“When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness (Side comment: Or in other words: We cared less of the Kingdom of God!). What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!” (Rom 6:20-21, NIV2)
No benefits! Only addiction, hopelessness and despair.
Who in their right mind would want to take a job without benefits? I sure wouldn’t! It would be madness!
But then, in the olden days, job benefits were left wanting. Not too long ago, in the 18th Century, the British in Michilimackinac (It’s truly a mouthful!) were looking for volunteers to join their army. In order to do so, they had to embellish the prospect of becoming a soldier.
Their method to do so was called “beating up for volunteers.” Perfectly dressed drummers attracted crowds with their music. Remember that in those days there were no rock concerts! Speeches were given with eloquence about the benefits of military life. How else could they get volunteers to enlist for life?
Men had to be between 17 and 25 years of age. Everyone was invited, British as well as foreigners. The soldiers had to be at least five feet, six inches tall; but those who didn’t meet this standard could be recruited if they promised to grow! That fact by itself made this job offer quite suspicious, don’t you think? All candidates also had to undergo a physical examination.
The benefits were ample: They were assured food, clothing and shelter. They were also assured of receiving 1 1/2 guineas on the day they were enrolled, which equaled about 50 days of pay for a soldier. Most of these lads would spend it in the pub in one, two, three.
Once enrolled, they received 8 pence a day; however 6 pence from the 8 pence were deducted from their pay for food, clothing, laundry and other expenses. No one explained this to them, but by the time they discovered the truth, it was too late. They were enrolled for life!
Would you have joined them?
Sin is even worse. The benefits of sin is addiction, hurting others, hopelessness and despair. . . Way worse than being conscripted to the British army in the 18th century!
Compared to this what our Heavenly Father offers. His benefits abound beyond anyone’s dream job! Who else would take you in as a family member? Who else would assure you eternal life, free from addiction, with the promise of enjoying all the peace and love that our Heavenly Father can bestow on us?
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6:22-23, NIV2)
“But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.” (Galatians 4:4-8, NIV)
Which benefits would you rather have?
(To access the entire “Radical Grace From the Book of Romans” devotional series, please click here.)