A Life Pleasing to God

by Mike Ratliff

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, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:17-23 ESV)

God is Sovereign. I find it tragic that that statement can raise the ire of so many professing Christians. These same people will get just as angry when passages such as Romans 6:17-23 (above) are taken literally showing that the lost are slaves (δουλοι) of sin with no ability to become free from that slavery without the gracious breaking in by our Sovereign God who, in a supreme act of mercy, makes those dead in their trespasses and sin, alive through the washing of regeneration. These new creations who were totally incapable of knowing God and His truth and their lost condition before Him, by His grace through a faith that is now spiritually alive believes the Gospel and receives Christ as Lord and Saviour. Our God is Sovereign and we should rejoice that this is so because if it is not, then we are left to ourselves to somehow find a way to pay back the wages of sin, which is death. God is the ultimate promise keeper and He is merciful and gracious. Continue reading