In the past ·sin controlled you [L you were slaves to sin]. But thank God, you ·fully obeyed [L obeyed from the heart] the ·things [accepted/orthodox teaching; L example/pattern of teaching] ·that you were taught [or that have claimed your allegiance; L to which you were delivered/entrusted].
Now, what shall we do? Shall we go on sinning because we have no Law to condemn us any more, but are living under grace? Never! Just think what it would mean. You belong to the power which you choose to obey, whether you choose sin, whose reward is death, or God, obedience to whom means the reward of righteousness. Thank God that you, who were at one time the servants of sin, honestly responded to the impact of Christ’s teaching when you came under its influence. Then, released from the service of sin, you entered the service of righteousness. (I use an everyday illustration because human nature grasps truth more readily that way.) In the past you voluntarily gave your bodies to the service of vice and wickedness—for the purpose of becoming wicked. So, now, give yourselves to the service of righteousness—for the purpose of becoming really good. For when you were employed by sin you owed no duty to righteousness. Yet what sort of harvest did you reap from those things that today you blush to remember? In the long run those things mean one thing only—death.
So, since we’re out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since we’re free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!
But Baruch Hashem (Blessed be G-d) that you used to be avadim (slaves) of [slave master] Chet, but you gave your mishma’at shebalev (obedience from the heart) to the pattern of Torah (the pnimiyus Torah of Moshiach YESHAYAH 42:4) to which you were handed over.
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