Romans 6:21 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 6:21, NIV: What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!

Romans 6:21, ESV: But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.

Romans 6:21, KJV: What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

Romans 6:21, NASB: Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.

Romans 6:21, NLT: And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom.

Romans 6:21, CSB: So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? The outcome of those things is death.

What does Romans 6:21 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

"And how did that turn out?" That's the question Paul is asking about his statement from the previous verse. There, he wrote that before his readers became Christians, they were free from righteousness. That is, they had no requirement, no compulsion, to do what was right in the eyes of God. Some may see this freedom from righteousness as a valuable thing, but Paul immediately shows that it always leads to shame and death instead of the joyful life we might imagine. Paul challenges his readers to describe what they actually got from living free of righteousness. What fruit did that produce? What results came from that?

The lasting result from living free from the control of righteousness is shame. All of us who once indulged in being free from righteousness before we trusted in Christ may feel shame about the consequences that came from serving our sinful desires. This is a good kind of "shame," a right evaluation of the pain created by our sinful choices.

Even more lasting for those who continue to live free from righteousness is death. All sin leads eventually to death and separation from God in hell. Death is the ultimate "fruit" of living free from the control of righteousness.