Romans 6:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 6:22, NIV: But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

Romans 6:22, ESV: But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

Romans 6:22, KJV: But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Romans 6:22, NASB: But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

Romans 6:22, NLT: But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.

Romans 6:22, CSB: But now, since you have been set free from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification--and the outcome is eternal life!

What does Romans 6:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Shame and death. Paul described those as the consequences, or "fruit," of a life lived free of the control of righteousness. Slavery to sin always leads to shame and, eventually, death. Paul's readers in Rome, however, left that life behind. Through faith in Christ and by God's grace, they had been set free from their slavery to sin. They had been loosed from the compulsion to serve their sinful desires.

Now they had become "slaves of God." Paul has previously described this same state as being "slaves to righteousness" (Romans 6:18). Paul began this letter by describing himself as a slave or servant of Christ Jesus, using the word of his day for a person who entered freely into a master/slave relationship with another. While not a perfect analogy—as Paul himself noted (Romans 6:19)—it's useful to make the point at hand.

Paul now writes that, by trusting in Christ for our salvation, we have entered into that same relationship with God. Our identity is so closely connected to Christ that we are being changed to people who are bound to do what is right. This is who we are now. This is good news. Why? Because the "fruit"—the natural consequence—of serving righteousness is sanctification and eternal life. This is opposed to the shame and death which follow from serving sin.

Sanctification, translated sometimes as "holiness," is the process of being changed in our inner selves to become more and more like Christ. We are not fully there (1 John 1:9–10), but because we now belong to God, we are on the way. He is changing us (1 John 3:2).

Ultimately, the result of this path we are on in Christ will be eternal life. We will participate in the glories of God forever (Romans 5:2).