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Bible Gem 184 - Who are you serving? You gotta serve somebody (Rom 6:16-23)

March 21, 2019

 

And you thought Paul (and I) was finished with the issue of sin. No, not yet. Why not? Because this is a very important issue for us. There is more to come on this issue, we have not finished with it yet.

 

Now Paul moves on to a new illustration but not a new topic. 

 

Paul seems to say if you have problem with the concept or giving your body to the Lord for righteousness then submit the parts. Especially the parts that are problematic to you. This is not a new idea in the NT. After all Jesus said if your eye offends you, then pluck it out [Matt 5:29]. If you have a problem with theft then yield your hands to him. If you have a sexual problem then give Him the offending parts of your body as slaves of righteousness. Concentrate on the offending parts in order to be specific and intentional. [Romans 6:13-14]

 

But then Paul says 

“Don't you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. 

Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. 

Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living. 

Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy. 

When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. 

And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. 

But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. 

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 6:16-23  

 

Is it clear to you what Paul is on about? I am sure it is. If you didn’t pick it up in the frequency of word use then I am sure you didn’t miss Paul’s clear and specific statement - I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this”  Bob Dylan knew this too.  

 

               

GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY

Words and Music by Bob Dylan               

                1979 Special Rider Music

 

You may be an ambassador to England or France,

You may like to gamble, you might like to dance,

You may be the heavyweight champion of the world,

You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls

 

But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed

You're gonna have to serve somebody,

Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord

But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

 

You might be a rock 'n' roll addict prancing on the stage,

You might have drugs at your command, women in a cage,

You may be a business man or some high degree thief,

They may call you Doctor or they may call you Chief

 

But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed

You're gonna have to serve somebody,

Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord

But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

 

You may be a state trooper, you might be a young Turk,

You may be the head of some big TV network,

You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame,

You may be living in another country under another name

 

But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed

You're gonna have to serve somebody,

Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord

But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

 

You may be a construction worker working on a home,

You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome,

You might own guns and you might even own tanks,

You might be somebody's landlord, you might even own banks

 

But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed

You're gonna have to serve somebody,

Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord

But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

 

You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride,

You may be a city councilman taking bribes on the side,

You may be workin' in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair,

You may be somebody's mistress, may be somebody's heir

 

But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed

You're gonna have to serve somebody,

Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord

But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

 

Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk,

Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk,

You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread,

You may be sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a king-sized bed

 

But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed

You're gonna have to serve somebody,

Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord

But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

 

You may call me Terry, you may call me Timmy,

You may call me Bobby, you may call me Zimmy,

You may call me R.J., you may call me Ray,

You may call me anything but no matter what you say

 

You're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed

You're gonna have to serve somebody.

Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord

But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

 

 

Paul and Bob are saying the same thing. Slave of sin or slaves of God. Your choice!  But check out the wages; the reward of your choice. Read the fine print before you commit. 

 

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord! [Rom 6:23] One of those classic Bible memory verses. 

 

Ha ha it seems I am setting up a precedent for Bible Gemz. With each biblical book there seems to be least one gem that has been centred around a popular song. [See Bible Gem 20]

 

It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to serve somebody. Bob Dylan

 

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