Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. – John 8:34
It is easy for all men and women by nature to place in the category of “servants of sin” all who are immoral, irreligious, and insincere. Such people whose lives and conduct are characterized by such sins are truly servants of sin. But Christ was speaking to moral, religious men who appeared righteous outwardly. It would be convenient for us to say simply that they were not sincere about their religion (and there probably were many of them who were not sincere), but, on the whole, the Pharisees were the most dedicated and most sincere. How could Christ say, then, that they were servants of sin? He was speaking of the sin that is common to all of us by nature and which deceives all of us by nature. Before God grants genuine God-given faith to a person as an object of His grace in Christ, that person is a servant of sin no matter what else may be said of him. He may be religious, sincere, dedicated, kind, humble (as the world sees it), charitable, but before salvation by God's grace in Christ, all of this is nothing more than "fruit unto death" (Rom. 7:5). Before we hear and believe God's Gospel, His declaration of eternal salvation and final glory conditioned on Christ alone, based on His righteousness alone, all we can do in religion and morality is try to establish a righteousness of our own (Rom. 10:1-3), and this is opposed to God's glory and Christ's pre-eminence in salvation. It is a denial of Christ and His Gospel. A servant of sin, then, is one who thinks that something other than the merits of Christ's obedience and death can in some way recommend him unto God. All unbelievers are servants of sin. Thank God He delivers His people from being servants of sin to being servants of righteousness (Rom. 6:17-18). A person who is by God's grace a servant of righteousness may have been just as moral and sincere before salvation as he is after salvation, but now his motive for being moral is different. Now, being a servant of righteousness, his motive is not legalism. His motive now is grace and gratitude – the assurance of all of salvation based on the righteousness of Christ according to God's grace and mercy.
--- Bill Parker
THE ROCK OF SALVATION
"Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up to glory."
(I Tim. 3:16)
There was absolute necessity for the Immortal Word to assume our nature without sin in the womb of the Virgin, that in that nature He might bear all our transgressions away, die for our iniquities, and shed His precious blood for the remission of our sins; that sin might be condemned in His flesh; that is, in the holy soul and body of the immaculate Jesus. Paul says, "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." (Rom. 8. 3.) "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures." (I Cor. 15. 3) The awful and solemn death of Jesus, His crucifixion and blood-shedding, is the pillar of the Christian religion, and the grand foundation of the church of God. The sinner who is awakened to see and feel his lost, ruined, and undone state; to behold the inflexible holiness and justice of God, and brought at the same time to feel himself sinking within under the terrors of God in a broken law - that poor guilty, sin-condemned wretch, has nowhere else to look for peace, comfort, or rest, but to the Lord Jesus Christ. He died for our sins. He "was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification."
Now this is the very gospel the apostle Paul preached; therefore he lays such emphasis upon it in that memorable chapter, I Cor. 15. Let me read a few verses of it. He says, "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand: by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures: and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." (vv. 1-3) The solemn and awful death of Jesus, the incarnate God: His blood-shedding for the remission of our sins, and His resurrection from the dead, is the foundation upon which God's church is raised for eternity.