Freedom in Christ
Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching to which you were handed over, and having been set free from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. Romans 6:16-18
From the text, Paul used an analogy to aid in understanding. He used the analogy of slavery for it was a prevalent practice during his time. He used the idea of slavery and likened it to our choice of who will be in control of our lives. When God saved us by acknowledging Him to be the Lord and Savior of our life, He freed us from sin, but we remained a slave. Now, rather than being bound to sin, we are bound to righteousness. In every area of our life we are oblige to do what honors God. There are those who believe that when Christ sets them free, they are free to do whatever they want. That is not so. The apostle Paul realized that when he surrendered his life to Christ he became a “bond-servant” of Christ, and his life was no longer his own. “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). He is no longer enslaved to sin but he was enslaved to God so he could be God’s expression of righteousness. “...having been set free from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.” When mistreated, he was no longer bounded to respond from his natural feelings but was compelled to offer a righteous response. When he was tempted, he was no longer free to give in to his feelings. Paul could no longer be in a workplace and continue to act based on his whims and selfishness. He lived with a different motivation for he was a slave of righteousness. His goal is to live a life pleasing to God, honoring his Master, and for the praise of His glory. Living right before God is no longer an option for a Christian. It is not something we must try to do over time but the immediate result of having a right relationship with God. Our freedom in Christ is not freedom to do what we want but the freedom to live the life God gave us. This freedom to live righteously becomes an expression of our joy knowing Christ as Lord and Savior. This can only happen when we allow the Holy Spirit to produce in us a holy, sanctified life. “And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezekiel 36:27).
Noel De Guzman