Day Three: Handed Over to a New Master

Romans 6:17 –But thanks be to God because you were slaves of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching to which you were handed over. [Douglas J. Moo’s translation]

“Paul now dispels any idea that Christians stand in a situation of neutrality with respect to the master they are to serve… They have already made the decision to follow a new master. For Paul give ‘thanks to God’ for the transfer of spiritual allegiance that they have manifested. Once, Paul says, ‘you were slaves of sin’; but now ‘you have obeyed that pattern of teaching to which you were handed over.’

“… Paul uses ‘obey’ because he wants to underscore the aspect of submission to Christ as Lord of life that is part of becoming a Christian. It is probably for this same reason that Paul chooses so unusual a way of describing the object of their obedience.  Paul uses ‘hand over’ to refer to the transmission of the early Christian teaching. In this verse, however, it is not the teaching that is handed down to believers but the believers who are handed over to the teaching. Paul wants to make clear that becoming a Christian means being placed under the authority of Christian teaching. The new convert’s ‘obedience’ to this teaching is the outgrowth of God’s action in ‘handing us over’ when we were converted.” [Douglas J Moo, The Epistle to the Romans (The New International Commentary on the New Testament), p. 400-401]

Let’s thank God that we have been handed over in this way by our rescuing God. Let’s be filled with the Spirit afresh for obedience and love. Let’s worship with the song, “No Longer Slaves” (click here) by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser.

– BR