For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. … But now being made free from sin, and become servants of God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. Rom 6:20, 22)

We had become so used to serving sin that we do not realize our freedom which was won for us in Christ. Being a slave to sin is not hard to imagine but being a slave to righteousness — what is that? So Paul, with wisdom that comes from God flips it around so we can see the other side of the picture.

When you were servants to sin did you have any duty to righteousness? Of course not. Sin reigned in your bodies. He was your ruler and had dominion over you. You knew your master and served him well — too well. Did you have a compulsion to do right? No, you only thought you did for this eased your conscience. But the reality is that apart from the righteousness which is in Christ you were free to sin all you wanted. You may have had to do a little conscience surgery with your little knife but this too you became skillful at. You know those handy little blades that work to separate your conscience from your mind. Your Swiss army knife for all occasions. It has the tools of blame, denial, self-justification and rationalization. Pick a weapon for they are all very useful for the purpose of removing that part of the conscience that would condemn you.

But now. Now by Christ and His righteous life you are free. And it was for freedom that He set you free (see Galatians 5). Free from what? You are free from sin. Sin no longer has dominion over you. Not by a righteousness that is your own but by the Righteousness of Him with whom we have to do. Just as you were in Adam before you were born, you are now in Him by this new birth. You were in Him before the foundation of the world and God was in Christ too reconciling the world (thats you and me) to Himself. The robe that shows forth your righteousness is Christ. He is your righteousness.

So now you are free to serve Him — Righteousenss. Free from what? Sin. Sin no longer has dominion over you. You are made unto God righteousness, peace and joy in Christ. So why would you serve sin any longer? You didn’t serve Righteousness when you were in Sin. Do not serve Sin now that you are in Christ. It does not suit you.

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. (Rom. 6:16)