“We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin… So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6 NLT)
I am sure that none of us would intentionally set out to serve sin. Yet, every time we yield ourselves to do that which we know is against God’s will, that’s exactly what we are doing. We are serving sin.
Many years ago, I read an illustration that I have never forgotten. Allow me to share it with you.
Suppose you were a slave to a terrible master. This master was cruel, and even worse, he often made you do things that you hated to do. Then one day, someone told you that the price had been paid for your freedom and you were no longer a slave. To be released from that terrible bondage would be the greatest blessing anyone ever could give us.
The days following this new-found freedom would be filled with joy and excitement. But then one day, something unexpected happens. The old master tries to renter your life once again.
As he talks with you, he reminds you of many of the things you once did. The more you listen to him, the more you realize that though there were some things in your old life you hated, there were other things you enjoyed. Then he appeals to you to do the enjoyable things once again. “If only for a moment”, he entices you, “step back into your old life and relive it once again.”
Before you had been given your freedom, you had no choice but to do whatever he said. But now that you have been released from his control, you do have a choice. You can choose either to show your loyalty to him or to the one who set you free.
I’ll never forget that example and I have used it countless times in counseling people. As a child of God, we have been bought with a price and set free from the bondage of sin. Yet we also know that sin continues to try to tempt us to go back and serve it once again. Can we as believers continue to serve sin? Yes, if we choose to. But in Christ, we can also choose to serve righteousness.
In closing, consider what our Savior said to Satan during a moment of temptation.
Matthew 4:10 “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’ 11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.”