"Do you not know that when you present yourself 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? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness."
I'm the first to admit that being a slave is not my favorite picture of my relationship with Christ. I much prefer seeing God on His throne and envisioning my princess crown as His child. So can I just forget that I am a slave and focus on being God's little princess?
NO. I can't because I'm constantly reminded of WHY I am a princess. It's not because of anything I did, but simply because of who my Father is. I owe everything to Him because I am nothing without Him.
We have the choice to be a slave to sin. Think back to before you became a Christian. Maybe you were really young. Maybe you're still trying to figure out what being a Christian means. But think about this - before you are saved, you are enslaved to sin. Do you know what enslaved means? You're contained. You're doomed. You're held captive.
For example, think about that girl in one of your classes who is mixed up in a really bad relationship with her boyfriend. Maybe he flirts with other girls in front of her, or he puts her down in front of others. Maybe he is even physically abusive. But she can't leave because she "loves him." Sound familiar?
That's the same hold that sin has on non-believers. Sin has nothing for you but pain and death. Yet people trick themselves into thinking they can't stop sin because they "love" it. Love drinking and partying with your parents. Love disrespecting your parents. Love getting good grades so much....even if it means cheating on a test. But can you be enslaved to sin and be God's princess?
If you choose to accept a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you are obligated to be a slave of righteousness. Think back to our little picture of the trapped girl in the abusive relationship. Being a slave of righteousness has the same concept - except it means that we are unable to do the wrong thing without guilt.
Romans 6:14 says, "For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace." We are under God's grace...and under His authority. You know that little voice inside your head that starts talking when you're about to do something that you shouldn't do? That's God, your Master, talking. Once you accept Christ as your Savior, you inherit this ability to know right from wrong. As His child, you should feel just as trapped to serve Him by behaving righteously as unbelievers feel bound in their sin.
Being a slave of righteousness has benefits too. If sin leads to death, what do we get if as slaves of righteousness? Examine Romans 6:21-23 - "Therefore, what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? (He's talking about sin.) For the outcome of these things is death. (Told ya! Now pay attention, here's where it gets good!) But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome eternal life. (And just in case you missed it - He tells you one more time!) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Yes, I know that sanctification is a big word - but it means being made holy. It's through the process of santification, we become more and more like Christ. Since He's perfect, I'd say that's a pretty good deal! Then, on top of that, instead of death, we get eternal life in heaven! All of the sudden, being a slave doesn't seem so bad.
Bottom line - you're a slave either way. I know you don't like to think of yourself as a slave - I don't either. But we aren't given a third option in Scripture. We are either enslaved to sin or enslaved to righteousness. Basically, you either let Satan be your master or you let God be in control of your life. No one can make that decision but you.
Set some time aside today for you and your Master. Ask the Lord to help you to become more enslaved to His rightouesness everyday. Just remember - the more you are enslaved to God, the better princess you'll be.