The case of original sin is becoming a hard sell these days. Yet the Bible is very specific about our starting point and though it began well in the Garden of Eden, our early ancestors sinned and from that point onward all men have shared in that sin nature. Difficult as it may be for some to admit, the trouble in this world is due to sin’s effects on the human race. Too bad, though, because the sooner we accept it, the better we can deal with it. Instead, mankind looks for ways to excuse, justify and ignore sin, ever deepening the misery and despair that plagues our world.
Paul divides the lives of men in Romans six into two groups: servants of sin, and of righteousness. It is pointless to look for a way out for Paul dogmatically says “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one which you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? The question mark at the end of the sentence is intended. Paul’s use of rhetoric is meant to emphasize a point, to get us thinking about who it is we serve. The question is asked with the asker already knowing the answer. Paul wishes to settle the idea of loyalties. If you profess to be a Christian, you have no business living in sin. Our emancipation from sin came at Calvary where Christ paid the price for us. No more penalty awaits us, we have been given our freedom. When we were kids we would divide up into teams at a construction site. A puddle of water layed at the base halfway between two mounds. Poised on the mounds both sides took their positions. Soon a hail of rocks and boulders flew down from both directions splashing water on each other. When we returned home that night we all had the same wet muddy look. From a spiritual view, slaves to sin are stained in sin, corruption and guilt, while Christians on the other hand, are to be holy, unspotted and free from the corruption in the world. It is because we have a different Master that we should bear a likeness to his holy character. Our appearance is altogether different than those in the world.
The change in Masters from sin to righteousness means we serve a gracious kind, merciful God. Like Himself, the Christian life should be marked by holiness, that is what Paul drives at in the whole of Romans six. Our thoughts and actions should bear comparison to that of our Savior’s. Our role changes from the old life because our lives are now managed by Christ, and no longer are we under the tyranny of sin. We should be cognitive of this fact. When she was young, Victoria, the future queen of England, was shielded from that fact so that the knowledge of it would not spoil her. When her teacher finally did let her discover for herself that she would one day rule as queen, Victoria’s response was, “Then I will be good!” Her life from that point was controlled by her future position. She would be the queen, so she acted as a queen should act (Adapted from Warren Wiersbe, Be Rich [Victor Books], pp.13-14.) Christians need to live holy. Having been saved from sin’s penalty and power, and placed under divine ownership, our position means we are to live a life consistent with His Holiness.