"When you were slaves of sin..."
Text: Romans 6:20
REMEMBERING THE SINFUL PAST
Paul’s purpose in bringing up the sinful past was not to bring on a guilt trip! He thought that the past offered powerful lessons that must be learned well.
“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to
righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which
you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.”
What were some of the features that stood out in the sinful past? Four things may be highlighted:-
1. Slaves of sin
This is a painful reality that must never be forgotten. Sin never resides quietly in the heart of the individual. Sin will always seek to dominate and then enslave.
2. Free in regard to righteousness
When sin reigns, righteousness will never be allowed to develop! The sinner may indeed be described as one who was “free in regard to righteousness”. This simply means that righteousness did not have a chance to even survive!
How does one remember the sinful past? No one would disagree with Paul that one will always look back at the sinful past with a sense of shame. Our sinful thoughts and deeds must bring shame to our hearts. The words of Daniel the prophet come to mind as we ponder the subject “shame”.
“O LORD, righteousness belongs to You,
but to us shame of face, as it is this day…
O LORD, to us belongs shame of face,
to our kings, our princes, and our fathers…”
Daniel 9:7, 8
4. The end of the road of sin
What is the end of the path of sin? Paul minced no words when he described what one would find at the end of the road of sin.
a) What fruit did you have?
Jesus dealt with this same topic. His words are not to be ignored!
“A bad tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
nor can a bad tree bear good fruit”
Solemnly Paul warned, “The end of those things is death.” Romans 6:21