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Why do you think obedience to God is so hard? Why is it not automatic for believers?
The objective is to understand that absolute freedom is an illusion; we are free to choose who we will become slaves to, know that we will all serve a master and our choice of masters will impact all the choices that follow that choice. However, we do not have to live in slavery to sin, we can live in the freedom of slavery to righteousness. We do this through constant use of the resources God has given us: His Word, His People, and His Holy Spirit. We learn to desire the good.
“15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom 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 wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery 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 to 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.
Think about this statement Terry made: Though we are set free from sin, we can in effect become its slaves again if we give ourselves continually over to it. Take some time and discuss how you’ve seen this played out in your own life.
Identify several contrasts between the two forms of slavery: slavery to sin and slavery to Christ.
Why does slavery to sin offer a false sense of freedom? How does Christ offer genuine freedom?
What are some ways that you struggle with allowing sin to have dominion in your physical body?
How does this passage from Romans offer you encouragement?
What opportunities do you have to reshape your desire by the use of your will?
Look at the following resources God has given us: His Word, His People, His Holy Spirit. How might you make personal application of His resources?
What is one thing you can do this week to narrow the gap between where you are right now and where you want to be? How can life in community help?
What is one thing you could do right now to help you “learn to desire the good”?