And since you have been freed from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness. (ISV)
And having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. (HCSV)
Being made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness. (AKJB)
Full obedience to God is the beautiful end result of our sanctification process, yet without initial obedience to God, the sanctification process is inoperable. The initial-process of sanctification only begins with a submissive, obedient heart. The end-product of sanctification results in willing obedience and submission.
Obedience and sanctification are the two opposite sides of the same coin. The effectiveness of one is inter-dependent upon the presence of the other. Christ was our wonderful pattern and is our divine standard of willing obedience. Though fully divine, He lived out His life within the limitations of human flesh. He set aside His divine qualities to demonstrate a life lived in willing submission – Christ lived a perfect life establishing God’s perfect pattern of obedience.
Adam in his innocent, sinless state chose to disobey.. imputing sin on all mankind. Christ in His sinless innocence learnt obedience – transmitting His life-power to us. Adam’s disobedience is the power and ruling force in the life of all humanity. Christ’s obedience becomes the righteous life-source for our new-life in Christ. Consequently, just as one offence resulted in condemnation for everyone, so one act of righteousness results in justification and life for everyone. Romans 5:18
Death and disobedience are transmitted thru union with Adam – to his entire seed. Life and righteousness are imputed thru union with Christ – to all children of God – and that life is being transformed into Christ’s likeness – through obedience.
Just as sanctification operates through obedience and vice versa.. even so righteousness is the heart of obedience – for both are mutually exclusive. Obedience was a fundamental principle that was the essence of Christ’s life on earth. Obedience is a distinctive, that is inseparable from the righteousness of Christ.
We are imputed with Christ’s righteousness, which directs our focus upon obedience. We are sanctified by grace – and obedience is the root and fruit of sanctification. Had Adam learnt obedience, his innocence would have blossomed into righteousness. Christ did learn obedience, which led to righteousness – imputed to all who believe.
It was Christ’s obedience to the Father that led to our imputed righteousness. Should not our response be willing obedience leading to righteous sanctification? For just as through one man’s disobedience many people were made sinners, so also through one man’s obedience many people will be made righteous. Romans 5:18
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