CMF eZine The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship. 7 January Romans 6:22 - Free Slaves By Bob Flynn Romans 0 Comment Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin - As being free from righteousness is the finished character of a sinner, so being made free from sin is the finished character of a genuine Christian. And become servants to God - They were transferred from the service of one master to that of another: they were freed from the slavery of sin, and engaged in the service of God. Fruit unto holiness - Holiness of heart was the principle; and righteousness of life the fruit. (Dr. Adam Clarke) But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. (NASB) But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. (KJV) But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. (NLT) But now, freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. (NET) John 3:36 And anyone who believes in God's Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn't obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God's angry judgment." (NLT) The "end fruit," the culmination and completion (telos - completion as in a state of perfection) of God's plan is our sanctification and eternal life. There is no more perfect example than that of Christ Jesus Himself who yielded to the will of the Father. This is our fruit (derived benefit) of His holiness permeating every fiber of our being by His presence in our lives. We are now delivered from sin's slavery and have been transformed into slaves of His righteousness (bond slaves of Christ) who is Lord. It is hard for the American mindset to understand that there can be such amazing liberty in slavery because what our flesh really desires is freedom to do what our fallen nature desires. But as we have seen this has been described as bondage with the illusion of freedom. Only in Christ is there true liberty because our current tent of habitation is a vessel of corruption. So we wait patiently for our Lord's return when these earthly bodies will be raised incorruptible and our final perfection realized. However, the here and now is life in the Spirit who will lead us in the way everlasting. In the Greek mind the idea of freedom (eleutheroo?) was in contrast to slavery (douloo?) and was considered in the political context. Aristotle phrase this as κοινων?α τ?ν ?λευθ?ρων ,the assembly of freedom (The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament). In this sense we are now the congregation of the liberated! Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin - As being free from righteousness is the finished character of a sinner, so being made free from sin is the finished character of a genuine Christian. And become servants to God - They were transferred from the service of one master to that of another: they were freed from the slavery of sin, and engaged in the service of God. Fruit unto holiness - Holiness of heart was the principle; and righteousness of life the fruit. (Dr. Adam Clarke) But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. (NASB) But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. (KJV) But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. (NLT) But now, freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. (NET) John 3:36 And anyone who believes in God's Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn't obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God's angry judgment." (NLT) The "end fruit," the culmination and completion (telos - completion as in a state of perfection) of God's plan is our sanctification and eternal life. There is no more perfect example than that of Christ Jesus Himself who yielded to the will of the Father. This is our fruit (derived benefit) of His holiness permeating every fiber of our being by His presence in our lives. We are now delivered from sin's slavery and have been transformed into slaves of His righteousness (bond slaves of Christ) who is Lord. It is hard for the American mindset to understand that there can be such amazing liberty in slavery because what our flesh really desires is freedom to do what our fallen nature desires. But as we have seen this has been described as bondage with the illusion of freedom. Only in Christ is there true liberty because our current tent of habitation is a vessel of corruption. So we wait patiently for our Lord's return when these earthly bodies will be raised incorruptible and our final perfection realized. However, the here and now is life in the Spirit who will lead us in the way everlasting. In the Greek mind the idea of freedom (eleutheroo?) was in contrast to slavery (douloo?) and was considered in the political context. Aristotle phrase this as κοινων?α τ?ν ?λευθ?ρων ,the assembly of freedom (The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament). In this sense we are now the congregation of the liberated! Related Romans 8:21 - Set Free From the Bondage of Decay Romans 8:21 — Set Free From the Bondage of Decay Rom 8:21 The creation itself (autē hē ktisis). It is the hope of creation, not of the Creator. Nature “possesses in the feeling of her unmerited suffering a sort of presentiment of her future deliverance” (Godet). (WORD PICTURES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT by Archibald Thomas Robertson) That the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (NASB) Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (KJV) The creation looks forward to the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay. (NLT) That the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God's children. (NET) From bondage to liberty. Herein lies the true concept of freedom. We often consider our freedom as an ability to do. But the Scriptural freedom is liberty, the