15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace?By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord.
This passage is so amazing on so many levels. First I connect to the obedient slave that obeys out of love because I look at my sons who for no other reason than it is right and holy and that they love me they obey. Nothing is more honoring than when they obey the first time without an argument. However, when they do argue or complain and grumble against me I struggle and wonder how much longer must I be patient. God must wonder the same thing about me when I miss the mark on what he has planned for me, versus my plan for me.
The second part that reaches my hear is “What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!” There are many things that I have done in my life that I am ashamed of, sins that at the time looked great but I was looking at them through the eyes of Satan. The desire I had for sin left me in a place where death is all I had earned. Alone, separated from Christ I had no hope. Then through the mercies of God, I was given to the Son! The Holy Spirit opened my eyes and I was alive. My bondage was to sin but it was broken and now I am bound with Christ. So in this I must live apart from sin. I fall short here daily but my desire is righteousness in the sight of the Lord. To one day hear “Well done good and faithful servant”. I stand saddened by the wages of my sin, but stand proudly in the work Christ accomplished on the Cross. Praise God!!!