2 Chronicles 2:11-3:17; Romans 6:15-23; Psalms 17:1-5; Proverbs 7:24-27
NT: “Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey — either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching to which you were handed over, and having been set free from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. I am using a human analogy because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness. So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? The outcome of those things is death. But now, since you have been set free from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification — and the outcome is eternal life! For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:16-23 CSB)
One key word shows up in both verse 16 and verse 19 of this passage: the word is offer. The original Greek word is paristemi and literally means to stand near or stand beside. It means to present yourself and be at hand – to stand ready to serve – to be at one’s disposal. Before someone places his faith in Jesus Christ, his life and body is offered to sin and unrighteousness – they are enslaved to sin and unrighteousness. Whatever or whomever you offer yourself to becomes your master. Someone who has not believed on Jesus cannot live righteously because sin and unrighteousness are their master. However, when that person hears the gospel, sincerely responds to it in faith and offers themselves to God, they are set free from sin and righteousness becomes their master. A life that is offered to sin cannot produce fruit, for it is essentially void of spiritual life – it can only bring about things that lead to death. Paul described the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21. A life that is offered to God and filled with His spirit produces all kinds of good fruit which results in our sanctification (being made holy and righteous). Paul described that fruit in Galatians 5:22-23. While the initial offering of our lives to God through faith in Christ frees us from sin and binds us to righteousness, we must continually offer our bodies to God for righteousness in order to be ongoingly sanctified. Though faith in Christ frees us from our slavery to sin, our bodies still have sinful desires and thought patterns – the world that we live in still continues to push us toward gratifying self instead of glorifying God – the enemy of our soul still roams the earth seeking to trap us, limit us and destroy us. In order to overcome our flesh, the world and the devil, we must continuously offer our bodies as slaves to righteousness consecrated for God’s purposes. If you struggle with the same sin patterns over and over again – if there are things in your life you just can’t break free from – know that God through Christ can set you free and set you on a path to life and holiness. Repent from the sin, place you faith in Christ Jesus’ death and resurrection, and offer yourself in worship to God.