Romans 6:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 6:16, NIV: Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Romans 6:16, ESV: Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Romans 6:16, KJV: Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Romans 6:16, NASB: Do you not know that the one to whom you present yourselves as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of that same one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

Romans 6:16, NLT: Don't you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.

Romans 6:16, CSB: Don't you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey--either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?

What does Romans 6:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has made clear that our responsibility as Christians is to use our freedom from the power of sin to stop sinning. Christ has rescued us from slavery to sin. It's not our master any longer.

Now, though, Paul shows that we become slaves of whomever we continue to obey. Sin leads to death. Obedience leads to righteousness. We choose which one to obey and become the slave of that one. Paul seems to be showing that we are in an ongoing battle to serve the right master. Our choices matter because we are either contributing to death or to righteousness.

Scripture presents salvation as a moment which saves us from the eternal penalty of sin (Romans 3:21–25), and the enslaving power of sin (Romans 6:7–11). However, it does not make us sinless (1 John 1:9–10). Those who express saving faith in Christ will not live in constant, deliberate sin (Galatians 5:19–24; 1 John 3:6–9), though they will always be subject to temptation and error in this earthly life (1 Corinthians 10:13).