Romans 6:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 6:23, NIV: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23, ESV: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23, KJV: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:23, NASB: For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23, NLT: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23, CSB: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What does Romans 6:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul sums up this section of his letter, and the entire gospel, in this one famous verse. He compares the two types of lives he has been describing. Those without Christ are slaves to sin. Their work of sinfulness earns a paycheck of death. In other words, they earn eternal death, eternal separation from God. No matter how good a person may think they are, their work can never be good enough (Isaiah 64:6), and ultimately, they have only themselves to blame for sinning against God (Romans 1:18–20; 3:10, 23).

There is another way, however. Paul has described the possibility that we can become servants of righteousness by trusting in Christ. This is not something we can do on our own. He wrote in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and fall short of God's glory. No, eternal life can only be given; it cannot be earned by human beings (Ephesians 2:8–9).

Paul describes eternal life as God's free gift in Christ Jesus our Lord. When we trust in Christ, God gives us credit for Christ's perfect, sinless life and accepts the payment of Christ's death for our sin. The result, eternal life with Him, sharing in His glory, is given to us as a gift.

Paul seems to be asking, "Which life do you want?"