it’s both/and, not either/or

“Now that you have been set free from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness.” (Romans 6:18 CEB)

Many Christians grasp the meaning of the first half of that verse. They revel in the freedom they trust the Lord has given them from all their sin and shame. They are liberated people and their joy and peace says that to everyone who knows them.

Many other believers understand the last half of that verse. They realize the living out of Christian faith is a deadly serious business. When God says he owns them now and they’re no longer to be about living life after their own will, they get it. Their singlemindedness and purposefulness signals clearly to all that they belong to God.

But few Christians, at least it seems to me, capture a good balance of both parts of this word from God. And yet, without that balance, we “have only enough religion to make us miserable.” Yes, it’s at this point right here that Satan we see Satan jimmying his crowbar back and forth in our mind.

But we must not listen to him; we must listen to the Spirit of God instead. We do not have to choose between joy and obedience. We must not choose between freedom and servanthood. We dare not separate what God has joined together.

Father God, you have claimed my allegiance now. So make me your slave, a slave that understands grace. Remind me often of what I am no longer under, all the while showing me how to offer more of myself to you. For you are my righteousness and life and you are the One who has set me free from the weights of the law and sin through your Son, in whose name I pray. Amen.