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Romans 6: 15-23. “The Slave To Good”. “You Gotta Serve Somebody”. Seems like a strange illustration Slavery? Paul appeals to a common occurrence of selling ones self into slavery to pay off debt 85-90% of Rome and the Italian peninsula

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romans 6 15 23

Romans 6: 15-23

“The Slave To Good”

you gotta serve somebody
“You Gotta Serve Somebody”
  • Seems like a strange illustration
  • Slavery?
  • Paul appeals to a common occurrence of selling ones self into slavery to pay off debt
  • 85-90% of Rome and the Italian peninsula
  • The startling claim that all people are slaves is not as shocking when you know that, but…
  • No neutral ground here
  • Self-lordship is an illusion! Humans are not God!
  • What the discussion is really about is freedom and what that means
  • Some of Paul’s opponents wonder what kind of people the Gospel will produce
  • Paul himself even admits that the slavery metaphor my not be a perfect one (V.19)
  • Paul says the Gospel doesn’t produce legalism or license
  • Freedom doesn’t mean the ability to do whatever you want! (Driving for example)
  • This is a complex theme within which are wrapped up views of time, virtue, and the goal of humans
ancient ethics
Ancient Ethics

Moral Virtues

Telos or Humanity as its meant to be

Humanity as it is

i m from the future
I’m From the Future…

Jesus comes into reality as the representative of the New Humanity

New Humanity

Humanity as it is

calvin and hobbes
Calvin and Hobbes
  • Thomas Hobbes (16th century) and Leviathan
  • Hobbes took a very cynical view of human nature (i.e. Babylonians)
  • For Hobbes, humans are mechanical animals that need restraint from a sovereign, people give power to the state
  • Virtues are things that protect “individual rights” instead of pushing toward a common good
  • Freedom is understood best as being able to do what one wants to do within the bounds of the law
  • The lack of telos is the telos, preservation is the highest virtue
calvin and hobbes1
Calvin and Hobbes
  • John Calvin is writing at about the same time
  • “Common grace”
  • That humanity, despite being sinful, is capable of great things and of recognizing a common good
  • Sanctification=That humans are being made into something better when that submit to Christ
  • Repentance was key
  • The inner self, the conscience, needed to be trained
  • Heart=idol factory
stealing and building
Stealing and Building
  • Ephesians 4:17-32
  • Not about doing things to MAINTAIN salvation
  • Living more fully into it
  • You are saved and you are being saved
  • De-selfing of the self
  • Rooting out the sin under the sin
  • The Gospel creates demands in the Christian because believing it propels you OUT
choose your master
Choose Your Master
  • Is Paul right about Sin?
  • That Sin and Self says, if you stay with me, you must do these things or you miss out on life!
  • But says very simply to test the air for signs of death
  • Distancing, Decay, Destruction
  • How’s your fruit? (V. 21)
  • What’s growing in your life?
choose your master1
Choose Your Master
  • Jesus in Matt. 6:24
  • Money is not inherently evil
  • It’s what comes with it that we really like
  • Money is the universal way to be a god
  • The great lie is that what you really need is more of what you already have
  • Everyone is offering themselves to something and sacrificing for something
rebecca pippert
Rebecca Pippert

“Whatever controls us is our lord. The person who seeks power is controlled by power. The person who seeks acceptance is controlled by acceptance. We do not control ourselves. We are controlled by the lord of our lives.”

martyn lloyd jones
Martyn Lloyd Jones

“But you say, ‘I’m not religious.’ Well, sorry to say, but everybody’s religious. What is your religion? Well, your religion is what you rely upon... Your religion... is what you live for, is what you hope for... Your god is that to which you give yourself, you give your time, attention, your greatest thought, your money — you live for it. It is the thing that keeps you going... It is what you turn to when life gets so hard. Everybody has a religion. But the question is – what is your religion?”

choose your master2
Choose Your Master
  • We offer ourselves to what we see as the highest good in life…
  • If you don’t turn to God, you will be a slave of selfishness the rest of your life
  • Sin has many faces
  • Lust, bitterness, pride, materialism, worry, fear, approval
  • Approval: constantly experience self-pity, envy, hurt feelings, inadequacy…
  • The real truth of sin (selfishness) is that it cannot save because the heart is sick
obedient from the heart
Obedient From The Heart
  • Real change happens from the inside out
  • Outside in attempts at change create legalists or discouraged people
  • What moves your heart? What does your heart leap toward?
  • Psalm 119:32
  • All good things require submission to a teacher or process
  • Jesus shows us what real goodness looks like and its captivating…
a new people
A New People
  • God has always been looking for a people
  • God wants to make you into someone who lives for the sake of others
  • It takes great courage to throw off the shackles of consumerism and self
  • But who’s going to do it? Who’s going to point the way forward?
  • Cavanaugh on church
  • Jesus as the next evolutionary step (C.S. Lewis)
  • God takes our sin on Himself and absorbs it into the Trinity to set us free now and forever