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Sunday, 26 May 2013


Rev. Brent Russett
By Rev. Brent Russett
Pastor of Sunnyside Wesleyan Church in Ottawa:   

PODCAST LINK to CFRA broadcast - Sunday, May 26th, 2013:


Slave to Sin Son of God’

Good morning. And welcome to good news in the morning. My name is Brent Russett. I am the Senior Pastor at Sunnyside Wesleyan Church. It is my pleasure to look at some of life’s challenges, and then bring you some good news in the morning.

            This program is sponsored by Good News Christian Ministries, Box 184 Rideau Ferry, ON K0G1W0. Or you can find us on the web at

This morning I want to remind you who are followers of Jesus about who you are. For those of you who don’t know Jesus, I want to tell you about what he wants to be for you.

            I am going to read a passage that is kind of strange and hard to understand from Romans 6. But I hope by the end of the program that you will get what the apostle Paul is trying to say.

6  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin‑‑7  because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
8  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
9  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13  Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14  For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

(Skipping down to verse 17)

17  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

            We are going to play a selection of Music then I want to tell you a story.

Music: Peace of the Rock 3:25 Gaither Vocal Band  (Album Peace of the Rock)

The picture in this passage of scripture is of two people. One whom is a slave to sin, another who is a slave to righteousness. This morning if you would use your imagination with me, I would like to put this passage of scripture in story form. Listen carefully as I tell you this allegory, and you may just see yourself in the story.

Once upon a time there were two farms that were situated side by side. One farm was a family farm. The Father oversaw the workings of the farm, and gave directions so that the work would be done. His children  carried out his directions, and that was how the work was accomplished. Sometimes the children were lazy. Sometimes they didn’t  do what they were told. And when that happened the state of the farm showed it. But for the most part, this was a well run family farm which produced all sorts of healthy food and fruits.

 If you looked far enough back into the history of the family, you would see that each of the Father=s children was adopted. But that never seemed to enter into family life. If you were part of the family, you were part of the family. There were no second class children in this family. The motto and in fact the reality of this family was love. All the children loved their father. And for the most part they loved one another. When they failed to love one another a frown came over their father=s face. They were reminded some times in subtle and sometimes in not to subtle terms that this was to be a family of love.

Beside the family farm was another farm. This farm seemed to be owned by a conglomerate. At least it was run, not as family making a life, but as a business making a product. All that mattered was the output. The crops they grew were very different from their neighbors farm. They grew weed. They grew coco that was refined in other parts of the farm.  There were a lot of suspicious crops on this land.

 The labour on this farm was carried out by slaves. Some worked in the fields tilling the plants. Some worked in the warehouse on the farm processing the plants.

If you had a chance to talk to one of these slaves and asked them how they became slaves, they would say it just happened. I got addicted to pleasing myself, and in order to keep up the habit, I went into debt with the boss of this here farm, and I ended up as his slave.

The boss was a cruel man. A harsh man. He had no mercy on his slaves. He would beat them until their backs bled and their hearts became hard. The sting of his lash, the mercilessness of the pace, made the slaves into a people who avoided their hearts, for fear they might see who they were. They were burdened down with tasks, on a never ending treadmill. There was no chance of escape. They were slaves for life.

The slaves were required to sample the products they produced. This threw them from one end of the pleasure spectrum to the other. They experienced extreme pleasure, and then they would plunge to despair, where they would desperately look for another hit of pleasure. They lived a life that was meaningless. Sin is a hard taskmaster.

It just so happened that it was the fall season, and time for the ploughing to be done. One of the sons from the family farm was dispatched to plough the field that bordered on the property line between the two farms. Just across the fence was a slave performing the same task. Except the slave was being beaten by the taskmaster and he was trying to recover from another pleasure despair ride.

When the task master finally left, the son walked up to the fence and struck up a conversation with the slave. He said Awhy do you let him treat you like that. He calls you all sorts of names, he beats you, and he is unforgiving.@

The slave retorted, AAre you any better off. Here we are working side by side, doing similar work. There is no difference between you and me@.

The Son answered, AAwe but there is. I do what I do because I love my father. He is such a wonderful person. He has done so much for me. I do his work because I want to. I do it out of sense of gratitude. Not out of a sense of fear. There is a big difference.@:

The conversation went back and forth, as the Son and the slave compared lives. Eventually the Slave wanted to end the conversation because, as he told the son, even if I do see things your way, there is nothing I can do. Once a slave always a slave.