deliverance from the oppression and bondage of corruption. The world system is a system held in corruption and it can and does entrap those who would hear the call her sirens. But the promise kept, the prayer answered, is that Christ in us is greater than the world and greater still than our fallen desires. This is not intestinal fortitude, nor anything else that can be conjured up from the flesh or the latent power of the soul. Rather it is the true and eternal God flowing like a river of living water through the valley of dry bones that moment by moment brings us back to life. And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share His divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires. (2 Peter 1:4 NLT) From the bondage of corruption - This does not differ materially from “vanity,” Romans 8:20. It implies that this state is not a willing state, or not a condition of choice, but is one of bondage or servitude (see Romans 7:15-24); and that it is a corrupt, imperfect, perishing condition. It is one that leads to sin, and temptation, and conflict and anxiety. It is a condition often which destroys the peace, mars the happiness, dims the hope, enfeebles the faith, and weakens the love of Christians, and this is called the bondage of corruption. It is also one in which temporal death has dominion, and in the bondage of which, believers as well as unbelievers shall be held. Yet from all this bondage the children of God shall be delivered. (Dr. Albert Barnes) The glorious liberty - Greek, The freedom of the glory of the children of God. This is, (1) “Liberty.” It is freedom from the bondage under which the Christian groans. It will be freedom from sin; from corruption; from evil desires; from calamity; from death. The highest “freedom “in the universe is that which is enjoyed in heaven, where the redeemed are under the sovereignty and government of their king, but where they do that, and that only, which they desire. All is slavery but the service of God; all is bondage but that law which accords with the supreme wish of the soul, and where commands accord with the perfect desires of the heart. (2) this is glorious liberty. It is encompassed with majesty; attended with honor; crowned with splendor. The heavenly world is often described as a state of glory; Note, Romans 2:10. (Dr. Albert Barnes) I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can't. I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God's law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? (Romans 7:15-24 NLT) But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. (Romans 2:10 NLT) Romans 6:07 - Free At Last Rom 6:7 For he that is dead - With Christ. Is freed from the guilt of past, and from the power of present, sin, as dead men from the commands of their former masters. (John Wesley) G1344 δικαιο?ω dikaióo?; contracted dikaio??, fut. dikaio??so?, from díkaios (G1342), just, righteous. To justify. Verbs which end in -óo? generally indicate bringing out that which a person is or that which is desired, but not usually referring to the mode in which the action takes place. In the case of dikaióo?, it means to bring out the fact that a person is righteous. (Word Study-General Editor: Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D) for he who has died is G1344freed from sin. (NASB) For he that is dead is G1344freed from sin. (NASB) For when we died with Christ we were G1344set free from the power of sin. (NLT) (For someone who has died has been G1344freed from sin.) (NET) and through Him everyone who believes is G1344freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses. (Acts 13:39 NASB) Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. (Romans 8:12 NLT) So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude He had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. (1 Peter 4:1 NLT) Whom do you choose to believe? This has to be one of the most amazing (and yet either unknown or one that lives in disbelief) verses in Scripture. Why is that so? Because we have not experienced it! The "highway of holiness" (which is Christ Himself) has a ditch on either side. The first it the ditch of arrogance where we say that we can do this-we can live this life of holiness in the power of the flesh. The ditch on the other side of the highway is the ditch of passivity where we wait for the holy lightening bolt to come and change us into super-Christian before we can take another step. What shall we choose? Shall it be deception number one or deception number two? The way in the middle is the "only way!" His name is Jesus, and we must follow Him by faith. We then begin to see that faith and obedience are toes on the same foot. They must step together! We may not feel like we have a new chooser, but indeed we do! I suppose our first confession should be that we really don't want to follow or turn loose of our sinful ways. That becomes our first point of honesty and the place where the Spirit of Holiness begins to change our heart. Can you imaging? All of the power of the universe waiting to help you walk in the light of Christ! We who are dead are now ready to be led in the way everlasting! For he that is dead - This is evidently an expression having a proverbial aspect, designed to illustrate the sentiment just expressed. The Rabbis had an expression similar to this, “When one is dead he is free from commands.” (Grotius.) So says Paul, when a man dies he is exempt from the power and dominion of his master, of him who reigned over him. The Christian had been subject to sin before his conversion. But he has now become dead to it. And as when a servant dies, he ceases to be subject to the control of his master, so the Christian being now dead to sin, on the same principle, is released from the