January 19, 2000
CAREFUL WARNING TO ALL WHO ARE FREE
by Charles R. Swindoll
Even those who live in a free country need warnings. So we shouldn't be surprised that God gives His own a few warnings lest we abuse our privileges as people under grace. These warnings are set forth in verses 16 through 23 of Romans 6. None of them is complicated, but to grasp each one we'll need to concentrate. For some reason, this information is not commonly heard in many churches today. So we must be taught to handle grace rather carefully. An overall principle is woven into the words of verse 16:
Do you not know that when you present yourselves 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?
If you were to ask me to give you in one sentence what the balance of chapter 6 is teaching, it would be this: How we live depends on the master we choose. "Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey?" Why, of course! Submission to a master is tantamount to slavery to the same master. And what are the alternatives?
There are only two: "either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness." Every day we live, we have a choice to do what is right or what is wrong. When we send our young children off to school, we tell them, "Now, sweetheart, you need to know that Mom and Dad won't be there to make your decisions. You will find some kids at school who will encourage you to do what is right, and you'll find others who will lead you to disobey and do what is wrong. Make the right choice. Select your friends carefully. Be smart."
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.