The Son said that is not necessarily so. Then he lifted his shirt and showed the slave his back. There you could see the scars that the whips of sin had left. But they had been healed.

The slave said, I don=t understand. My contract says that I will be a slave until I die. And I have checked the law there is no escape clause. The Son said, that is what my contract said as well, but as you can see, I am no longer a slave. I have been taken in as a Son in this man=s house. I know he will take you in if you ask him too.

The slave said well that is what I want, will you go get your father? And that is exactly what the son did. He went and brought the father to the slave.

The father told the slave I would be happy to adopt you. In fact, I never turn down anyone who wants to be a part of my family. But there is the thing of your contract to your task master. You are right, it is a life time contract.

But let’s just say that you were to die right now. Your contract would be fulfilled is that not true. The slave answered, Awell that is true, but if I were I were killed right now, what would be the point.@. Well the father went on. Let=s just say you were to die right now, and then be resurrected from the dead; So that you were given a new life. And that old addiction to self, would be gone, instead you would want to do what is right. The reality of it is that instead of being a slave to sin, you would be a slave to righteousness. It is a new kind of life. If I could guarantee you that new life would you go for it.

Well, said the slave, if you would guarantee it.. But you know if you kill me, and then don=t bring me back to life, what good would a guarantee be. The father being patient said, Ayou simply need to believe that I will do what I said I would do@. That is what it comes down to. Do you believe me or not? Will you put your faith in me?

But let me tell you how it works. I have one Son who is not like the others you see here on the farm. He is my only begotten Son. If you can understand it, he and I are one.

He never was a slave, but he went through this death life thing before you.  He will take you through the process. In fact what I am asking you to do, is to die with him, so that you can be raised to life again with him.

The slave considered all that he had been told. He came to the conclusion that the life he had wasn’t worth holding on to. And he found that he really did believe what the father was promising. So he said, to the father, I want to become your son, what do I do?

The Father said, ADo you see that hill over yonder. I want you to walk over there. There you will find my only begotten son. I want you to give your life to him.

The slave not only walked he ran. But when he had climbed the hill, he found something that he was not expecting. There was a man hanging on a cross. The slave walked up to the cross and knelt down. He didn=t know what to do, except what had been told to him. So he said, God=s Son, I give my life to you. I don=t like my old life as a slave to sin. So here is my life, or what=s left of it.

It was hard to explain what happened next. It was as if, for the first time the slave saw the awfulness of his sin. He saw all that he had done. He saw how he had not only hurt himself but others. And then in a sudden shock of realization he saw that his life of selfishness, his life of rebellion, his life of sin had put this undeserving man on the cross. The weight of sin crushed him, until he wept. He realized that his sin went to his very core. He was a slave to sin because at the core of who he was, he was a sinner. In anguish he cried out, O wretched man that I am, who can free me from this body of sin?

But then something else happened. He looked up at the Son on the cross, and saw compassion on his face. Then something amazing happened. It was as if this burden of sin was sucked right out of him. He could feel the man on the cross taking his sin upon himself. But if the sin went to the very core of who he was, and if it was sucked out, how could he survive. He knew he couldn=t, AND HE DIED. If you are a sinner to the core, and the sin is removed, there is nothing left to sustain life. If the slave could have looked up at the cross at that moment he would have seen that the Son had died too.

In that place of death, time became meaningless. No one knows what happened during that moment when time hung in suspension. But there was a flash of light, and the Son was no longer on the cross. Instead he was standing over the corpse of the slave. He then spoke the words, AArise, I give you my life@. And just as God had breathed life into Adam and Eve, so the Son=s life was breathed into what use to be the slave.

The slave awoke. The bitterness of the grief over his sin was gone. It was replaced with the joy of his new life. He was no longer a slave to sin. He had died. The contract had been fulfilled. The Son had done the work so that he could be free. He did not understand all about this new life. All that he knew was that he had new life.

The Son took the slave by the hand and lead him down the hill, to find the father. As they walked together, these strange words echoed through the mind of the former slave. AI have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.@

The Son lead the former slave to the father. When the father saw him from a far off, he opened his arms. He ran toward him. When he got to him, he hug him, and He said, My Son. With that the former slave broke down and cried. For he understood, that the father loved him. He understood that he had been accepted into the family. The love that he had been told about became a reality.

