Everyone has two choices in how to live their life – either as slaves of sin or slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:16 states “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” For a Christian, Jesus Christ is their new master to whom they submit and they no longer are a slave to sin but rather are slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:18. Christians are His bondservants (Romans 1:1). The word for bondservant is “Doulos” which referred in Greek culture to the involuntary, permanent service of a slave although Paul elevates the word by describing a servant who willingly commits himself to serve a master he loves and respects.
The resulting fruit of becoming slaves of God (righteousness) is holiness and eternal life. “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness and the end, everlasting life.” Romans 6:22. We will still commit acts of sin after salvation due to the weakness of our flesh and we still have to present our members as slaves of righteous on an ongoing basis. Romans 6:19. However, we will no longer love our sin and it will not be the tenor of our life. Being slaves to righteousness we will be drawn to righteous living and this is one of the chief evidences of our salvation. When we sin we will have a godly sorrow which produces repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10) and, in turn, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).
G. K. Chesterton has said “What we call emancipation is always and of necessity simply the free choice of the soul between one set of limitations and another.” Everyone is a slave in life either to sin or righteousness. As Christians, let us resolve in the New Year to choose obedience to God and “present our members as slaves of righteousness” to live the holy life God has called us to.