"And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness." - Romans 6:18
If I called you a slave, would you be offended? Many would. Slavery is a thing of the past in our modern capitalist culture. We are healthy, wealthy and wise. For the most part our needs are met, and we are free to come and go as we please. Yet I fear that this mindset is misleading many Christians today.
What does it mean to be a slave of righteousness? That we have to abide by rules or we will not make it to heaven? Not at all! God wants us to be healthy, wealthy and wise as long as it brings Him glory. Yet we constantly make righteous living a chore. Isn't righteousness the best way to live even if it means that we give up our freedom to live lives of chaos - lives without discipline - in which we are tossed about by our whims and selfish desires?
Our culture tells us that freedom means I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, that I can be whoever I want to be and that I can make my own decisions. But even in our culture there are limits, there are laws, there are rules and we must abide by them or pay the price. It is similar in the Kingdom. The price is different and the reasons are different, yet the principle remains. We all know that our freedom in the U.S. was bought with a price. Yet how much more did Jesus pay the price on the cross for all of our sins that we may be spiritually free, that our spiritual debts would be paid? Righteousness is the fruit of that freedom. Righteousness does not denote rules and laws. It means that we are in right standing with the Lord, and thus we can live in relation to Him. I think we can agree that His way is the best way and the law of life is always better than the law of sin and death.
To be a slave to righteousness is to have a hunger and desire to know God and to live in communion with Him. As we abide in Him, He abides is us and we no longer begrudgingly live according to His law. We ache for it. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." I want to be a slave to righteousness, do you?
Other verses to consider: Proverbs 12:28, Matthew 5:6; 7:21, Romans 6:1-2, 18-23; 8:2, 1 Corinthians 7:23
"Lord, I thank you for the freedom that you bought for me on the cross. Thank you for your presence in my life. Help me to abide in you each day so that I may walk in right standing with you and live a holy life. Instill in me a renewed hunger and passion for you. To you be the glory. Amen."