Romans 6:17: But Thanks Be To God, That You Who Were Once Slaves Of Sin Have Become Obedient From The Heart
 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, (ESV)
There are so many reasons to give thanks to God. Paul is thanking God because of the transformation that he has seen take place in those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ. Scripture says that even the angels rejoice when a sinner comes to Jesus. We ought to always be full of thanks when we see lives transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul reminds us that the former way of life was a life of slavery to sin. Those who do not know the Lord are not "good people," but rather slaves of sin. Their master will bring them to eternal death unless Christ intervenes in their lives. We come to Christ, willingly, to serve a master who brings life, and forgiveness of sins.
Notice this contrast between being a slave to sin and becoming obedient to teaching. The teaching of the truth of God's Word is essential to our salvation. In this same letter to the Romans Paul says, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Romans 10:17)." The teaching of the word of Christ is essential to our spiritual lives.
I love how Paul says that we were committed to this standard of teaching. Sadly, in the church today, many view the Bible as something to turn to when you have a problem. Many Christians view the Bible as an occasional thing, not an essential thing. There is an encouragement here for us to commit ourselves to the very Word of God which gave us the knowledge of salvation.
Are you saved? Have you been set free from the slavery of sin? Commit yourself to the teaching that brought you life.