«And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. (Romans 6:18)».
MARIA WAS SAD. Her heart was fainting. She acknowledged that she had acted badly when punishing her little daughter. It hurt her to see how each lash remained marked on those little legs that she loved so much. Every time the anger reappeared while she was punishing her daughter, Maria felt that a shadow once again began to besiege her conscience.»I used to beat my daughter and I did not feel bad,» she told me once. «Now I feel that I would rather die than fail my little girl, much less God.
«I did not know what to say. It was obvious that a change in perspective and mentality was taking place in Maria. A new sensitivity toward her daughter, toward education, and toward her own attitude about life and about God was making way in her personality. In fact, I believe that Maria was being «set free from sin» and becoming «a slave of righteousness» (see Romans 6:18)—that righteousness that has nothing to do with human «righteousness» but rather with the divine one, which is quite different. Commenting precisely on this verse of Romans 6:18, the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary says this: «Conversion means a change of masters. The believer is released from slavery to the tyrant sin and becomes a slave of righteousness. But slavery to righteousness is actually real freedom. those who serve sin and Satan are the slaves of their own impulses and passions, which in turn are under the control of the wicked one. In calling men to serve righteousness, God is offering them freedom. ‘Obedience to God is liberty from the thralldom of sin, deliverance from human passion and impulse'» (vol. 6, p. 543).
If, like Maria, you have recently been feeling bad about doing certain things that you recognize have their origin in your impulses and passions, it is because a change is being worked within you. This new sensitivity that the Holy Spirit is generating inside of you is the fruit of conversion and is the first step to stop being a slave to sin. You are on the path to the true freedom that is in Christ Jesus. You are being «transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God’s will is—what is proper, pleasing. and perfect» (Romans 12:2, ISV). When you determine it, you can fulfill it.