This one’s a challenge, I think, when you really read it closely. Essentially Paul says to his hearers: “You will be a slave… to something.” You’ll either be a slave of sin, or a slave to righteousness. Either way, you’re a slave. You’re not your own. And just that quick, the illusion of ultimate personal freedom dissipates like fog on a sunny June morning. Even serving ourselves is still slavery… slavery to selfishness, which is sinfulness. That’s a tough pill to swallow in our culture.
The path of sin leads to death.. Remember, Paul spent three chapters of Romans reminding everyone how we were all on the “death” path. Don’t forget we are all in the same sinking boat. But by God’s grace, a different path has been offered to us: one that leads to life and sanctification.
It sounds like Paul has made his choice and stuck with it: He is “Paul, slave of Jesus Christ” (1:1).
Which will we choose?