Bible Commentaries
Romans 6

Godbey's Commentary on the New TestamentGodbey's NT Commentary

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The Pauline argument on justification by the free grace of God in Christ, received and appropriated by faith alone, pursuant to the Messianic covenant, which God renewed with Abraham, honoring him with the paternity of faith, antithetical to the Divine paternity of grace faith and grace being counterparts of the same glorious plan, representing respectively the human and divine side is the most elaborate in all the Bible, beginning with Romans 6:19, Chapter 3, and closing with Chapter 5, in that irresistible, sweeping conclusion exultantly triumphing in the transcendent, superabounding grace of Adam the Second, who has swept every conceivable difficulty from the field, defeated sin, death and hell, and thrown wide open the pearly gates and issued His royal amnesty proclamation to the ends of the earth, offering to every fallen son and daughter of Adam’s race grace and glory, world without end, without money and without price. Following this sledge-hammer logic on justification, he now takes hold of the sin-principle, goes down into the subterranean regions of the soul and shows up its utter eradication by the omnipotent grace of Adam the Second.

Verse 1

1. “Then what shall we say? Must we abide in sin in order that grace may abound?” Here Paul takes by the throat this hell-hatched, hackneyed argument of the carnal preachers, i. e., that God is glorified by inbred sin abiding in us to keep us humble and magnify the grace of God by forgiving us when we are overcome by the tempter and yield and sin. He literally eradicates and annihilates this silly Satanic argument, setting out with a flat denial.

Verse 2

2. “It could not be so.” Not as E. V., “God forbid,” which is a strong imprecation, but as the Greek gives it, a positive and unequivocal denial. Hence the advocates of this carnal dogma (and their name is legion) are forced into the attitude of flatly contradicting Paul and the Holy Ghost. “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” Sin is conquered and bound in regeneration, but killed in sanctification. Hence a truly sanctified man can no more commit sin than a dead man lying in his grave can rise up and throw rocks at the passers by. You must remember the Bible is a common-sense book. While sin is dead in me and I can not commit it, yet it is I can commit sin, and if I do not watch and pray, I will. Why? though sin is dead the devil its author is not dead. Armies of demons throng the air ready every moment to put sin back in the heart after it has been destroyed. The house can not burn down, because there is no fire in it. Yet it can burn down, because the incendiaries are lurking round seeking an opportunity to burn it. Good Lord, save us from rushing into foolish, irrelevant conclusions! So long as we are in this world we are in the enemy’s land, liable at any moment to be attacked and killed. This world is no “friend to grace to help us on to God.” Yet it is literally and positively true, as here we have it stated, that Adam the Second is more than a match for Adam the First, and ready to slay him in a moment pursuant to your consecration and faith.

Verse 3

3. “Do you not know that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” While there is a beautiful symbolism in water baptism, typifying the baptism of the Holy Spirit by which sin is exterminated, God forbid that we should run into papistical dogmas of baptismal regeneration by giving a materialistic interpretation to this passage. It does not say “baptized into water,” but “into Jesus Christ.” Hence, the construction of it simply to mean water baptism materializes God and runs into idolatry. This baptism, which is none other than that of the Holy Ghost, actually puts you in Christ, where there is no sin, thus utterly and eternally annihilating sin, as we have indicated by our baptism into His death. Just as Christ died on the cross, so do we die to sin in this baptism, when by the Holy Ghost we are baptized into the death of Christ, when we are as free from sin as the dead body of Jesus was from life while lying in the tomb.

Verse 4

4. “Therefore we have been buried along with him through baptism into death.” We find here that the baptism is the agent who executes the work of the burial into the death, which means the atonement of Christ, which is the receptacle of all sin which escapes damnation; i. e., every old man of sin must either be buried into the atonement of Christ and be left there forever, or be burned in hell fire world without end. It is astounding that Bible readers identify this baptism with the burial which is positively contradictory of Paul’s plain statement which makes the baptism the undertaker instead of the interment. “In order that, as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so may we also walk in newness of life.” Here we see that the resurrection must be homogeneous to the interment, being performed by the omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit, who raised the body of Christ from the dead. Therefore it follows as a logical sequence that the Holy Ghost Himself is the agent in both operations, i. e., the internment and the resurrection, thus clearly and demonstratively proving that this is none other than the baptism of the Holy Ghost slaying the man of sin and burying him forever into the death of Christ, the only receptacle of sin as an alternative of hell. When this old body of sin is thus forever removed, eternally buried in the death of Christ, the new man, having been resurrected in regeneration, now utterly disencumbered and free, walks on forever with God in “newness of life.” We must bear in mind that water is not mentioned in this chapter, while all the language is homogeneous with the baptism of the Spirit and out of harmony with a material transaction. If your conscience demands baptism by immersion in water, do not hesitate to satisfy your convictions in the beautiful symbolism of the material ordinance. Yet it is exceedingly pertinent that we do not mar this beautiful, clear and demonstrative statement of the supernatural baptism of the Spirit by confounding it with an outward ceremony. The thing buried in this transaction is not your physical body, which is buried in water and baptized by immersion, and the same identical body immediately raised up by the muscular power of the administrator; but that old body of sin, which is invisible and spiritual, having been crucified by the Holy Ghost in sanctification and now buried into the death, i. e., the atonement of Christ, and left there forever; because if unfortunately Satan raises him up, “the last state is worse than the first.” Hence we see the utter heterogeneity of two transactions, the internment involving the old man of sin after he has been crucified by the Holy Ghost, putting him down deep into the death of Christ, the exterminator of all sin, there to abide forever; while the new man, the son of God, created in the heart by the Holy Ghost in regeneration, is raised up to walk in newness of life forever. Hence we see that one thing is buried, so to remain forever. An infinitely different thing is the subject of the resurrection; i. e., the old man, the son of the devil, is the subject of the interment; and the new man, the son of God, the subject of the resurrection. Hence we see the impertinency in the interpretation of this Scripture as simply applying to water baptism by immersion, in which the same physical body is the subject both of the interment and the resurrection.

