No Longer Slaves But Subjects of God's Favor and Mercy—Romans 6:14
"For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14)
Did you know that you are not bound to the Old Testament Law as a born again believer? This comes as a shock to many Christians who have made a practice of abiding by the Ten Commandments their whole lives. However, in the previous chapters of Romans, Paul clearly taught that the Law is what strengthened sin in us and arouses in us the need for a Savior. The entire Old Testament Law can be used to point us to Christ. With Christ, we have been freed from the power of sin. Therefore Paul is instructing us to offer the parts of our body to God as instruments of righteousness ( Romans 6:13 ). This is based on the New Covenant and the righteousness we obtained through Jesus. Because we are righteous under this covenant of grace we need to operate that way.
In today's passage Paul tells us that sin is not our master because of grace. While we were controlled by the old nature we were subjected to the Law as slaves. As Slaves under the Law, we experienced guilt, condemnation and wrath because we constantly failed to measure up to it. The Law also made sin come alive in our hearts ( Romans 7:9 ) and strengthened the power of sin against us ( 1 Corinthians 15:56 ), and that is why we needed a Savior, because it was impossible for us to do it on our own. However, if we choose to live and operate under the Old Testament Law as believers then we are choosing to remain in bondage to sin and forfeit the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. That is why we need to operate as New Testament believers who have been freed from the law.
Here is the good news for today: we are freed from sin and the bondage of the Law. So sin cannot master us. Understanding this freedom from both the Law and the control of our old nature is necessary to break free from the dominion of sin in our lives. When we understand that we are subjects of God's favor and mercy then we will operate that way, because what you believe is what you will do. Through the New Covenant we are under grace. That grace gives us the freedom to pursue Christ and a life of holiness will be the result. Not by works of the Law, but by being alive in Christ. When we live as though we are free of our old nature then we are living accordingly to the Spirit and we will see the fruits thereof.
Today, I pray that you understand all that is yours through the New Covenant by God's grace. I pray that you life reflects our Saviors in every way. Not by works, but because of a His grace. God bless you!
For more reading on the Purpose of the Law:
Romans 3:19-20 - The Purpose of the Law
Romans 3:21 - A Righteousness Apart From the Law
Romans 3:22-24 - By Faith We Are Justified Freely
Romans 3:28 - Justification Comes By Faith, Not Works
Romans 3:29-31 - Our Faith Uploads the Law
Previous: Romans 6:12-13 Next: Romans 6:15-16
Original article published October 20, 2009.