St Paul is explaining the effect that Calvary had on us. I think some of the reasons why we often find these things hard to understand is because we forget how Cross-centred Paul was. We, in a sense, can take the Cross for granted because it is the whole basis of our faith and everything else is built on top of it. We get the merits applied at baptism and we sought of move on from it and get on with the whole sanctification thing except for around Easter time. But not so for St Paul, he explains the foundation, the cross, because it was new, and it literally changed everything!
I shall give you my two cents, and I will start with some words of Jesus
“Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:34-36
Two things here: if you commit sin then you a a slave to sin, as a slave you do not inherit anything, you don’t have any right to the house. The Son however has that right and the son can set you free.
We shall come back to John but let’s fast forward to the discussion in Romans 6 which is very similar
“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.” Romans 6:16-18
So that just confirms what Jesus was teaching: if we sin we are slaves of sin. If you like we sell ourselves into slavery to sin.
Jesus the Son, by His death and resurrection has freed us so that we can become sons and heirs rather than slaves of the house (see Rom 8:17)
St Paul is informing them of this truth, they are no longer slaves of sin but have been purchased by the son and are now slaves of righteousness, slaves of God! bondservants of God!!! (I am getting all emotional because this topic always makes me emotional). A bondservant is someone who has gotten into debt to their master and becomes a slave to work it off so to speak, but our Master is the one and only God He makes us not only bondservants but Sons and Daughters!
We were condemned, sold into slavery, we had no hope in our sin except that the Son paid with His blood so that we can be freed from sin and become slaves of righteousness.
Anyway before I get carried away I shall finish off:
“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
St Paul is telling them, since then you have been bought at this great price (1 Cor 6:20, 1 Cor 7:23) let that be a motivation to not sin. And what a good motivation. Knowing what Jesus has done for you, do not sin anymore!
I saidI would get back to the passage in John but ihave rambled on long enough