Romans 6:19-23 The Path to Life or Death

19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 20 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. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Path to Life or Death

‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating’ was a saying I heard a lot growing up.  ‘Don’t count your chickens before they have hatched’ is another one.  There is an understood wisdom, reinforced with a thousand cliches, that the end is more important (in many cases) than the experience that is learned on the way.  Albert Camus saw that all life ended in death and so his philosophy embraces absurdity.  Ecclesiastes advises us to live in the moment because the fate of a man and the fate of a dog look the same to a casual observer.  Some people think that it is good to forget whether there is a heaven or a hell.  The primary question is, in their view, how you live each day.  This passage in scripture says that having a worthy end goal affects how we live life in the present.

What if the end of life didn’t have to be death?  What if the end of life was more life?  Self-absorbed living leads to a lifeless existence.  God-focused living leads to being set free.  We are firstly freed from all the rebellion and shame that puts shackles upon us.  Secondly, our growth shows that we are set aside for something more.  We are set aside for God-honouring acts in this life.  However, when we reach the end of our days we find that everything restarts.

Working for ourselves will kill us.  It will deaden our souls and bring a lifeless glaze to our eyes.  Submission to God brings a fruit that is a gift beyond our wildest imagining.  Which fate have you chosen?  Do you see how your destiny shows up in the day-to-day?

Prayer

In choosing you I have chosen life.  Let death melt off of me and let me live a life that is worthy to be called ‘life.’  Then may others see that my life points to One who is greater than myself.

Questions

  1. How many times is slavery mentioned?
  2. How many times are life and death mentioned?
  3. How are slavery, freedom, life and death related?
  4. Do you believe that your destiny is life or death?  How can someone watching you tell?
  5. Why do so many people today choose to believe that life is the chemical reaction that takes part in the brain and that one day that process will cease and it will be the end?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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One Response to Romans 6:19-23 The Path to Life or Death

  1. Michael McCardle says:

    How many times is slavery mentioned?
    4
    How many times are life and death mentioned?
    4
    How are slavery, freedom, life and death related?
    Slavery and death go together. When we are slaves to sin, we are destined for death.
    Freedom and life go together. When we are free from sin, by the power of Christ, we receive new life in him
    Do you believe that your destiny is life or death? How can someone watching you tell?
    My destiny is life becuase of my faith in Jesus Christ. Apart from Christ I have no life. To live is Christ.
    Why do so many people today choose to believe that life is the chemical reaction that takes part in the brain and that one day that process will cease and it will be the end?
    Because their worldview is based on science and not biblical truth

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