But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,Romans 6:17(NASB)
No doubt through the eternity of eternities we will thank God that although we were once slaves of sin, estranged from God and without hope in the world.. His Holy Spirit convicted us of our own gross sinfulness.. our need of a Saviour; of Christ's perfect righteousness and of God's righteous judgement on all that is evil. No doubt in the ages to come we will show forth praise and thanksgiving to our heavenly Father that we heard and responded to the gospel of grace, by which we are saved - and embraced it with our whole heart and lives.
Paul rejoiced to see that by the grace of God his fellow believers in Rome were wholeheartedly committed to the gospel of Christ, which he himself delivered by revelation from God. Before they were converted.. sin was their master, for whatever one yields to in life become ones overlord. But faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross, broke them free from sin's shackles and brought them into the liberty of fellowship with God.. and made them servants of Christ.
Paul has been a major vessel that God has used in Christ's post-cross ministry to reveal much of that form of teaching that is exclusively given to the body of Christ, just as He has used Moses to give the form of teaching that was exclusively given to the nation of Israel.
Paul congratulated these believers on embracing sound doctrine, which only comes from the written Word of God. Scripture must remain the benchmark for the practical outflow of godly living and spiritual maturity and its purpose is to produce Christlikeness in all God's children - as we present our bodies as a living sacrifice unto the Lord and yield our lives over to His leading and guidance.
But we are not to be hearers of the Word only. We are also to be doers of the Word, for doctrinal truth must become a practical reality in the life of all who are maturing in the faith. Our creed for living and our conduct in life should be two sides of the same coin and should glorify our Father in heaven. Our spiritual growth needs to be rooted in the Word of God so that it can become a worthy witness of God's grace and spiritual fruit, which refreshes others in our daily activities - and all should be carried out for the glory of God.
Let us never stop praising and thanking God that although we were once slaves of sin, we too have been set free by grace through faith in Christ. May we continue to live as obedient servants of our Saviour - as we die to self and selfishness and live for Christ and His glory. May we read, mark, learn, inwardly digest and outwardly express that form of teaching to which we are committed - and which is found exclusively in the Word of God - to His praise and glory.
Heavenly Father, thank You for saving me and for the many lives that have been saved by grace through faith in Christ. May the inflow of truth from Your word produce an outflow of godliness and grace, as we submit to the Holy Spirit - so that we may grow in grace and in a knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in Whose name we pray, AMEN.
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