruit of my life speak to a heart deeply rooted in God’s Word!

  3. Kyleah Mindala says:


  4. Rose Braga says:

    Tbh I’ve shoved God to the side the last little while. I need him back. I want him back. My life is nothing without him

  5. Kali says:

    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.

  6. Billie says:

    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.

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