I am speaking in [familiar] human terms because of your natural limitations [your spiritual immaturity]. For just as you presented your bodily members as slaves to impurity and to [moral] lawlessness, leading to further lawlessness, so now offer your members [your abilities, your talents] as slaves to righteousness, leading to sanctification [that is, being set apart for God’s purpose].
Paul’s words in this verse might seem redundant, but they offer an important piece to understanding what it means to be a slave to righteousness. It is more than simply trading evil for good in what we do, say and think. Our intent matters. If I try to do good things for the sake of myself, I am still in bondage. I have become my own idol. Being a slave to righteousness means offering myself to goodness, kindness, purity and other holy ends for the purposes of God.
In all things, motive matters. Sanctification undoubtedly benefits us eternally, but its purpose rests in the glorification of God. That He provides the mechanism for sanctification is a testament to His grace and goodness. And while we certainly should have the desire to make our Father proud and happy, we do not obey Him for accolades. We obey Him because He deserves our obedience. He asks of us only what He is rightly worthy of, and we must recognize that in humility.
While we may be able to hide our motives from each other, we cannot hide them from God. Sanctification cannot be counterfeited. We either submit to true sanctification or continue on the path to destruction. Take comfort in knowing that God wants us to be truly sanctified and provides everything necessary to achieve that. As much as we desire to be holy, He desires it infinitely more. Father, prompt us to check our motives as we walk according to your word, and keep us doing so for the purposes of your will.