Empowered to Obey

Romans 6:15–18 15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness

Paul confronts the question discussed since Jesus came to establish the New Covenant by His blood atonement. If Christians are not under the external constraints of the Law but are the recipients of the unmerited favor of God, what keeps them from sinning? Do Christians sin because they are not under the Law but under grace? Paul says, may it never be! Why? Because a slave obeys his or her master. 

If someone has never been delivered from sin as their master, then they will continue obeying the desires of sin and selfishness. If someone has been delivered from the ruling and reigning power of sin by the gospel of God’s saving grace in Jesus Christ, they are now in the realm of the rule and reign of Jesus Christ and righteousness. Jesus is their new Master. Salvation secured by the blood atonement of Jesus Christ comes complete with a transformation of one’s heart. Where disobedience of the Lord and truth once dominated, now obedience to truth characterizes one’s conduct. 

Being transferred from the realm of sin and Satan to the realm of righteousness and Christ does not mean Christians live perfectly. It means we honor our Lord through consistent obedience rather than being dominated by sin and selfishness as we were prior to receiving spiritual life in Christ.

New hearts that consistently obey Biblical truth are the blessing of New Covenant gospel grace. We no longer need to be constrained by the external influence of the Law. By gospel grace, we are forgiven, declared positionally righteous, and supplied with resurrection power, which produces an internal desire to obey so that we live for the glory of Jesus. 

Rejoice, Christian, New Covenant life in Jesus Christ enables obedience that honors your Lord!