“When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.” – Romans 6:20
Soda or water? Burger or fries? Hot or cold? Love or hate? Morning or evening? Pink or blue? Watch a movie or go out? — These are some of our choices or preferences in our life. We have to deal with these questions almost every day and most of the time, we have answers to these and sometimes, we even have a preference that is not part of the choices. Sometimes, we prefer tea over soda and water; we prefer both burgers and fries. We prefer lukewarm instead of hot or cold; we prefer a little bit of hate and love. For morning and evening, we sometimes prefer noon; pink and blue, sometimes do not cut it so we prefer yellow; and watching a movie or going out, we prefer to sleep. So, this just shows that we really have a lot of preference and we can actually pick something in the middle.
Our verse today is somewhat a choice or a preference. It is not really something we have the power to make by ourselves. However, it is a reality check for us that not everything or not every choice has something that is in between. We don’t always have the luxury to choose something else that is not part of the choices. So, we have to realize that today and ponder. We cannot always have burgers and fries together, but one way or another, we have to choose what we should eat from either of them. Now, for the past reflections, we have always talked about freedom from sin and how we received righteousness through Christ once we received and accepted Him as our Lord and Savior.
Today is different. Paul is ushering us to a different perspective. Instead of preaching about how we will have righteousness once we have the freedom from sin, he is telling us that we have freedom from righteousness too if we are slaves to sin. So, with this idea, we have to realize that we really have only two options. Either we are slaves to sin and freed from righteousness or we are slaves of righteousness and freed from sins. There is no middle ground, either we are former or the latter. Thus, we have to always put in our minds that we cannot say, we are good and righteous while we are still sinning deliberately. We cannot also say that we sin, but we are righteous. Either we are righteous– imputed by the righteousness of God or we are sinful.
The good news of this is that, although we can’t be righteous because we are sinful by nature, through Christ we can be made righteous. So, the only way to be righteous is to be in Christ Jesus our Lord. Being in Christ Jesus and receiving Him as our Lord and Savior will impute to us His righteousness and will give us the power to obey God and to stop sinning to only desire the Will of God. Therefore, there is really no in-between. There is no middle ground. In Christ, we have freedom from sins and we are slaves of righteousness, good, and grace. However, without Christ, just like Paul wrote, we are slaves of sins and free from righteousness. We cannot do both together because the light has no business with the darkness. It cannot be together and it won’t work together.