Romans 6:20

20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.

Read Romans 6:20 Using Other Translations

For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right.

What does Romans 6:20 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Romans 6:20

For when ye were the servants of sin
This is an argument used, or a reason given, why regenerate persons should be diligent in the service of righteousness; because when they were employed in the drudgery of sin, they

were free from righteousness;
they had no righteousness, nor were they desirous of any; yea, averse to it, threw off the yoke of the law of righteousness, and lived in a very unrighteous manner: hence may be observed what is the free will of man in an unregenerate state; not free to, but "from" righteousness; free enough to evil, but from all that is good; and also what obligation lies upon believers, who are delivered from the bondage of corruption, and the servitude of sin, to a life and service of righteousness; inasmuch as they were before free from it, and unconcerned about it, but are now made by the grace of God free to it, they ought therefore cheerfully to pursue it, and neglect no opportunity of performing it.

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