Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!
Imagine playing on the worst team in the league. You have horrible teammates, the worst possible coach. You are guaranteed to lose. The next season everything turns around and you make the best team in the league. Now you have the wisest, kindest coach in the league. You’re now guaranteed to win the championship; you are on the winning team. You’ve got a beautiful new uniform, not the ragged, dirty uniform you had to wear last season. One night you return to play your old team. As they’re playing the national anthem you go and line up with your old teammates instead of your new team. You are standing on the line with your beautiful shirt, lined up along with all the other raggedy uniforms, staring across to your team. Even worse, when the whistle blows you go ahead and start playing for your old team rather than the new team. Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Perhaps a really bad dream?
As ridiculous as the aforementioned sounds, it’s actually what we often do as Christians with sin and we don’t even realize we are doing it. The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church in Rome and in it he addresses this issue. In Romans 6:15-23 he uses the analogy of slaves. “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?” (vs 16) When we accept Christ we join a new team, Christ’s team, yet we have the choice to continue to live as slaves to sin. Paul rhetorically asks the Romans why they would want to go back to that team. 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! (vv. 20-21). Paul reminded the Romans, and reminds us, that it is ludicrous to return to that team. 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. (vv. 22-23)
When Jesus Christ died on the cross for you, you were Justified (saved from the penalty of sin – Galatians 2:16); you were Sanctified (saved from the power of sin – 1 Thessalonians 5:23); and one day we will be Glorified (saved from the presence of sin – Romans 5:2). Why would you want to be on any other team? Are you struggling with sin in your life? I’d suggest keeping in mind the analogy of the new uniform you have been given and the ludicrousness of playing on the other team. In times of temptation, remember this scripture from Romans 6 and declare that you are no longer a slave to sin – you are no longer on that team!