control of his former master, sin. Is Freed - The design of the apostle is not to say that the Christian is perfect, but that sin has ceased to have dominion over him, as a master ceases to have power over a slave when he is dead. That dominion may be broken, so that the Christian may not be a slave to sin, and yet he may be conscious of many failings and of much imperfection; see Romans 7. (Dr. Albert Barnes) Romans 3:25 - Free at last "And are justified — Pardoned and accepted. Freely — Without any merit of their own. By his grace — Not their own righteousness or works. Through the redemption — The price Christ has paid. Freely by his grace — One of these expressions might have served to convey the apostle's meaning; but he doubles his assertion, in order to give us the fullest conviction of the truth, and to impress us with a sense of its peculiar importance. It is not possible to find words that should more absolutely exclude all consideration of our own works and obedience, or more emphatically ascribe the whole of our justification to free, unmerited goodness." John Wesley Must guilty man remain under wrath? Is the wound for ever incurable? No; blessed be God, there is another way laid open for us. This is the righteousness of God; righteousness of his ordaining, and providing, and accepting. It is by that faith which has Jesus Christ for its object; an anointed Savior, so Jesus Christ signifies. Justifying faith respects Christ as a Savior, in all his three anointed offices, as Prophet, Priest, and King; trusting in him, accepting him, and cleaving to him: in all these, Jews and Gentiles are alike welcome to God through Christ. There is no difference, his righteousness is upon all that believe; not only offered to them, but put upon them as a crown, as a robe. It is free grace, mere mercy; there is nothing in us to deserve such favors. It comes freely unto us, but Christ bought it, and paid the price. And faith has special regard to the blood of Christ, as that which made the atonement. God, in all this, declares his righteousness. It is plain that he hates sin, when nothing less than the blood of Christ would satisfy for it. And it would not agree with his justice to demand the debt, when the Surety has paid it, and he has accepted that payment in full satisfaction. Matthew Henry Concise Commentary "whom God displayed publicly as a G2435propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;" (NASB) "Whom God hath set forth to be a G2435propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" (KJV) "For God presented Jesus as the G2435sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when He held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past," (NLT) "God publicly displayed him at his death as the G2435mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed." (NET) "God sent Christ to be our G2435sacrifice. Christ offered his life's blood, so that by faith in him we could come to God. And God did this to show that in the past he was right to be patient and forgive sinners. This also shows that God is right when he accepts people who have faith in Jesus." (CEV) "God offered him, so that by his blood he should become the means by which people's sins are forgiven through their faith in him. God did this in order to demonstrate that he is righteous. In the past he was patient and overlooked people's sins; but in the present time he deals with their sins, in order to demonstrate his righteousness. In this way God shows that he himself is righteous and that he puts right everyone who believes in Jesus." (GNB) G2435 ι?λαστη?ριος hilaste??rios; gen. hilaste?ríou, adj. from hiláskomai (G2433), to propitiate, expiate. Propitiatory, expiatory, merciful. Mercy seat, viewed as a subst. Used in the NT as a neut. noun. The lid or covering of the ark of the covenant made of pure gold, on and before which the high priest was to sprinkle the blood of the expiatory sacrifices on the Day of Atonement, and where the Lord promised to meet His people. Word Studies "used of the cover of the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies, which was sprinkled with the blood of the expiatory victim on the annual day of atonement (this rite signifying that the life of the people, the loss of which they had merited by their sins, was offered to God in the blood as the life of the victim, and that God by this ceremony was appeased and their sins expiated); hence the lid of expiation, the propitiatory. Thayer "An expiatory (place or thing), that is, (concretely) an atoning victim, or (specifically) the lid of the Ark (in the Temple): - mercy seat, propitiation. Strong To be a propitiation - ι?λαστη?ριον hilaste?rion. This word occurs but in one other place in the New Testament. Hebrews 9:5, and over it (the ark) the cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy-seat. It is used here to denote the lid or cover of the ark of the covenant. It was made of gold, and over it were the cherubim. Dr. Albert Barnes Propitiation (ι?λαστη?ριον) This word is most important, since it is the key to the conception of Christ's atoning work. In the New Testament it occurs only here and Hebrews 9:5; and must be studied in connection with the following kindred words: ι?λα?σκομαι which occurs in the New Testament only Luke 18:13, God be merciful, and Hebrews 2:17, to make reconciliation. Ι?λασμο?ς twice, 1John 2:2; 1John 4:10; in both cases rendered propitiation. The compound ε?ξιλα?