Does God really want us to be slaves?

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We have been told God gave you Jesus so that you will willingly enslave yourself to God. Hence there is an allegation that grace believers have a Christless Christianity.

To support the teaching they will quote this passage.

Romans 6:15-22
Slaves to Righteousness
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

Can I now reproduce the same passage as to how it should be read?

Romans 6:14-23
For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are NOT UNDER the law, but under grace.

What then? Shall we sin because we are NOT UNDER the law but under grace? By no means!

Don’t you know that when you OFFER YOURSELVES (either to Law or Grace) to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin (WHEN YOU WERE UNDER THE LAW) you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance (WHICH IS GRACE)

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves (BOUND) to righteousness.

I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations.

Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.

When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.

What BENEFIT did you reap at that time from the things you are NOW (THAT THEY ARE UNDER GRACE) ashamed of?

Those things result in death! But NOW that you have been set free from sin and HAVE BECOME (SIMPLY PUT, YOU ALREADY ARE ONCE YOU ARE UNDER GRACE) slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Now can you see how by leaving the preceding verse out, how messed up your interpretation can be?

What Paul was trying to tell the Romans is to yield themselves to the doctrine of grace and depart from the doctrine of Law.

You can see it very clearly from the KJV version. This yielding is not the yielding to sin or righteousness by deeds but the doctrine that gives righteousness or sin.

Romans 6:17
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of DOCTRINE which was delivered you.

Romans 7:1-5

Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives?

For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress.

But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

So, my brothers and sisters, you also DIED (PAST TENSE) to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

For when we WERE (PAST TENSE) in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.

Now look at where you already are.

Romans 7:6
But now, by dying to what once bound us, we HAVE BEEN RELEASED from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

Hence why does the Bible tell us about being slaves to righteousness. The word used here is “doulos”. It comes from the word “being bound”. This simply means when you come to grace righteousness is bound to you forever.

So Paul was talking about the teaching you will yield yourself to. Not the performance of obedience.

People who tell you that God wants you to willingly enslave yourself to God because of your indebtedness of grace have no idea of the Father’s heart.

Luke 7:43
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

Matthew 18:27
The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

Colossians 2:13-14
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away.

Hebrews 10:2
Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.

Hebrews 10:17
Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”

Galatians 5:1
Freedom in Christ
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

I can’t imagine a father who tells his son how much money the son owes him while he is being brought up.

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One thought on “Does God really want us to be slaves?

  1. Again an enjoyable read. Thanks for clarifying that verse. I have a question for you- how does one abide in Christ? You mentioned before that It is union that bears fruit just as we are the branches and Christ is the vine. How does one practically and everyday appropriate that? How do we know that we are on the right track?

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