Life certainly changed after that. Fitting into a functioning family is an adventure. There is a learning curve. Sometimes it is hard to figure out what is expected. But the one thing, maybe the only thing the family had in common was that they loved the father. And that was enough.

The new son also had to learn new farming techniques. Growing healthy fruit, is a lot different from growing weed. But he was starting to catch on to the fact that if he followed the father=s directions, the fruit grew in it=s time.

One day the new son was working in the field that was on the property line between the two farms. He was working along side of the fence just going about his business, when right behind him on the other side of the fence a whip cracked, and the old task master yelled at him, what are you doing over there, get over here at once and tend my crop.

He had been so conditioned by the sound of the whip for so many years, that before he knew it, he had jumped over the fence, and was tending to the poppy plants.

When the day was over, he felt like a person in no man=s land. He knew that he didn=t belong in the bunk house with all the other slaves. But he felt very sheepish about going back to the father’s house. But he asked himself the question, where else can I go. So he hopped over the fence, and went back to the father’s house. There standing at the door was the father. He wanted to sneak away. He wanted to hide.

But he remembered the love of the Father, so he went up to him and told him the story. He said, I didn=t do the work you assigned for me today because I hopped the fence and worked in the Neighbour=s field. Please forgive me father.

The father forgave him. Then he explained to him. Listen, you are my son. Your old taskmaster has no rights over you. Your contract was fulfilled when you died with my only begotten Son. The taskmaster can yell and scream all he wants, but you don=t have to listen to him. He is no longer master over you.

Old habits die hard. But the son soon found out that the crack of the whip didn=t mean anything when he was on the right side of the fence. He also discovered that the task master had work for him to do, and the father had work for him to do. What work he did just depended who he listened too,

As the season passed, he was able to taste from the fruit he was growing. When he tasted of this fruit, and found how good it was, he decided there and then he was going to dedicate himself to being a fruit grower. He didn=t have time to farm, on the other side of the fence. He had good food to grow.

There are some of you here today, who are still slaves to sin. The contract with sin has never been broken. You have never become a child of God.  The bible says, John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: (AV) Today he would invite you to come. It does mean giving your life to God. It does mean turning from your sin. But it also does mean becoming a child of God.

If you would like to become a child of God, then I would encourage you to pray a prayer something like this. Dear Father. I am a sinner. I have lived apart from you. I ask for your forgiveness.  I understand that Jesus died for my sin and took my sin upon himself. I ask that you would put your new life in me. Thank you  that you keep your promises. Thank you for making me your child. Amen

Some of you here today are still conditioned to respond to the crack of the whip. When the taskmaster of sin says jump, almost before you know what you are doing you are jumping. Go back and remember to whom you belong. Sin no longer is your master..

Today I would invite you to once again present you bodies as instruments of righteousness, to do the work of the father.
 count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

There are a number of you who are doing a good job tending your fruit trees. You are bearing the fruit of the Spirit. I would encourage you to keep on keeping on.

Let's pray

Dear Jesus, Thank you so much for dying on the cross for us. Father, thank you so much for your love. Thank you that you receive all that come to you into your family. Lord, I pray for those, today, who are making a decision about coming into your family. I pray that they would pray the prayer about receiving you into their heart and giving their lives to you. Lord, may they receive the joy of full salvation.
I pray for those, Lord, who are at a place where they keep on jumping over the fence. I pray, Lord, that you give them the grace to listen to your voice, and not to the voice of the old task master.
I pray for them that bear in great fruit, that you would bless them, again and again, as they continue to produce the fruit that you ask them to produce.
I ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thank you, Listeners for your words of encouragement, and for keeping us in your  prayers.,   Keeping this program on the air continues to be a work of faith. If you can help with that, please make out a cheque payable to Good News Christian Ministries, Box 184 , Rideau Ferry , On. K0G  1W0. Or you can give online by going to

Alan Churchill, the founding pastor of this ministry is writing a monthly devotional. Alan is well known for his spiritual insight and ability to communicate the truth of God. If you would like to receive this devotional, go to our website at and sign up to start receiving it right to you e-mail inbox. We know that God will bless you through this ministry.

May you know   Jesus Christ personally and profoundly.  May the Holy Spirit reside deep within your heart .  And may the heavenly Father surround you with His constant and abiding and accompanying love

Music Matt Redman Friend of sinners – The Friendship and The Fear 3:10

-Rev. Brent Russett

To listen to the above broadcast, click on the following link:

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