18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification …. 22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6).
There you have it. Freedom from sin always results in a slavery to righteousness, and a slavery to righteousness always results in sanctification, and sanctification always results in eternal life. Therefore, since eternal life is a free gift, so also must be freedom from sin, as well as slavery to righteousness, and again, as well as sanctification. It is all a free gift — all of it.
And God never takes a gift back, nor puts conditions upon it. And just why is that? Because every sheep of The Good Shepherd is really a sheep given by the Father to His Son, safely held in His hand, never to be snatched away (John 10:29) — and that gift is always based upon the merits of the Son, never upon the merits of the sheep itself.
Lord, thank You that we are not receiving the due wages of our own merits of sin, but rather the free gift according to Christ’s merits of righteousness! We could never repay You for this gift, and You never expect us to. Yet, today — This Day — we want to live out of an overflowing abundance of gratitude and love to You. Please help us, for we always need Your free grace to do so. Amen.