Something happens in our lives when we receive the grace of God given to us in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. We used to be under a slave master who seemed quite charming but turned out to be very cruel. The Apostle Paul says, “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness” (Romans 6:20) In other words, you really did not care about what God desired for your life. That seemed like a pretty good deal, but you were under a spell. In the end, what did that master give you? Death. Death in the fullest scope of the word with its attendant misery, sadness, and frustrations. He tricked you into thinking that freeing yourself from what God commands would make you happy, but it did not.
But then something happened, you came under another slave master. Yet, this slavery was not like any slavery anyone has ever experienced under an earthly master. The Apostle Paul says, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life” (Romans 6:22) In other words, when he asked you to take his hand, he set you free from that other slave master. And what did this new master give you? Sanctification leading to eternal life. Sanctification in that your time with this Master, learning from him, began to make you like him in his manifold array of wonderful qualities. You began to become like him in his love. You began to become like him in his willingness to serve others. You began to become like him in his willingness to share in the joys as well as the sadness of others. This sanctification is leading to life. Life in the fullest scope with its attendant joy, contentment, and even endurance, as you share his light even as you continue to live in a world too often cruel.
A gospel culture of life is life giving. It produces people who are being sanctified by their new master, who want to give of themselves, who want to make a positive impact, who want to share, bear, and rejoice with one another. It’s really a shadow of what we all are truly longing for, the fullest experience of life, true life, eternal life, as a community of people, in heaven.