Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Psalm 63-65; Romans 6
15 So what? Should we sin because we aren’t under Law but under grace? Absolutely not! 16 Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, that you are slaves of the one whom you obey? That’s true whether you serve as slaves of sin, which leads to death, or as slaves of the kind of obedience that leads to righteousness.17 But thank God that although you used to be slaves of sin, you gave wholehearted obedience to the teaching that was handed down to you, which provides a pattern. 18 Now that you have been set free from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness. 19 (I’m speaking with ordinary metaphors because of your limitations.) Once, you offered the parts of your body to be used as slaves to impurity and to lawless behavior that leads to still more lawless behavior. Now, you should present the parts of your body as slaves to righteousness, which makes your lives holy.20 When you were slaves of sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What consequences did you get from doing things that you are now ashamed of? The outcome of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and become slaves to God, you have the consequence of a holy life, and the outcome is eternal life.23 The wages that sin pays are death, but God’s gift is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 5:15-23, Common English Bible).
Few of us who were around in 1979 and like country music will ever forget the hit song by the Charlie Daniels Band, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” The song tells the story of a young fiddle player who is challenged by the devil to a fiddling contest. If Johnny wins he gets the devil’s gold fiddle. If the devil wins, he gets Johnny’s soul. Johnny takes the challenge even though, “…its a sin” because Johnny’s the best there’s ever been. Of course, Johnny wins and all is right with the world.
I thought about that song when I read Paul’s words, “…you are slaves of the one whom you obey? That’s true whether you serve as slaves of sin, which leads to death, or as slaves of the kind of obedience that leads to righteousness” (v. 16). Johnny was taking a chance on having to obey the devil, at least as the song went.
It seems to me, however, that even had Johnny lost the wager with the devil, he still could have been OK, provided he didn’t obey the devil but obeyed God instead. “Oh, but Keith, he made the bet with the devil, he was already being manipulated by the devil and fell into the devil’s trap.”
Some of us might think that but I don’t think God does. That is what grace is all about. Friends, that is something Paul talks about a couple of times in this chapter. That is something that all of us Johnnys in the world are pretty thankful God would do. And friend, you need to be thankful too because whether you know it or not, you are now or at least at some point in your life, you have been Johnny too.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved