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Romans 6:15-23

Context
The Believer’s Enslavement to God’s Righteousness

6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not! 6:16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves 1  as obedient slaves, 2  you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness? 3  6:17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves to sin, you obeyed 4  from the heart that pattern 5  of teaching you were entrusted to, 6:18 and having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. 6:19 (I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.) 6  For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 6:20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness.

6:21 So what benefit 7  did you then reap 8  from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. 6:22 But now, freed 9  from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit 10  leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. 6:23 For the payoff 11  of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 tn Grk “to whom you present yourselves.”

2 tn Grk “as slaves for obedience.” See the note on the word “slave” in 1:1.

3 tn Grk “either of sin unto death, or obedience unto righteousness.”

4 tn Grk “you were slaves of sin but you obeyed.”

5 tn Or “type, form.”

6 tn Or “because of your natural limitations” (NRSV).

sn Verse 19 forms something of a parenthetical comment in Paul’s argument.

7 tn Grk “fruit.”

8 tn Grk “have,” in a tense emphasizing their customary condition in the past.

9 tn The two aorist participles translated “freed” and “enslaved” are causal in force; their full force is something like “But now, since you have become freed from sin and since you have become enslaved to God….”

10 tn Grk “fruit.”

11 tn A figurative extension of ὀψώνιον (oywnion), which refers to a soldier’s pay or wages. Here it refers to the end result of an activity, seen as something one receives back in return. In this case the activity is sin, and the translation “payoff” captures this thought. See also L&N 89.42.



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