Page 11 - February 2024 - Truth & Tidings
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that we live must justify our claim to have   look at the life you lived before you were
        been saved. Living a righteous life doesn’t   saved and the things you did, what posi-
        save us, but it does justify our claims to   tive and permanent results did you derive
        having trusted Christ.                from them? On the other hand, sometimes
          In verse 17 Paul says to his readers,   when people speak of things that they
        “God be thanked that though you were   did before Christ saved them, you get
        slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the   the impression that they are enjoying the
        heart that form of doctrine to which you   memory of them once again. But Paul says
        were delivered” (NKJV). The idea of   that they are “things whereof ye are now
        “form” in this verse is that of a mould   ashamed.” Not only so, but “the end of
        into  which molten  metal  is  poured,   those things is death.” This is not referring
        which, when it is cooled, takes the shape   to physical death, for that is something
        of the mould. When we trusted Christ,   which even Christians will experience
        He poured us into His mould, so that   (apart from the possibility of the Lord’s
        God now sees us as being like Christ in   return in our lifetime). For the unbeliever,
        our standing before Him. That likeness   physical death leads ultimately to “the
        should be evident in our lives. Having   second death” (Rev 20:14,15).
        been set free from sin, we became slaves of   In verse 22 we have a complete contrast:
        righteousness (v18). Then, verse 19 states   “But now being made free from sin, and
        that just as we yielded the members of our   become servants to God, ye have your
        bodies to sin, with the result that we lived   fruit unto holiness [sanctification], and
        sinful lives, now that we are saved we   the end everlasting life.” The moment we
        must yield our members to righteousness,   trusted Christ we were permanently re-
        the result being that we live holy lives.   leased from slavery to sin and became the
        The word translated “yield” in this verse   (willing) slaves of God. The result of this
        literally means “to stand beside,” that is, to   transfer of authority is that now we reap
        make yourself available (to your master).   the benefits (fruit) of this new relationship,
        Just as when we were the slaves of sin we   that is, we have been set apart (sanctified)
        made ourselves available to our master,   by God, for God. This sanctification has
        so now that righteousness is our master   a practical result in that we now live our
        we must make ourselves available to our   lives for God in sanctification.
        new master. The result is that we are led   Paul then states that “the end [is] ever-
        into holy living.                     lasting life.” Everlasting life is the present
          Verse 20 says, “For when ye were the   portion of all who trust Christ. But, as we
        servants of sin, ye were free from righ-  will see in chapter 8, we will enjoy it much
        teousness.” You cannot be the slave of   more fully in a coming day. Now note the
        two masters at the same time. When they   final statement in verse 23: “For the wages
        were the slaves of sin, righteousness had   of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal
        no control over them; it had no restraining   life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Sin
        influence in their lives. Then he reminds   pays wages – death. God, however, gives
        them of their past life, stating, “What fruit   a gift to those who trust Christ – everlast-
        had ye then in those things whereof ye   ing life. Those who receive that gift should
        are now ashamed? for the end of those   express their appreciation by lives of devotion
        things is death” (v21). First of all, as you   to the One who gave it.

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