Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Romans 6:15-23 (NIV)
Slaves to Righteousness
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves 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 of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If Paul were here today, what would he say enslaves our society?
Lord, as Christians, we have the opportunity to make choices that please You and that fill our lives with Your joy. As Christians, we can choose to submit our lives to Your Spirit and demonstrate Your love to the world. Our quality of life can be so uniquely different from how the world lives that it should be noticeable. Instead, churches are filled with people whose behavior looks no different than the rest of society. It is so tempting for Christians to fit in and be accepted by society due to fear of sticking out. Society is a slave to hatred, selfishness, pride, lies, cheating, sexual obsessions, and power. Help us to not yield to sin, and become the slave of sin. We are free to respond to the greatest calling that a man can have — the call to know God. Lord, raise up Your church to not conform to the sins of this world but to stand above it. Let Your Spirit penetrate Your church… our church. Fill us with the passion to do Your will. Help us to grow in faith and make a difference in this world. Lord, help us at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, and those at other churches across this land, to begin to respond to this truth. We pray that this nation, under God, may have a new birth of freedom and that all may come to see the unique quality that Jesus Christ brings into a life. We ask it in Jesus’ name, Amen.