Rev. Clint Poppe, pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lincoln, NE, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Romans 6:12-23.
God’s gracious action in Christ delivered in Holy Baptism means that sin is no longer the Christian’s king or lord. Therefore, St. Paul commands that we must not live in our bodies as if sin is our king. Though we think sin is under our control, sin quickly progresses to control us. However, this is not our reality in Christ. Our members are not weapons put into service for sin and unrighteousness, but instruments of good works that God has given to us as He has brought us from death to life. This action of God by His grace is our controlling reality, not so that we would continue in sin, but so that we would present ourselves as obedient slaves to righteousness. God be praised! This is exactly what has happened, not out of compulsion, but from willing, grateful hearts molded by God to the doctrine that Jesus has given us. Such slavery is not to be understood in the human way of tyranny. Rather, Jesus is our gracious Lord who sacrifices Himself for our good. Though sin deceptively offers freedom from righteousness, its fruits are only full of shame and the wage paid is death. Our gracious God, however, freely gives to His people eternal life in Christ Jesus the Lord.
“The Righteousness of God for You” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Human righteousness cannot save, because all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Only the righteousness of God can bring life and forgiveness to sinners. This is the righteousness that He has fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the righteousness that is revealed in the Gospel, the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. This is the righteousness that is not earned, but is freely given by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Slaves to Righteousness
15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,[a] you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Romans 6:16 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; twice in this verse; also verses 17, 19 (twice), 20
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.