But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Ye have your fruit.—You are no longer without fruit. Your fruit is the new Christian life which leads on to sanctification and finally to eternal life.
Being made free from sin - Being delivered from its dominion, and from bondage; in the same manner as before conversion they were free from righteousness, Romans 6:20.
Ye have your fruit unto holiness - The fruit or result is holiness. This service produces holiness, as the other did sin. It is implied here, though not expressly affirmed, that in this service which leads to holiness, they received important benefits, as in the service of sin they had experienced many evils.
And the end - The final result - the ultimate consequence will be. At present this service produces holiness; hereafter it will terminate in everlasting life. By this consideration the apostle states the tendency of the plan of justification, and urges on them the duty of striving after holiness.
Everlasting life - Note, John 3:36. This stands in contrast with the word "death" in Romans 6:21, and shows its meaning. "One is just as long in duration as the other;" and if the one is limited, the other is. If those who obey shall be blessed with life forever, those who disobey will be cursed with death forever. Never was there an antithesis more manifest and more clear. And there could not be a stronger proof that the word "death" in Romans 6:21, refers not to temporal death, but to eternal punishment. For what force would there be in the argument on the supposition that temporal death only is meant? The argument would stand thus: "The end of those sins is to produce temporal death; the end of holiness is to produce eternal life!" Will not temporal death be inflicted, it would be immediately asked, at any rate? Are Christians exempt from it? And do not people suffer this, whether they become Christians or not? How then could this be an argument bearing on the tenor of the apostle's reasoning? But admit the fair and obvious construction of the passage to be the true one, and it becomes plain. They were pursuing a course tending to everlasting ruin; they are now in a path that shall terminate in eternal life. By this weighty consideration, therefore, they are urged to be holy.
being made free from Sin, and become servants to God—in the absolute sense intended throughout all this passage.
ye have—not "ought to have," but "do have," in point of fact.
your fruit unto holiness—"sanctification," as in Ro 6:19; meaning that permanently holy state and character which is built up out of the whole "fruits of righteousness," which believers successively bring forth. They "have their fruit" unto this, that is, all going towards this blessed result.
and the end everlasting life—as the final state of the justified believer; the beatific experience not only of complete exemption from the fall with all its effects, but of the perfect life of acceptance with God, and conformity to His likeness, of unveiled access to Him, and ineffable fellowship with Him through all duration.
1. In your lifetime you increase in grace and holiness, and that is no small fruit or advantage; and then,
2. At your death you shall have everlasting life.
fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life: holiness is a fruit of freedom from the bondage of sin, and of serving God; holiness begun in regeneration, calling, and conversion, is a fruit of the Spirit; a course of living righteously is a fruit of holiness, as a principle implanted; a gradual increase in holiness is carried on by the Spirit of God in a course of righteousness; and a course of righteousness, from a principle of grace, issues in perfect holiness; "without which no man shall see the Lord" Hebrews 12:14: here it seems to design, that holiness is fruit, or that which is gain and profit to persons, in opposition to sin, in which there is no profit: it is not indeed profitable to God in point of merit; yet holiness, as a principle of grace, is profitable to the saints in point of meetness for glory; and holiness, as it denotes an external course of life, is useful and profitable on many accounts; hereby God is glorified, the doctrine of Christ is adorned, religion is honoured and recommended, our own credit, reputation, and peace, are preserved, and our neighbour's good promoted.But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)22. now] i.e. as things are, by Divine mercy.
to God] The real Master of the justified. The figures, “Obedience,” “Righteousness,” “Rule of Doctrine,” &c., are now laid aside, that He to whom they refer may at last appear in the Divine simplicity of His ownership over the soul.
ye have your fruit] The verb, by position, is emphatic. “You now have, what you then lacked, namely fruit; ‘your’ fruit, a real and happy profit and result from your new principle.”
unto holiness] unto sanctification; see on Romans 6:19. The “fruit” amounted to, consisted in, a steady course of self-denial and conflict against sin.
everlasting life] i.e. in this context, the bliss of the life to come; the “sight of the Lord” which is attained only by the path of “sanctification” (Hebrews 12:14); being, as it is, the issue and crown of the process.—Here, as in many other cases, note the varying reference of a single phrase. “Eternal life” is sometimes viewed as present (John 3:36; John 5:24;) sometimes, and more often, as future (e.g. John 4:36). In the first case it is the grace of regeneration, in the second, the developement of this in the glory to come.Romans 6:22. Νυνὶ δὲ, but now) Paul has used νυνὶ very often, and always with δἐ, but.—ἔχετε, you have; or, have ye, with which comp. Romans 6:19.—εἰς ἁγιασμὸν, unto sanctification [holiness], an antithesis to; ἐφʼ οἷς ἐπαισχύνεσθε, of which you are ashamed, Romans 6:21. Ye are a holy priesthood of God. The reference seems to be to Amos 2:11, לנזרים, LXX, εἰς ἁγιασμόν; Engl. Vers. has Nazarites.
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