|Romans 6:16 |
16 Do you not know that to whom you yield yourselves as slaves to obey, you are the slaves of whom you obey; whether of sin that leads to death, or of obedience that leads to righteousness?5 [Obedience leads to being righteous. Without obedience, listening to and obeying the Word of God in your heart, you are a slave to sin. Jesus strongly confirms this: Truly, Truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. John 8:34. We through the Spirit, by faith, patiently wait for the hope of righteousness. Gal 5:5]
5 you are the slaves of whom you obey; whether of sin that leads to death, or of obedience that leads to righteousness? Do you obey the desire to sin, or do you obey the commands of God. You are a slave to sin, or a slave to God. Jesus said: If you sin, you are a slave to sin. John 8:34. You do have control of your hands and feet; you can turn from evil; you can stop committing acts of sexual immorality. You can't stop your mind from sinning, you can't control your tongue from sinning, but you can control you feet and hands; and you can learn to control your eyes, by practicing looking away from what tempts you. The fear of God is to turn away from evil. If you don't stop sinning by reaching out with your hands to commit evil, and running to evil with your feet, you are not sincerely seeking God — you have failed to repent from the basics under your control. Obedience to what you understand, and what you are able, leads to righteousness. If you deliberately sin, when you could have chosen not to, then you are betraying your sincerity in seeking God; and you can expect to receive little to no help, until you show a true turning away from the evil of which you are able.
obedience that leads to righteousness. What obedience? In the beginning, obedience to the laws you know from your previous sect experience: don't steal, lie, covet, commit adultery; do for others as you would have them do for you; honor your mother and father; don't oppress others, share from your excess with those with those without the necessities of life, etc. Then, as you wait and listen to the Lord, you obey what he commands you to do; thus, from the Word of the Lord within: "little by little the will of God is progressed." You keep obeying his commands until he finally frees your from all sin, and then you are righteous; your obedience has then led you to become righteous by his grace. Until you have listened to the Holy Spirit teach you about sin and righteousness, you don't even know the sins you are committing, and you don't know what righteousness is. The natural man cannot accept the things of God and cannot see the depth of unrighteousness, which is sin.
The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, Rom 1:17; faith, revelation, more faith, revelation, more faith...etc. No man knows the Son but the Father, neither does any man know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal him. Mat 11:27. Because what may be known of God is revealed in them; Rom 1:19. Learning about God is not reading about God, not hearing someone talk about God, for God is known by revelation in your heart, where you hear him and see him teach you about sin, righteousness, and himself. Today's so-called Christians think they are righteous because they "believe in Jesus" or have been water baptized. There is an imputed righteousness that comes with the measure of faith received with the fruit of the Spirit, which is rewarded to those who have crucified their selfish, evil spirit on the inward cross of self-denial, but not before. Believing in Jesus is not the faith that imputes righteousness; see Footnote 2 of Romans 3 for the detail of imputed righteousness.
John warns us: Little children, let no man deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. 1 John 3:7. All unrighteousness is sin. 1 John 5:17. Jesus only spoke, judged, and did as He was prompted and ordered by God; to practice righteousness we also must be able to only speak what we hear Him order us to say and only do what we are ordered to do by God. This ability only comes after we have crucified our selfish spirit and sin has been destroyed by the Spirit through bearing the inward cross of self-denial; then we are walking the same way He walked and in the world as He was with perfection, purity, and holiness. We must be restored to the image of God that Adam lost in the Garden; to put on the newly created nature [of Christ], which is created in God's image of true righteousness and holiness. When we are righteous, everything we say and do is just, fair, morally correct, perfect, true, holy, virtuous, good, and pure. When we are righteous, everything we say and everything we do is right — righteousness.