January 31st, 2007
Increased freedom cannot enhance the purpose or value of our lives unless we have a purpose or value in our lives to start with. If you have meaning in your life, a reason to live, some rationale for your existence, then you can harness different freedoms to assist in achieving your meaning or reason or rationale. But if you have no purpose, then each new type of freedom is simply a new type of potential slavery. Choose your poison, it doesn’t much matter. You can be a slave to a brickmaker in India, or you can choose to be a slave to mindless soap operas on your television set. The result is a wasted life in either case.
Paul’s Letter to the Romans — Chapter 6
6:1 Should we continue to sin, to make grace more plentiful? 6:2 Of course not! We died to sin. How could we live in it any longer? 6:3 Are you unaware that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 6:4 We were buried with him through baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too can live a new life. 6:5 If we have become united with him in his death, we will also be part of his resurrection. 6:6 Our old self was crucified with him to destroy the body of sin, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin. 6:7 Someone who has died has been freed from sin. 6:8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 6:9 Christ has been raised from the dead, and will never die again. Death no longer has power over him! 6:10 When he died, he died once to defeat sin, but now that he is alive, he lives to God. 6:11 You also should regard yourselves as dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
6:12 Do not let sin prevail in your mortal body, to make you obey its desires. 6:13 Do not allow the parts of your body to be used as weapons of wickedness. Instead, offer yourselves to God as people who were dead but are now alive, and offer the parts of your body to God to be used as instruments of righteousness. 6:14 Sin will have no power over you, because you are not subject to law, but subject to grace. 6:15 Should we sin, because we are subject to grace and not subject to law? Certainly not! 6:16 Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves to the one you obey: slaves of sin leading to death, or slaves of obedience leading to righteousness? 6:17 Thank God, that, although you were slaves of sin, you became sincerely obedient to the training into which you were placed. 6:18 You were freed from sin, and became slaves of righteousness.
6:19 I speak in human terms because of your human limitations. You used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and wickedness, so now offer yourselves as servants to righteousness so you can become holy. 6:20 When you were slaves of sin, you were free from worrying about righteousness. 6:21 What benefit did you gain at the time from the things about which you are now ashamed? Those things result in death. 6:22 But now that you are free from sin and have become servants of God, you gain the benefit of growing holiness, and the result of eternal life. 6:23 The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.