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.
19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. – Romans 6:17-19
Obedience from the heart is the best form of faith. If re really believe something we will be willing to give our all for it, do what ever is necessary to fulfil the vision. But the vision is based in sound doctrine. The Greek word translated “standard” in the ESV is typos which means to imprint or to mould into a defined form. God is moulding us. He is the potter forming the clay, the blacksmith pouring the gold into the mold. He is forming what He wants, to His design.
“O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. – Jeremiah 18:6
Paul continues to use the illustration of being a slave as this is something the Roman church could easily identify with. But we are to become slaves to righteousness, giving obedience from the heart. Jesus gave His life for us as the perfect slave to righteousness. He gave up His divine position in heaven to become a human and to die in our place is perfect obedience from his heart to His Father. Therefore we who have been given that gift from God should we continue to sin? No. We should become slaves to righteousness. Jesus gave up glory to come to this world. All we are being asked to give up is sin, wickedness and rebellion which ultimately lead to our death. And we give that up to receive His glory. That is a fantastic exchange where we are given what we do not deserve as a free gift, and surely our only possible response is to be thankful and to be willing to obey? Obedience to the doctrine laid out clearly in the Bible, which we should obey from the heart:
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
38 This is the great and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40