Romans 6:17–18 (ESV)
17 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, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
“But thanks be to God…” If you are a Christian, this is the phrase that defines your life. It is one of thankfulness, but also wholly of praise to God for his accomplished work. The Christian should be like Paul here. Praise and thank God for what he has done!
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.
He has set the captive of sin free through the death of Jesus Christ. By Christ’s resurrection, the slave to sin and death can now be a slave to righteousness. Without the death and resurrection of Christ, the captive would have no hope, no power to escape their death sentence and prison cell, and no way to loose the chains of sin.
“But thanks be to God…” that through Jesus Christ the captive can have the hope of new life. Through the power of Christ, the captive may escape their death sentence and walk out the open door of their prison. Christ has relieved the captive of sin from their chains of sin, death, and judgment.
The Christian is relieved of any burden of their old life and has been made a slave of righteousness. This slavery is not drudgery or void of joy but is one that brings fullness of joy serving the King of kings, who has transferred the captive from the bonds of sin and death to the kingdom of his glorious grace. This slavery to the King brings true freedom.
You too can be relieved of your burdens, chains, and prison cell if you trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who gives an eternal hope through the power of his blood to escape sin, death, and judgment.
Thanks be to God!