Slavery, is throughout our text of Romans 6. There is a juxtaposition of slavery throughout this passage. We are NO LONGER to be slaves of sin as baptized Christ followers (6). We can offer ourselves as slaves (16) in obedience to the “Master Sin’s” demands, & in doing so, prove our bondage to SIN. But Christ Followers must look in a different direction. Our gaze must be elsewhere. Paul proclaims, “be slaves to righteousness/faithfulness” (18). We are to be SLAVES of God (22). But we will be slaves one way or the other.
There was voluntary slavery in the ancient world. There was forced slavery because of war. But there was also a choosing to be a slave. One author said, “People in dire poverty could offer themselves as slaves to someone simply to be fed and housed.”
The Jewish people reading this letter would pick up Paul’s Exodus-Passover language. Our non-Jewishness misses this. But Paul is telling us that the old testament narrative of Adam and Abraham and Jesus Messiah’s coming is ONE story. The Israelites were SLAVES to Egyptian POWER. They walked through the waters of the Red Sea to their salvation. “The LORD took Israel in hand with his powerful hand, Split the Red Sea right in half . . . Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses & Aaron.” Paul (I Cor. 10:2) speaks of the Israelites being baptized (water) into Moses in the cloud and the sea. Baptized Christians have left the old world of Egyptian slavery and walked through the waters of baptism into freedom to obedience in Christ. We and Israel are on the pilgrims way learning to live obediently to a new master.
Join Mark as he leads us through Romans 6 and our ties to the freedom of slavery to sin thanks to Jesus’s death and resurrection.
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