Day 52: Freedom Yes, Neutrality No

Romans 6:15-18

What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? May it never be! Don’t you know that to whom you present yourselves as servants to obedience, his servants you are whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that, whereas you were bondservants of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto you were delivered. Being made free from sin, you became bondservants of righteousness.

There is a saying that says: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” It reminds us of the fact that if you eat your cake you won’t have it anymore but if you only have your cake you won’t get to eat it. Having cake and eating cake are mutually exclusive because you can’t have something outside your body and inside your body at the same time. Believe it or not, this is important to this passage we read today because “you can’t have your righteousness and sin too.” It doesn’t work that way.

Let’s use another example. If you freely choose to use your time to do a certain thing, then your are no longer free to use that same time do the other things. Because time is limited and you can’t go back and repeat time, once you make a choice, it is too late to choose the other options. You get “locked in” to your choice, just as if you were enslaved to that choice.

Paul is trying to address the idea of sinning because you are free to do it. He agrees that we are really free to do what we choose, but He exposes this idea that when you choose sin, you can’t be choosing righteousness and when you choose righteousness, you can’t be choosing sin. You can’t serve God and serve sin. They are opposites. So to choose to go the sin way is to choose to be “locked in” to sin because you can’t be doing what is right when you are sinning. To choose to go with God is to choose to be “locked in” to righteousness because you can’t be sinning when you are doing what is right.

Like so many important things, there is no neutral ground. You have to choose which one you will “lock in.” When we left sin, we, by our choice, “locked in” with God and His righteousness. It doesn’t make sense to suggest that we can sin because we are under grace now. Just because we are free from legal restrictions we are forced by the teaching of grace to understand that these things can’t go on at the same time. If you think you are getting away with sin while being a Christian, there is a very real possibility that you never really understood what “becoming a Christian” meant. I am not saying Christians don’t ever sin. I’m only saying that Christians can’t live for sin and live for Christ at the same time. They don’t go together. The subject of Christian sin is discussed more in chapters seven and eight.