Romans 6:15-23 / Guess What? You are a Slave! (Sermon – Notes and Audio)

Posted on September 21, 2013


This is the twenty-fifth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Romans. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of September 15, 2013. This message deals with the the fact that everyone is a slave, either to sin, or to Christ. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

AUDIO – Listen Now:


Rom 6_15-23


Rom 6_15-23 Outline


Romans 6:15-23

Many people misinterpreted the doctrine of grace that Paul spoke about.

They viewed God’s grace as a license to sin, but Paul was quick to set the record straight.

His answer was Certainly not! Grace does not mean that we can live however we want.

Believers are not free from the demands of living according to righteousness.

It would be strange if those who are under grace would live in a manner which is inferior to the standard held by those who are under law.

As a matter of fact, believers must face the fact that their salvation actually means a change of bondage.

As they once served sin, they are now committed to lives of practical righteousness

We are all slaves, the question is – who is your master?

One master (sin) brings death, the other master (Christ) brings righteousness.

Those are the only two masters, there are no other choices.

Paul, in his response, thanks God that these people were sinners who obediently responded to the call of God.

Our servitude to Christ is a voluntary one.

His response in this verse makes it clear that this is a doctrine that they (the believers) were delivered into, and that the gospel is a “form” or pattern to be followed.

In the Greek “standard” is a word for a mold, like a craftsman would use to cast molten metal.

This is the same thought that is being conveyed in 2 Timothy 1:13

Paul’s point is that God pours his new children into the mold of divine truth.

Romans 12:2

Titus 2:1

New believers should have an innate and compelling desire to know and obey God’s Word.

1 Pet. 2:2

Grace is not a license to sin, but an obligation to live in a way that is pleasing to God.

Obedience is from the heart, for those who are under grace.

The term that best describes the standard Christian instruction about lifestyle is “righteousness”.

This is the answer to the question in v.15.

There is no middle ground to a believer’s service to righteousness, no place where Christians are free to set their own standards and go their own way.

Scripture is clear that you cannot be double minded (try to straddle the fence).

James 1:6-8 (a man w/o faith, trying to receive the things of God)

Luke 6:43-44

James 3:10

Luke 11:23

While we were unsaved, we were slaves to sin. It was rigorous and relentless, and lead to death.

Sin dominated and controlled our lives, but since we are now free from that sin, we are slaves of righteousness.

We never ceased being slaves, only the master has changed.

In Galatians 2:19 we are told that we are dead to sin, and alive to God.

If we are dead to sin, we cannot respond to it. It has no control over us.

As a slave to righteousness, you are free to live an obedient life which is joyous, satisfying, and leads to life and peace.

The use of the master/slave analogy is necessary for us, in our limited human knowledge, to understand this divine truth which Paul is trying to convey.

If God has given us life, we are obligated to live for Him.

This would necessitate that we not sin.

1 Peter 2:24 tells us that we should live for God, that we are obligated to the one who saved us.

Simply put, we should no longer serve sin. We should serve the one who saved us, because we are new creations.

Ephesians 4:22-24

The readiness and zeal with which they once served sin now become the basis for a challenge.

Surely the new master, who brings joy and abundant life, is worthy of an even greater devotion.

The pre-Christian state provides no benefit, only shame.

Galatians 5:19-21 outline the works of the flesh, and these lead only to death.

To be a slave of God, will yield totally different fruit.

Galatians 5:22-23

This leads to sanctification and eternal life.

Sin brings death, and Christ brings life. The choice would seem pretty clear.

He died for those who are in sin.

Romans 5:8

He is the only one who can deliver you from the slavery of sin.

Too often, we view our service as a matter of convenience. We only do what we want to do.

Scarcely do we consider our service in terms of slavery.

In which case, it’s not up to us to decide our service, it’s up to our master.

The difference is, that we are not bound by chains and driven by whips.

In Christ, we are bound by grace, and driven by love.

Will you live for Him?

Posted in: Sermons