Things That End in Death

The enemy of our souls lies to us about what real freedom is, “Do as you please because, after all, God wants you happy.”  Not that God doesn’t want us happy.  But He does desire our best.  He prohibits only that which is harmful to us – that which is destructive to His beautiful design for us.  The great misconception is sin is freedom when the opposite is quite true.  We who are believers have been set free from sin.  We are more than just a forgiven people we are a liberated people!  We were slaves to sin but now are slaves of righteousness.  That’s who He has made us to be in Him. 
Romans 6:20–21 “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.” 
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. This issue isn’t if you were a slave to sin; because we were all slaves to sin when Jesus came seeking us.  We were all slaves of sin.  Slaves are obligated to serve their masters.  Sin ruled over all of us and we did its bidding.  We were not free like we thought.  We were actually doing the bidding of our master.  Satan is the great deceiver.  He deceives us into believing we are free when truly, we are only doing what he wants us to.  Maybe his greatest deception is convincing us he doesn’t exist.  The moral outrage of the religious world over sinners acting like sinners is confusing.  Why are we shocked?  They are only living out their identity as sinners. 
True righteousness is only the concern of those who are under the righteous rule of Jesus.  The unbeliever is a slave to sin and has no obligation to righteousness.  Righteousness comes from the indwelling life of God and without it there is no connection.  Notice that “when you were slaves,” is in the past tense – that’s what we used to be but not anymore!  You cannot be the slave of sin and the slave of righteousness at the same time. 
Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” 
Isn’t it interesting that Jesus puts the conflict we face between God and money?  Maybe because the enemy uses the accumulation of “things” to distract us from the reign of God in our lives.  Happiness doesn’t come at some imaginary level of “enough”.  True peace and contentment only comes when we live under the rule of the one who loves us and wants only what is best for us.  Stop and take a minute to meditate on this truth.  What has your heart, your devotion?
But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? What was the result of all that sin?  One of the marks of true salvation is a sense of being ashamed of the sinful elements in our lives before coming to Christ.  The things that used to seem perfectly normal are the cause of embarrassment because the new “us” has a whole new sense of normal.  Every believer has something to look back on in their unbelieving days that they are ashamed of.  We are understandably ashamed of those things but we’re not to  live in a state of shame.  Jesus forgives us, cleanses us, and restores us.  We aren’t to live in a state of shame even though some of those sinful ideas are embarrassing for us.  Satan wants you to live in defeat, constantly looking for forgiveness of those things Jesus said He remembers no more.  Sin, no matter what it is or how small it seems, always leads to shame.
For the end of those things is death. Life and death are the two results.  Paul isn’t talking about our ultimate physical death but the results of sin.  Sin kills; it destroys relationships and people.  We need to choose life and not fool ourselves, sin will always bring death.  Don’t be deceived my friends, the enemy only desires death.  His mission is to break up marriages, destroy relationships, and fill your life with heartache.  You are a new creation.  You are designed to live under His reign.  You are a slave of righteousness.  Put your head on His chest, like the Apostle John, and hear His heart beating love for you.  Refuse any identity other than, “Him whom Jesus loves!
Vanessa and I are going to be taking a vacation next week.  Our cell phones will not have service most of the trip so if you need anything please call Pastor Wayne or the church office.  We look forward to seeing you Sunday the 19th.
You are loved!
Pastor Tim