Romans 11:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 11:6, NIV: And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

Romans 11:6, ESV: But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

Romans 11:6, KJV: And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Romans 11:6, NASB: But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, since otherwise grace is no longer grace.

Romans 11:6, NLT: And since it is through God's kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God's grace would not be what it really is--free and undeserved.

Romans 11:6, CSB: Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace.

What does Romans 11:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Though the vast majority of Israelites have rejected Christ and were still trying to receive God's righteousness by following the law, Paul insists that a remnant of Israelites are in Christ. Paul wrote in the previous verse that God has chosen them for Himself by His grace.

Now Paul restates what grace means. He wants to dispel any notion that any Israelites stand with God because of their own works. They don't. Grace means receiving an unearned gift. It is always given and never paid for. The idea that a person's work—such as keeping the law—could in some way contribute to receiving God's grace is a self-contradicting idea. If that were possible, grace would not be grace, Paul writes.

Those who remain as the remnant of faithful Israel understand that they have not been saved by their works. They have come to God by faith in Christ.

While this verse is meant to prove a point about God and Israel, it also draws a clear line in terms of theology. There is no gray area between works-based salvation and grace-based salvation. None. Any dependence on works—adherence to the law, undergoing rituals, performing sacraments, or good deeds—is a rejection of grace. This is an often-resisted truth, but it is the clear teaching of Scripture. If works, in any sense, contribute to salvation, then that salvation is no longer "by grace." Paul's point, here, is that because salvation is, in fact, by grace, works have absolutely zero part to play in securing it