Thy Goodness, my Fetter

July 27, 2008

For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! 16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17 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, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. (Romans 6:14-19).

Paul makes it clear, that the pathway to sanctification is giving ourselves as slaves to righteousness. It is interesting that there is no neutral ground presented in this passage. You are either a slave to sin resulting in death or a slave to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. And it is all determined by your obedience! If you are obedient to the lusts of your flesh, you are giving yourself as a slave to sin. If you are obedient to the Spirit of God which has become one with your spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17) you are a slave to righteousness. It is clear, that we are not our own; if not Christ’s then most certainly sin’s. The question really becomes this then, for those desiring enslavement to righteousness; what is obedience? Is it possible to be a slave to sin AND a slave to righteousness at the same time? Jesus says we cannot have two masters. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. Why? Because love would do nothing less.

I believe there is a reality of pure love attainable for us that will settle the issue of who (or what) we are fettered to as slaves. Too often are we found “on the fence” or “lukewarm’ gripped by the spirit of complacency, confused as to which master we prefer to serve. The fact of the matter is this, if I am truly in love with the Lamb I will obey His commandments, and in obeying become a slave to righteousness, which leads to sanctification! The problem for many of us is we have not fallen in love with this man! We have only realized what we are being saved from, and not what we are being saved to. I have heard it said, that it is not the filth of sin that will drive men to cast themselves upon the nail pierced hands of Jesus, it is the goodness of God. If we lay hold of a revelation of His goodness, and our depravity in light of that goodness, we will fetter ourselves to righteousness (in obedience) and discover a place of pure love, intention and motive resulting fully in sanctification. Those who have been forgiven much, love much.

Oh to grace how great a debtor,

daily I’m constrained to be

let thy goodness, like a fetter,

bind my wandering heart to you,

prone to wander Lord I feel it

prone to leave the God I love,

Here’s my heart Lord take and seal it

Seal it for thy courts above.