Things Paul Wrote About – Slaves to Righteousness

Just as intense as being a slave to sin, we can be slaves to righteousness!  The more we “sell” ourselves to Jesus the more of Him we will want.  And just as we gave into sin, we have to put ourselves into submitted relationship with Jesus.

Jesus will be as gentile as sin was harsh.  He values us just as much as sin could care less about us.  He will use us for good as sin would use us for evil.

The verses below are my attempts at paraphrasing.

Romans 6:18– Because we are slaves to righteousness we are set free from sin. (16) If we are slaves being obedient to God it leads to righteousness.  (22) Now that we are slaves to God we are free from sin and can have the benefits of holiness that lead to eternal life.

Romans 7:25– Because of Jesus my Lord, God delivered me, so I choose to have my mind focused on God’s Law.

Romans 8:15– The Spirit of God does not bring fear but reminds us that we are children of the Father and can call on Him.

Galatians 4:7+8– God made us heirs because He made us His children, so we are no longer slaves to things that are not gods.  (5:1) We need to stand against being tied up by sin, because Christ made us free from things that use to have us all tied up.

1 Corinthians 9:19– Paul choose (sold himself) to be a slave of God, to serve people, so he could win as many as possible to Jesus.  (27) Paul choose to make himself a slave to righteousness and deny himself so he would not disqualify himself from the good things of God.

Things Paul Wrote About – Slaves to Sin

“Slaves” is a complex subject with many parts: slaves, servants, serve, bonds, bondsmen, and the ability to sell yourself to pay off debts in Israel.  Another part is the Gentile/Roman practices and views that Paul used in writing his Letters.  Another aspect to work with is KJV vs NIV and other translations.  The word “doulos” is the major word used for slave in the New Testament (see notes in Slave); KJV translate it “servant” while NIV uses “slave”. Then there are about thirteen other words that reflect slavery and serving. I thought I would add chains into the word search but Paul connects then to prisoners more than slaves.

In Romans 6:19 Paul explains why he compares our spiritual life to one of slavery, it was very a common practice.   Just because it was a common practice does not mean that it was a good or moral practice.  I think that is why slave traders are singled out as someone who will receive harsh judgement.

Doulos is a word that stresses the slave as serving the will of the master.  In Israel you could sell yourself to someone and the Jubilee determined the price.  (I wish I could say that these men and women were treated better but you need to read Exodus 21.)   So, when Paul is using the servant/slave to describe our relationship to sin it is not a pretty one.  Sin controls everything in your life because you allow it to have that authority over you.

The verses below are my attempts at paraphrasing.

Romans 6:6– Our body was ruled by sin but we crucified our old self so we are no longer slaves to sin.

Romans 6:16– If you offer yourself to obey someone you are their slave; if it is sin, that leads to death. (17) We use to be slaves to sin but now we obey from our hearts and follow the teaching that has claimed our hearts.  (19)  Comparing us to slaves is something we can see every day in our lives.  We use to offer ourselves as slaves to impurity and we wanted more wickedness.  (20) If you do not want Jesus and righteousness just be a slave to sin.

Romans 7:14– I have sold myself to sin as a slave because I am unspiritual, I do not understand the Law of God. (25) My sin nature makes me a slave to the law of sin.

*Romans 8:18 – 27 is part of Paul’s use of the idea of slavery to/because of sin. Creation was also forced into slavery and is not free.  It also is waiting for the return of Jesus so it can share in the freedom that is to come.