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Romans 6:7, 19 reads, For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin…Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy.
The Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible7 notes that when Romans was written, many intellectuals would use the illustration of slavery to speak against wrong ideas. As such, the Apostle Paul uses a similar argument by saying, “You are no longer slaves to sin!” Those who first read his letter would have known the illustration and would have rejoiced at the thought that they need no longer be burdened by sin. That they indeed had been given New Life, and a New Nature.
But Paul then flips the argument around and encouraged the Christians in Rome to be slaves of righteous living. You can just imagine them reading his letter and thinking, What?! You just told us that we had a new life. Now you’re telling us to be slaves again?”
But Paul wasn’t encouraging the people to be slaves of sin. Instead, he was saying to be slaves to righteous living. His argument was simple: Righteous living leads to New Freedom.
READING & JOURNALING:
How does being a slave to righteous living actually lead to experiencing freedom and fruitfulness in life?
Heavenly Father, I confess that when I think about being a slave to righteousness, it’s easy for me to think about a checklist of what’s right and what’s wrong. But I’m continually learning that being a slave to righteousness isn’t about a checklist but is simply about me growing in my knowledge and understanding of who You are, as well as growing in my knowledge of understanding of who You have made me to be. I pray that the truths of who You are and who I am will open my eyes to the freedom only You can provide. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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