Lesson 26—Romans 6:14-23

Deliverance Illustrated

In Rom. 6 and 7 the theme is as we have seen Deliverance. We have had the truth presented to us and now it is illustrated. Two illustrations are used, the one is taken from slavery and the other from marriage. We will look at the first one here.

The Illustration From Slavery, ch. 6:14-23

In the days of slavery many a poor slave tried to cross the river between the States and Canada. If he crossed that river he would no longer be under the dominion of his former master, he would be free. Think of the joy of liberty for those who could see their pursuers on the other side of the river and fear them no more.

The bloodhounds of hell were on our trail, but now we are out of sin’s territory. “Sin shall not have dominion over you,” writes Paul, “for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” vs. 14. Calvary’s Cross and the empty tomb mark the boundary line for us. We who have trusted in the Saviour Who died and rose again, are in the land of the free. Since this is true, we are to enjoy our freedom. That is the force of what we have in vs. 15.

“What then? Shall we sin?”

“God forbid” or “far be the thought,” says the apostle. We cannot think of a slave having reached Canada and saying, “Now that I am at liberty to do as I please, I will live as I formerly did, I will take up with the old slavery again.” And shall we who have been delivered from sin and are free from its dominion, return to its bondage?

Serve Your Liberator, not the Tyrant vs. 16.

A youth was being sold at auction in northern Africa. An Englishman present at the time was impressed by his appearance and bid for him. He secured the boy, and to his amazement set him free. “What! am I free?” asked the negro. “Here are the papers.” The boy looked at his liberator, flung himself at his feet and said “I will serve you forever.” Shall we do less for our Master?

We Thank God We Are Free vs. 17

“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” This is the true outcome of deliverance. In the story of God’s salvation in Exodus we notice seven links in the chain of grace and the last one is the glad song of freedom.

“Happy art thou, O Israel,
Who is like unto thee
O people saved by the Lord.”

In the closing verse of our chapter the contrast is seen between

What we once were and what we now are vs. 17-23

It is good for us to remember our former estate now that we have been freed from the chains that bound us. The contrast is threefold.

I. “We were the servants of sin” vs. 17. Sin was our master and a cruel master he was.

We are now the slaves of love (vs. 17) we obey from the heart. Dr. A. T. Schofield tells of his dog Jock. When first he was given the freedom of the streets without collar or chain, he bounded away in fancied unrestraint. But lo! He had scarcely gone a block when he halted, turned back and walked beside his master.

2. We were servants to uncleanness, vs. 19. That was the character of our service. We are ashamed now of the things we lived in then vs. 21.

We now are servants to righteousness unto holiness, vs. 18, 19.

3. We were in the employ of Satan working for his wages—death. We are now the servants of God vs. 22, and we have our fruit unto holiness and we enjoy His gift eternal life.

Other lords have long held sway;
Now, Thy name alone to bear,
Thy dear voice alone obey,
Is my daily, hourly prayer.


1. What people in the Old Testament illustrate salvation from slavery?

2. Why was the Lord given the name “Jesus” at His birth?

3. Write a short paragraph on “What I was and what I am.”