Changing Masters

6 February 2022 AM – Romans 6:14-23 – Ro2022 – Scott Childs
Introduction: John Newton’s epitaph reads: John Newton, clerk, once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy.
Grace did not free him to serve no master, but a new Master. Source: Amazing Grace in John Newton: Slave Ship Captain, Hymn Writer, and Abolitionist, William E. Phipps
            If God has saved your wicked soul as He did that of John Newton, you too have a new Master.
Transition: In our text today, Paul tells us what we are to do now that God is our new Master.
With God as our new Master, we must …
  1. Learn what He Requires (v.14-18)
a.         Our master expects obedience.
1)         We had been under the law unable to get victory over sin, but since we trusted Christ, we are under grace, giving us victory over sin (v.14).
2)         Being under God’s grace certainly does not give us the right to keep sinning (v.15).
3)         The master we obey is our true master (v.16). Whomever you yield yourself to or offer yourself to as an obedient servant, that one is your master.
a)         Unbelievers who obey sin are servant to sin and will receive death.
b)         A believer, who obeys God, is a servant to God and will receive righteousness.
4)         A word of caution!
a)         God is not saying that if you ever sin, you are a servant to sin and still an unbeliever. Paul wrote this book to Christians. The theme of this entire chapter and the next is the Christian’s sanctification. God is showing Christians how to get daily victory over sin.
b)         However, a person who loves to obey sin and dislikes obeying God is not likely a true believer.
b.         Our new Master has equipped us.
1)         Paul’s readers were the servants of sin (past tense) (v.17). He continued, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Paul is not accusing his readers of being unsaved. They had truly believed the Gospel.
a)         Christ made them free from sin (v.18). Sin no longer has them as its slave. Sin can no longer force them to sin, though sometimes they still do sin.
b)         They became servants to righteousness. They changed masters. God’s righteousness now has a grip on them.
2)         If you have believed the Gospel in your heart, repented and trusted Christ to save your soul from hell, this applies equally to you.
3)         As our new Master, God requires our obedience.
With God as our new Master, we must …
2.        Transfer Our Loyalties to Him (v.19)
a.         We were loyal to our old master
1)         Paul knew that his readers, though believers, were weak in the flesh just like us (v.19).
2)         For this reason, he gave them this simple human illustration.
b.         We must now transfer that loyalty
1)         Before trusting Christ, we were slaves to sin. We yielded our body members to uncleanness. This refers to all sorts of impure, lustful activities. They may have been impurities of the mind or of the body – pornography, lust, fornication, adultery, immodesty, flirting, drinking, smoking, ungodly habits, extravagant living, etc. We also yielded our body members to iniquity or lawlessness of all sorts – lying, cheating, selfishness, pride, gambling, unkindness, dishonesty, disobedience, blasphemy, stealing, etc. We gave in to sin without a fight. We wholeheartedly yielded. We became loyal to sins, which led us to a lifestyle dominated by uncleanness and lawlessness.
2)         We must now transfer that loyalty to God. Just as we offered our members as slaves to uncleanness and lawlessness, leading to lawlessness, to the same degree, we must offer our members slaves to God and His righteousness, leading to sanctification.
a)         We must yield with the same willingness.
b)         We must loyally pursue righteousness as we once did uncleanness and lawlessness.
c)         Our new loyalty leads to holiness or sanctification. Yielding to God and righteousness leads to a clean life set apart for God’s service.
With God as our new Master, we must …
3.        Expect Better Wages from Him (v.20-23)
a.         Our former wages were dreadful.
1)         When we were a servant to sin, we were free from righteousness (v.20). We had no right standing with God. Our activities were not right in God’s sight. They were wicked.
2)         The fruit or wages we received were shameful. What are some shameful fruits or wages of the sinful lifestyle? Depression, guilt, heartache, sadness, fear, broken marriages, abuse, filthy minds, sexual diseases, emotional pain, waste, drunkenness, addictions, confused children, abortion, criminal records, etc. As you reflect on your unsaved life, you may be able to add to his list of shameful fruits of that lifestyle.
3)         The end or retirement superannuation was eternal death (v.21). The unbeliever has no hope after death.
b.         Our new wages are wonderful.
1)         We are now free from sin (v.22). We are free to walk away from any temptation. Sinful addictions may seem too strong for us, but God says emphatically that we are no longer the slave to sin. He will provide an escape (2Co 10:13).
2)         We are a servant to God. God is our new Master. We are now servants to God and to righteousness. We are no longer obligated to obey our old master sin, but we are now obligated to obey God, our new Master. Since we have changed jobs, it is wrong to keep working for the old boss.
3)         The fruit or wages we receive now is holiness or sanctification. When we yield to God and obey Him, our wages will NEVER be as before (Depression, guilt, heartache, etc.). Our new wages are holiness or sanctification. Serving God leads to a guilt-free, clean life of victory. We will enjoy the fruits of the Spirit. (Gal 5:22-23) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” When we trip and fall into a sin, God urges us to confess our sin so that He can forgive us and restore our righteousness. (1John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
4)         Our retirement superannuation is everlasting life.
c.          Here is the bottom line (Romans 6:23)
1)         “For the wages of sin is death;
2)         But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Conclusion: If you have repented of your sins and trusted Christ to save you from hell, you have changed masters. Sin is no longer your master. God is your new Master. You now must learn what He requires. He requires that you obey Him. You must transfer your loyalties to Him. Be as loyal to Christ as you used to be to serving sin. You must expect better wages from Him. Your wages are no longer shameful, leading to eternal death. They are sanctifying, fruitful and leading to eternal life. If Christ is your Saviour, be obedient, loyal and fruitful for His glory.
If Christ is not yet your Savour, He longs to be. Why not ask Him to save you today!
Song: Satisfied, 446