Experience of Salvation

Lesson 1998
Tags: Christian service; Salvation; Romans 6:17-22
Excerpted from Serving God: A Plan for Success

Biblical Text

Romans 6.17-22

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.

18   Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

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.

20   For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

21   What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things [is] death.

22   But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.


  • Serving God is impossible for unregenerate men who do not know the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Prior to salvation, we were “the servants of sin” (6.17, 20). We presented the members of our bodies to the service of uncleanness and lived in contempt of the law (6.19). We were “free from righteousness” (6.20), that is, we had no power to do anything but serve sin. Our lifestyle had death for its end (6.21).
  • Salvation makes it possible for us to serve God. Through our acceptance of the gospel message (6.17), God made us “servants of righteousness” (6.18). This does not mean that righteous behavior now comes automatically; rather, it becomes a realistic possibility. We are called on to “yield [our] members servants to righteousness” (6.19). As we submit to God, we can live a life that is fitting for heirs of eternal life (6.22).


  • Unbelievers cannot be expected to observe Christ-honoring moral standards. In fact, it is natural for them to do just the opposite. The proper foundation for serving Christ is a relationship with him.
  • Believers should live their lives in a way that is consistent with their eternal destiny. Yet such behavior is not a given; it must be consciously chosen, as texts such as Romans 12.1 make clear.


  • Does the unbeliever who observes a moral lifestyle serve God by doing so?