But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. Romans 6:17 NIV
Bob Dylan produced a Christian album in 1979 called Slow Train a Comin. His title song was called Gotta Serve Somebody. He goes through a list of a litany of people all ending with the same refrain.
But you’re going to have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re going to have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re going to have to serve somebody
Paul reduced the expression down to two areas – slave to sin or slaves to Christ’s righteousness. When we become a follower of Jesus, that action aligns ourselves with Christ death, burial and resurrection. Our old self died with Christ on the cross and our new life begins with His resurrection. Therefor we are free from the bondage of sin over our lives. How then do we live moving forward?
3 expressions that are true for living as Christians
With Thankfulness – “but thanks be to God.” Every step away from a thankful and grateful attitude is leading back into a bondage of comparison and judging. You just don’t want to go there. I am not what I want to be, but THANK God I am not what I was.
A mature Christian does not grow away from thankfulness, rather he becomes more identified with thankfulness. Paul reflected this attitude in his later life when he felt he was the least to be called an apostle. How is your thankful meter working in your life? Do you see God’s hand of provision all throughout your day? Do you remember your life before Jesus found you?
Obedience from your heart. The difference between obedience from the heart and from the head is “willingness to honor”. The mind tells you to obey because “you have to do it.” The heart says to obey because “I want to do it”, Obedience happens in both situations, but the heart enjoys the delight of obedience. We see this clearly with our children when we ask for their help to sweep the kitchen and they respond, “Do I have to” or “Sure, I will be happy to do it.” How do you perceive the commands of the Bible in reference to obedience? Does your heart of willing obedience lead the way? Do you see the role of love connected in your obedience?
Allegiance to a Pattern of teaching . This is such a rich expression for the believer. When we become Christians we have committed ourselves to God’s ways and principles of living. The pattern in Greek is tupon which carries the idea of an impression made by stamping or a model to follow. The teaching that we receive is consistent with the impressions that God has already put on our heart. This is the same idea in Jeremiah’s writing “I will put my law within them and on their hear”. Jeremiah 31:33 NIV
There are freedoms of expressions that we have as Americans that we do not have as believers of Jesus. There are higher commands that we have committed to obey which govern our conduct. Jesus way is the better way to conduct our affairs to remain consistent with His teachings
Many have taken sides regarding the actions of Chick Fil A corporate about their decision on where to focus their charity giving. Jesus said that the world will know that you are My disciples by the love that you express to other followers of Jesus. Any comment that we make about other believers should be filtered through Jesus command. Is my comment leading people to see how much I love my brother or sister in Jesus? Jesus said we are people of blessing and not cursing. This would be especially true for those who are part of the same body of Christ. The hand should never say “I no longer have any need for the feet.”
Let’s follow the patterns of teachings that are on our hearts given to us through the love of Jesus. Let all of our dialogue be seasoned with thankfulness that God accepted me, warts and all, just as He does with my brother and sister in Christ.
Blessings Love y’all