Romans 6:15–23 (NKJV)
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.Romans 6:15-19
Paul finishes his discussion of law versus grace and the need for holy living. Paul urges the Romans not to be slaves to sin. We will be the servant of someone or something. Be the servant of slave of God, of righteousness. Be holy, as a servant of the Most High God.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul continues the discussion of spiritual slavery by reminding the readers of what they had when they were simply slaves of sin. They had no expectation of holiness, but the fruit of their sinfulness was non-existent. They had fruitless lives with nothing to show for their efforts. The old sinful lifestyle is death. Since being set free from sin, the new life now produces fruit that leads to holiness, and eventually eternal life! Paul then sums up this passage with the very well known words, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We can earn death, and very certainly will, with a life bound by sin. When one works hard at sinning, the paycheck is fruitlessness and death. When one simply accepts the free gift of God, the opened box reveals eternal life and fruitful living on earth. Choose wisely and be free from sin, but a slave to God Himself.
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