Sunday, March 18, 2007
"But I'm God's little princess....not his slave!"
"Do you not know that when you present yourself to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness."
Hold on - wait a second. I really prefer to think of myself in a princess in God's kingdom instead of a pauper. So can we just stop all of this "slaves of righteousness" shannanigans right now? NO. We can't. It's important that we realize that WHY we're princesses. I am not a princess because of anything I did. I am simply a princess because of WHO my Father is. Therefore, I owe everything to Him. Let's dig a bit deeper and see what else we can find..
You have the choice to be a slave to sin. Think back to before you became a Christian. Maybe you were really young. Maybe you're still trying to figure out what being a Christian means. But think about this - before you are saved, you are enslaved to sin. Do you know what enslaved means? You're contained. You're doomed. You're held captive. For example, think about that girl you know at school who is in a really bad relationship with her boyfriend. Maybe he flirts with other girls in front of her, or is mean to her in front of other people. Maybe he is even physically abusive. But she can't leave because she "loves him." Sound familiar? That's the same hold that sin has on non-believers. Sin has nothing for you but pain and death. But you can't leave because you "love" it. You love drinking and partying with your friends. You love talking back to your parents. You love getting good grades...even if it means cheating on a test. But the bottom line is, you can't be enslaved to sin and God's princess - so you have a choice to make.
If you choose to accept a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you are obligated to be a slave of righteousness. Think back to our little picture of the trapped girl in the abusive relationship. Being a slave of righteousness has the same concept - except it means that we are unable to do the wrong thing without guilt. Romans 6:14 says, "For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace." We are under God's grace...and under His authority. You know that little voice inside your head that starts talking when you're about to do something that you shouldn't do? That's God, your slavemaster talking. Once you accept Jesus as your Savior, you inherit this ability to know right from wrong. As His child, you should feel just as trapped to serve Him by behaving righteously as unbelievers feel bound in their sin.
Being a slave of righteousness has benefits. Okay, so we already talked about how sin leads to death. So what do we get if we are slaves of righteousness? Let's look at Romans 6:21-23 - "Therefore, what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? (He's talking about sin.) For the outcome of these things is death. (Told ya! Now pay attention, here's where it gets good!) But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome eternal life. (And just in case you missed it - He tells you one more time!) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Yes, I know that sanctification is a big word - but it means being made holy. Therefore, through the process of santification, we become more and more like Christ. Since He's perfect, I'd say that's a pretty good deal! Then, on top of that, instead of death, we get eternal life in heaven! All of the sudden, being a slave doesn't seem so bad.
Bottom line - you're a slave either way. I know you don't like to think of yourself as a slave - I don't either. But we aren't given a third option in Scripture. We are either enslaved to sin or enslaved to righteousness. Basically, you either let Satan be your slavemaster or you let God be your slavemaster. You choose.
Set some time aside today for you and your Slavemaster. Ask Him to help you to become more enslaved to His rightouesness everyday. Just remember - the more you are enslaved to God, the better princess you'll be.