ROMANS 6:15-19




Have you ever stopped to think that God is in the improvement business? John 3:16, Ephesians 2:1, John 10:10


In our current studies on the Normal Christian Life God is also showing us improvement.  What would be the “norm” or standard for Christians is an improvement over the “norm” for someone who does not have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.


In our studies of Romans 6:1-14 we have already seen improvements that God has given us and that we should claim by faith. Romans 6:3-4, 6-7, 11-14


As we approach verses 15-19 this morning I want you to grasp the improvement that God has planned for you as a result of becoming a Christian.  It is all too easy to settle for less than God intends you to have.


God has something better for you.




Romans 6:15 - What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

This is a similar proposal to what we read at the beginning of the chapter in Romans 6:1, What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

The answer to both these questions is “God Forbid!” or “May it never be!”


Paul is asking, “should we continue to live the way we always lived without any improvement because we are not under law but under God’s grace?”


God has freed us from law keeping in order to go to Heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5


It is not God’s intention that there be a lack of improvement in the way you live because you are not under law but under grace!

In fact God’s intention is that you show improvement in a dramatic way because of His work in your life! Romans 8:3-4

The law couldn’t save you because it is a religion of do and do perfectly or perish!

The death of God’s Son paid for your sins.

Now we are to fulfill not the letter of the law, but the righteousness of the law through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

God’s intention is that we live more righteously now than we ever did before we trusted Jesus Christ as our Savior!

Anything less than that is a travesty!


Romans 6:16 - Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

This verse is giving us a sobering axiom or principle. Everybody is slave to somebody.


The only one who is free from being a slave is God.

There’s no choice in the matter.


How can you tell whose fool or slave you are?

It is whom you obey!


If you habitually obey sinful urges so that you have sinful attitudes and do sinful things, you are a servant to sin!


And as it says, at the end of this chapter, “the wages of sin is death.”  Nothing good comes from sin. When it controls you are in bad shape.


If we habitually obey the Lord we will be the servants of righteousness.  It does not mean that we are sinless, but it does mean that the general pattern of our lives is righteousness. Matthew 6:24

You can’t serve two masters.

That’s the principle here.

It’s one or the other. You serve sin or righteousness.


Examine your life. Are you motivated by your own desires or by a desire to please God?

If you are motivated by your own desires you are a slave to sin!

If you are motivated by living righteously for the Lord, you are the slave of Christ and hence a slave to righteousness.


Whose slave are you? Have you been truly saved?





When you became a Christian you received a fantastic promotion!

Romans 6:17-18 - 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. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Paul tells us flat out. Our natural state, the state in which we were born was as “servants of sin”.  We were sinners by nature and sinners by practice!

But when a person places their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, a dramatic change takes place and it’s worthy of our thanks and praise.

Salvation came when you obeyed “from the heart”, the real you that “form of doctrine” or teaching which was given to you. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Romans 10:9-10

Obeying from the heart does not stop at salvation.

Now, because you know Jesus as your Savior and have God, the Holy Spirit living in you heart, you will also obey God’s Word from your heart.

You will still obey the doctrine, the teaching found in God’s Word.

Romans 6:18 - Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

You are no longer in bondage to sin!

You are now the servant of righteousness.

What a promotion!

You are free from the domination of sin to live under the domination of righteousness through your Lord Jesus Christ!

I say again! WHAT A PROMOTION!



We do run into problems as Christians, because we are not perfect, and often we seem to find more service to unrighteousness in our lives that service to righteousness.

The solution is to learn the pattern!

Romans 6:19 - I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

Before Adam sinned he had a brain and an understanding with was remarkable!  Since Adam sinned our understanding is a lot more limited. That’s why Paul had to speak simply in terms that his readers would understand.

Before we came to know Jesus as our Savior, we had no choice but to yield our members as servants to uncleanness, or impurity. That led to a chain of iniquity unto iniquity or “lawlessness unto lawlessness”.

Sin is like a fast moving cancer takes out anything in its path!

But now, since our promotion, we are the “servants of righteousness”.

Therefore we are to yield every part of our bodies as servants to righteousness.  We are no longer obligated to serve sin as we saw in Romans 6:6-7

Romans 6:6-7 - Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Instead we are to obey Romans 6:12-13. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

As we said last week our bodies are to be presented once and for all to God.

Romans 12:1 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And after that, your specific members are to be yielded to God as His slaves.

The pattern of your life according to Romans 6:19, is to yield your bodies as servants to righteousness which leads to holiness, or sanctification or holy living.  It is the thought of being entirely set apart for God.

So what about you Christian?  Are you ready to live by the pattern God has given you?  Are you ready to live up to your promotion?

Can people say of your life, “WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT?”