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Romans 6:17-18 meaning...

In these verses, the Apostle Paul celebrates a profound transformation in the lives of believers. He emphasizes the change from being slaves to sin to becoming obedient and dedicated servants of righteousness. 

Freedom from Sin: The sixth chapter of Romans addresses the concept of freedom from sin and the new life in Christ. Paul explains how believers, through baptism, participate in Christ's death and resurrection, symbolizing the death of their old selves and the birth of a new life.

Slavery Imagery: Paul uses the metaphor of slavery to describe the relationship humans have with sin and righteousness. Before conversion, people are slaves to sin, but through Christ, they are set free to become slaves to righteousness.

  • Transformation:

Past and Present: Paul acknowledges the believers’ past as bondservants of sin. This refers to their previous state of being controlled and dominated by sinful desires and actions.

Obedience from the Heart: The transformation occurs when they "became obedient from the heart." This indicates a genuine, heartfelt change rather than mere outward compliance. It suggests an inner renewal that leads to a new way of living.

Form of Teaching: The “form of teaching” likely refers to the gospel message and the ethical teachings of Christianity that believers have embraced. This teaching shapes and molds their new identity and behavior.

Theological Significance

  • Freedom and New Allegiance:

Freedom from Sin: The declaration of being "made free from sin" is profound. It signifies not just a release from the guilt and penalty of sin, but also liberation from its power and control over one’s life.

Bondservants of Righteousness: The shift to becoming "bondservants of righteousness" implies a new allegiance. Believers are now dedicated to living according to God's will and standards, a commitment that brings true freedom and fulfillment.

  • Heartfelt Obedience:

Inner Transformation: The emphasis on obedience from the heart highlights the importance of inner transformation. True Christian living stems from a heart changed by God's grace, leading to sincere and willing obedience.

Sanctification Process: This transformation is part of the sanctification process, where believers grow in holiness and righteousness. It’s an ongoing journey of becoming more like Christ.

Applications for Our Lives

  • Embracing Our New Identity:

Understanding Freedom: Recognize that as believers, we are no longer slaves to sin. Our new identity in Christ means we are free to pursue righteousness and live according to God’s will.

Living as Servants of Righteousness: Embrace the role of being servants of righteousness. This involves actively choosing to live in a way that reflects our new nature and aligns with God’s commands.

  • Heartfelt Obedience:

Cultivating Inner Transformation: Focus on cultivating a heart that is obedient to God. Engage in spiritual disciplines like prayer, Bible study, and worship to nurture a heart that delights in God’s will.

Genuine Faith and Actions: Ensure that your faith is genuine and reflected in your actions. True obedience comes from a transformed heart and leads to a life that honors God.

  • Thankfulness for God’s Grace:

Gratitude for Freedom: Be thankful for the freedom we have in Christ. Acknowledge God’s grace in delivering us from the bondage of sin and enabling us to live righteously.

Living in Gratitude: Let gratitude for this transformation motivate us to live faithfully and serve God with joy.


John 8:34-36: "Jesus answered them, 'Most certainly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is the bondservant of sin. A bondservant doesn’t live in the house forever. A son remains forever. If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.'" Jesus speaks of the freedom He offers from sin, emphasizing that true freedom is found in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new." Paul describes the transformation that occurs in a believer's life, aligning with the idea of moving from being slaves to sin to living as new creations in righteousness.

Galatians 5:1: "Stand firm therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and don’t be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." Paul encourages believers to stand firm in the freedom Christ provides and not return to the bondage of sin.

Conclusion: Romans 6:17-18 encapsulates a powerful truth about the Christian life: the transformation from slavery to sin to slavery to righteousness. Paul’s message celebrates the profound change that occurs when we embrace the gospel, highlighting the shift from being controlled by sin to living in heartfelt obedience to God.

This passage invites us to embrace our new identity in Christ, live as servants of righteousness, and cultivate a heart that genuinely seeks to obey God. It encourages us to be thankful for the freedom we have received and to allow this gratitude to shape our lives. By understanding and living out these truths, we can experience the fullness of the new life that Christ offers, growing in holiness and reflecting God’s righteousness in our daily lives.

Romans 6:17-18. Thanks be to God, that, whereas you were bondservants of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were delivered. Being made free from sin, you became bondservants of righteousness. 


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