σκομαι, which is not found in the New Testament, but is frequent in the Septuagint and is rendered purge, cleanse, reconcile, make atonement. (Marvin R. Vincent, D.D., Vincent Word Studies) "God then is the author of that free justification, because it pleased him: and Christ is he who suffered punishment for our sins, and in whom we have remission of them: and the means by which we apprehend Christ is faith. In short, the result is the setting forth of the goodness of God, that by this means it may appear that he is indeed merciful, and faithful in his promises, as he that freely, and of grace alone, justifies the believers." (Geneva Bible Notes) We can see from the Greek word definition that the translators struggle to find a single word to convey the fullness of what Christ has done for us. He is like unto the "mercy seat"—the very place on the Arc of the Covenant where the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled by the High Priest to make atonement for sin. In this case the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is that sacrifice and the blood is His that is the final and complete atonement for the sins of the world. "For all have sinned" and Jesus has paid the penalty for ALL. This then becomes the most amazing act of selflessness in the history of the universe. We are made right with God when we by faith believe in Christ's sacrifice as an atonement for our sins. He paid a debt we could not pay for the (our sins) the sins He did not commit so that we (his enemies) could accept a pardon we did not deserve and be made righteous in Him. Romans 6:06 - No Longer Slaves Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our (h) old man is crucified with (i) [him], that the (k) body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not (l) serve sin. (h) Our entire nature, as we are conceived and born into this world with sin, is called "old", partly by comparing that old Adam with Christ, and partly also in respect of the deformed state of our corrupt nature, which we change with a new. (i) Our corrupt nature is regarded as belonging to Christ, not because of what he has done, but by imputation. (k) That wickedness which remains in us. (l) The end of sanctification which we aim at, and will at length come to, that is, when God will be all in all. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes) knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; (NASB) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (KJV) We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. (NLT) We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (NET) Remember the knowing: verse 3 - not to be ignorant of knowing and understanding in you mind; now verse 6 - an intimate knowledge. In this continuing illustration of Sin as the Master and Us as the slave, we see the redemption of Christ unfold. First we saw our identification with Christ through baptism into His death, burial, and resurrection. Now we see our identification with Him in the crucifixion so that death looses its power over our lives. We have been set free and are no longer slaves to obey its claim. Once again, there is the difference between the theoretical and the experiential that is bridged by the "knowing." For the one who is caught in sins power, he has not yet understood the declaration of freedom that is in Christ. In a most horrific time in American history, it was acceptable for one man to own another, despite the testimony of Paul to Philemon concerning Onesimus. But on June 19th, 1865 the word of the Emancipation Proclamation spread to Galveston, Texas by the arrival of 2,000 Union troops led by General Gordon Granger. Liberty had arrived and the Juneteenth celebration was born. But today, depending upon where you are standing, that experience of liberty may live in stark variance. The same can be said for those yet enslaved in sin and do not yet know that they have been set free and have yet to "exercise" their liberty in Christ. We are not merely connected with Christ as if bound together with rope, but joined together intimately so that our lives spring forth from the ground as He Himself sprang forth in resurrection! Death no longer could wield its power over Christ and sin no longer holds us captive. Our old man - Coeval with our being, and as old as the fall; our evil nature; a strong and beautiful expression for that entire depravity and corruption which by nature spreads itself over the whole man, leaving no part uninfected. This in a believer is crucified with Christ, mortified, gradually killed, by virtue of our union with him. That the body of sin - All evil tempers, words, and actions, which are the "members" of the "old man," Colossians 3:5, might be destroyed. (John Wesley) So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don't be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. (Colossians 3:5 NLT) Romans 6:16 - Slaves of Righteousness To whom ye yield yourselves - To whom ye give up yourselves for servitude or obedience. The apostle here refers to voluntary servitude; but where this existed, the power of the master over the time and services of the servant was absolute. The argument of the apostle is, that Christians had become the voluntary servants of God, and were therefore bound to obey him entirely. Servitude among the ancients, whether voluntary or involuntary, was rigid, and gave the master an absolute right over his slave (Dr. Albert Barnes) doúlos; gen. doúlou, masc. noun. A slave, one who is in a permanent relation of servitude to another, his will being altogether consumed in the will of the other (Matthew 8:9; Matthew 20:27; Matthew 24:45-46). Generally one serving, bound to serve, in bondage (Romans 6:16-17). (Word Study - Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D.) Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? (NASB) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (KJV) Don't you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. (NLT) Do you not know that if you present yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness? (NET) Once again the Apostle make the argument from the standpoint of "knowing." Quite literally, don't you know that you become a slave of who you stand beside and listen under. If we stand next to sin we are once again enslaved! However, if we stand next to Christ we are liberated from sin's power and empowered to live righteous lives. Beloved, our life of liberty is found in slavery! A volitional choice we make each day is who then shall we serve. If you want to live in compound misery, try deluding yourselves into thinking you are serving two masters (sin and Christ) a Non sequitur (doesn't follow - fallacy). When I rise in the morning, my body hurts and rebels against my wishes almost from the minute of conscience thought. If I were to base my life upon feelings, I would be thwarted before my feet could touch the floor. My faith must be in the Word alone that lives forever, Amen! "I dare not trust the sweetest phrase but wholly lean on Jesus Name" (my Rock and my Redeemer). I am a slave of Christ by choice yielding to his perfect goodness and steadfast love for me a lowly sinner for whom he bled and died. This love given to me undeserved is what puts wind in my sails and give meaning to my life today as I enter into His Sabbath Rest! The word δουλος, which we translate servant, properly signifies slave; and a slave among the Greeks and Romans was considered as his master’s property, and he might dispose of him as he pleased. Under a bad master, the lot of the slave was most oppressive and dreadful; his ease and comfort were never consulted; he was treated worse than a beast; and, in many cases, his life hung on the mere caprice of the master. This state is the state of every poor, miserable sinner; he is the slave of Satan, and his own evil lusts and appetites are his most cruel task-masters. The same word is applied to the servants of Christ, the more forcibly to show that they are their Master’s property; and that, as he is infinitely good and benevolent, therefore his service must be perfect freedom. Indeed, he exacts no obedience from them which he does not turn to their eternal advantage; for this master has no self-interest to secure. (Dr. Adam Clarke) Romans 6:18 - Emancipation Proclamation Being then made free from sin - Ελευθερωθεντες is a term that refers to the manumission of a slave. They were redeemed from the slavery of sin, and became the servants of righteousness. Here is another prosopopoeia: both sin and righteousness are personified: sin can enjoin no good and profitable work; righteousness can require none that is unjust or injurious. (Dr. Adam Clarke) ε?λευθερο?ω eleutheróo?; contracted eleuthero??, fut. eleuthero??so?, from eleútheros (G1658), free. To make free, liberate from the power and punishment of sin, the result of redemption (John 8:32, John 8:36; Romans 6:18, Romans 6:22) (The Complete Word Study Dictionary, Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D., General Editor) and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. (NASB) Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. (KJV) Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living. (NLT) and having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. (NET) We cannot overstate the liberty that is bestowed upon the believer because it is contrasted with the total and complete bondage that is sin! I have often said that sin is like a fishhook, no matter whether you push it through our pull it out, the pain is excruciating! The concept of deliverance from this bondage to a new life in Christ Jesus at some level becomes mind boggling. Yet this is exactly what is being communicated here by the Apostle. In union with Christ we are free to become all that He has designed us to be! Will my flesh continue to strive against this liberty? Yes, but I am no longer obligate to (listen under) obey its voice! Rom 6:18 Being then made free from sin,.... Not from a sinful nature; nor from a corrupt heart; nor from vain thoughts; nor from sinful words; nor from sinful actions altogether; but from the damning power of sin: sin brought all men under a sentence of condemnation; Christ has bore the execution of this sentence in himself for his people; hence, as considered in him, they are free from it; and such as are born again have passed from death to life, and shall never enter into condemnation: likewise, such persons are free from the guilt of sin; men are in a legal sense arraigned for sin, accused of it, and being convicted, are pronounced guilty before God; and awakened souls have a sense of it in themselves; but the blood of Christ sprinkled on their consciences frees them from it; though fresh sins committed bring fresh guilt, which requires the continual application of the blood of Jesus for pardon and cleansing: but what is chiefly designed here is freedom from the servitude of sin, as appears from the context. Now God's elect are not released voluntarily by their former masters; nor is their freedom obtained by their own power and will; but it is of God, Father, Son, and Spirit; and the Gospel is generally the means of it, and happy are those persons who are blessed with it! They are rid of a bad master; are freed from the worst of bondage; will be no more servants, as before; are delivered from the power, and out of the kingdom of darkness; are heirs of heaven, and shall enjoy the glorious liberty of the children of God: and for the time present are become the servants of righteousness; servants to God, whose Gospel they obey; servants to Christ, whose righteousness they submit to; and servants to the law of righteousness, as held forth by Christ; they give up themselves to a course and life of righteousness, in which there are true honour, peace, and pleasure. (Dr. John Gill) Comments are closed.