Romans 6:19-22 ~ human terms

Dog-poopWhen people actually read their Bible, these are the verses they'd probably be skipping over. Let's get to the good stuff, like Romans 6:23. All these other words about sin and slavery and righteousness and masters are uncomfortable, after all. It's difficult to keep the focus of Paul's argument after all these chapters and all these words… We'll wait for the movie to come out so that we don't have to think about it too deeply.

I wonder if Paul could sense the creeping tension of apathy from those who might read this letter-book (whether in the 1st century or down throughout history). It's almost as if Paul is tired of needing to continue discussion about the ramifications of sin in our lives. Perhaps Paul's patience with us is running thin at this moment… after having used a stark illustration of slavery to point out just how serious is the effect of sin. I imagine Paul was a bit flaberghasted that any readers of this letter would not yet embrace freedom in Christ. His argument so far has been stellar and undeniable: basically, that sin is bad for us and Jesus is good for us. But he feels compelled to keep addressing the issue perhaps because we need someone to talk about it – as jarring as the discussion may be.

"You have been set free! The benefits are before you! The harvest is right there!" Paul celebrates… "So why should I still be dealing with topic of sin! I don't like this any more than you. But somebody has to help us deal with this."

So Paul puts the truth in "human terms" so that humans could grasp the truth. And still we walk hesitatantly or reluctanctly away from the control of sin in our lives… 

Romans 6:19-23 ~ 19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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