And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
Before you were a Christian you were a slave, in bondage to sin. Even when you did not want to sin,you were unable to do otherwise (Rom. 7:15–24). When God saved you, Hefreed you from sin, but you remained a slave. Now, rather than beingbound to sin, you are bound to righteousness. In every area of yourlife you are obligated to do what honors God. There are some whobelieve that when Christ sets them free, they are free to do whateverthey want. That is not so. The apostle Paul realized that when hebegan following Christ he became a “bondservant” of Christ, and hislife was no longer his own (Rom. 1:1).
Now, rather than being enslavedto sin, he was enslaved to God and His righteousness. When peoplemistreated him, he had forfeited the right to respond from his naturalfeelings but was compelled to offer a righteous response. When he wastempted, he was no longer free to succumb to his feelings. Paul couldnot enter the workplace and act selfishly. He understood that, as aslave of righteousness, he was obligated to live a holy life, honoringhis Master. Righteous living is not an option for a Christian. Nor isit something we must try to do over time. It is an obligation,mandatory for every child of God. Our freedom in Christ is not freedomto do what we want. It is freedom to live righteously, something wecould not do when we were in bondage to sin. Now that we are free tolive righteously, we must allow the Holy Spirit to produce in us aholy, sanctified life (1 John 3:7).