Free to live in God’s dimension, now

Slavery, to Paul, isn’t all negative. Slavery to sin is all negative, yes, but not slavery to righteousness. In Paul’s mind, slavery takes on a good meaning when applied to righteousness, but not when it applies to sin. How come?

It’s because of what righteousness isand what it does for us. So, what is “righteousness”? It’s defined in Romans 6:17 as “wholeheartedly obeying the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.” It’s a love for everything that God is and says. And what does that do for us? Verse 22, “the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” So living a life of righteousness – or loving everything there is about God – leads to eternal life, a world that sin never let us get a look in on.

And when does this new world of eternal life open up to us? When we’re righteous. So if we’re righteous now, we enter eternal life now, which makes total sense, because what’s the point of God freeing us from a life in slavery to sin if there’s no alternative life we can enter instead? But there is an alternative, Paul says – it’s eternal life, which he defines as “the life HE (Jesus) lives,” verse 10.

Slavery to righteousness, therefore, has a benefit sin doesn’t have. Sin confines our lives to a life that ends in nothing, but righteousness opens up the eternal life of Jesus Christ to us. While sin controlled us we had no idea this other life of Jesus Christ even existed, but Jesus solved that for us by uniting us with him, and “if we’ve been united with him in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection,” verse 5. Once we’re freed from sin by his death, we’re free to live the life he rose to after his death. That’s the alternative we can now experience instead.

So, what’s the resurrected life of Jesus Christ like?

In verse 9, when Christ rose from the dead, sin and death no longer had any “mastery over him.” The same applies to us too, then, right? Yes, verse 11:.”In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Freed from the control of sin, we enter a whole new world where “sin shall no longer be your master,” verse 14. Instead, we come alive to God, to the world in which he lives, where no “evil desire” (verse 12) exists.

Imagine such a world where no evil, rotten desire exists. Who wouldn’t want such a world? But that’s what Jesus’ death and resurrection freed up for us to experience, starting in this life now.


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