What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not! Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey — either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to, and having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. I am using a human analogy because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from allegiance to righteousness. So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification — and the end is eternal life! For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Sin and righteousness sit as opposite masters seeking obedience to every moral decision. Whenever we make any choice whatsoever, there is a moral aspect to it (right-wrong, true-false, good-evil, wise-foolish). Even passiveness is a decision to not do something. The righteousness master seeks for your allegiance to do all that is good, wise, and true. The sin master wants you to hail worship to all that is bad, foolish, and false. And every decision you and I make pleases one or the other of the masters. There is no neutrality. We are always obedient to either the master of sin or the master of righteousness.
It is interesting to me that this text speaks about our sanctification. It links our obedience to righteousness with our sanctification. I do believe that what God begins in a heart, he will bring it to completion on the day of Christ Jesus. I do believe that sanctification happens as a grace of God through the Holy Spirit. But I see here that God uses the means of our obedience to righteousness as the horsepower behind our progress. And if you and I do not sit behind the wheel and throw down the hammer toward the road of righteousness, the end of our obedience to sin will lead us to eternal damnation.
With every action you and I do, we show we are a slave to the one we obey, either sin (which leads to death), or righteousness (which leads to eternal life). Whom is your master? It is one or the other!