Verse 5

5. “For if we have been grown together in the likeness of his death, we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection.” “Planted together” in E. V. is wrong (see R. V.), the translators mistaking sumphuoo, grow together,” for sumphuteuoo, “plant together.” Hence the true reading is, “we have been grown together,” a beautiful allusion to frugiculture, in which the graft, having been inserted into the trunk, grows fast, assimilating itself, and the two becoming organically identical. The fruit-grower supplies his nursery with seedlings whose fruit is utterly worthless, symbolizing the people born into this world in a state of total depravity, bearing fruit which is good for nothing. Then he proceeds to cut down these seedlings, at the same time grafting into each trunk the scion which produces the good fruit he proposes to cultivate for the market. This is regeneration, each branch growing fast to the trunk and bearing fruit. If these trees remain in the nursery, they will be stunted and dwarfed for want of room and prove a failure. Therefore they must be transplanted into the orchard, putting each one off alone where it has plenty of room to grow and develop; meanwhile, the strong winds beating against it, no longer protected by its comrades in the nursery, bend it hither and thither, circulating the sap, and keeping it from becoming bark-bound, and at the same time loosening up the roots so they can penetrate deep down into the earth and lap around the great rocks, thus holding it steadfast amid all the storms, the roots penetrating into deeper depths, running far out, and absorbing new fields of fertility, while the branches mount high and spread out, bearing an abundance of delicious fruits, making glad many hearts. This is the sanctified experience contemplated in this beautiful metaphor.

Verse 6

6. “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified, in order that the body of sin may be destroyed, that we may no longer serve sin.” Here we have the golden key which unlocks all the mystery involved in this profoundly interesting, though much controverted, paragraph. Paul is grand in the utilization of illustrative metaphors, using the term “man” in quite a diversity of significations; e. g., “new man,” indicating the new creation wrought in the heart by the Holy Ghost in regeneration, also synonymous with inner man” (2 Corinthians 4:15), and the “hidden man of the heart” (1 Peter 3:4), the “outer man,” meaning simply the physical body, and destitute of spiritual signification; while he actually, in a diversity of phraseology, rings changes on the “old man of sin” throughout all of his writings, everywhere thus symbolically alluding to the old Adam, i. e., the fallen nature, the corrupt tendency transmitted to us and hereditary from the Fall. This “old man” does not mean our personal sins, which are not as old as we are, but original sin, which is as old as Adam’s transgression; and therefore so pertinently denominated the “old man.” You see here that this old man is crucified, i. e., killed dead. The burial here described is the legitimate counterpart of the crucifixion, consistently carrying out the metaphor pursuant to the legitimate logical sequence that the dead are to be buried. Then, if you want to know what is buried in this transaction, you have only to ascertain what is dead. You see it is that old crucified man, now a loathsome dead corpse, and must be buried out of sight, there to remain forever. There is only one place to bury this body in case that the soul is saved, and that is the death of Christ, the vicarious atonement, the

“Fountain filled with blood, Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;

And sinners plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains.”

In case of the wicked, this old man of sin is buried in hell-fire; while in the experience of the saved he receives interment into the death of Christ, there to abide forever actually exterminated. Is this crucifixion gradual or instantaneous? When the poor victim is nailed to the cross, he gradually suffers and bleeds his life away, finally dying suddenly in a moment. One moment there is life in him, and not yet dead. The next moment life has actually ebbed away, and he is dead as the bones in Ezekiel’s vision. The instantaneity and completeness of the crucifixion is here settled beyond the possibility of cavil, revealed by the Holy Ghost in the aorist tense peculiar to the Greek language alone, and made by the Holy Ghost to reveal His own mighty work. Sanctification throughout the New Testament is constantly revealed by this tense. While a gradual work precedes and another follows sanctification, yet the work itself is instantaneous. While regeneration is birth, sanctification is the death of the old man. Do you not know that death is always sudden? I was well acquainted for forty years with a man who was a hopeless consumptive, been given up by all physicians to die at the beginning of that period. Yet he lived on the forty years, through all the time the same hopeless consumptive, and finally died as suddenly as the tick of the clock. The burial which follows the death, putting away the corpse out of sight permanently to abide in its final resting place (for there is no resurrection in this case, unless you let the devil raise him and ruin everything), indicates the settlement of the sanctified in the permanent and growing experience of holiness. “That the body of sin may be destroyed.” This statement of the Holy Spirit is an additional confirmation of the grand and glorious work of God in sin’s utter extermination. How honest Bible readers can pass superficially over this and still believe in the necessary survival of the old man in the heart till corporeal death, I can not see. I defy the scholarship of the world to formulate a statement more clearly conclusive of extermination than this, which we have from Paul’s infallible pen. The word “destroyed” here is also in the aorist tense, indicating a complete work, and precluding the possibility of survival. Oh, how hard it is to get people to believe the mighty works of God! We so naturally look upon His work from a human standpoint, forgetting that it is as easy for Omnipotence to create a world as to precipitate a snowflake from a passing cloud. How pertinent that we pray, “Lord, increase our faith.”

Verse 7

7. “For the one having died has been made free from sin,” i. e., the person who has “died to sin,” as above described, i. e., “had the old man crucified,” and the “body of sin destroyed.” “Has been made free from sin,” fully and literally translated, giving the force of the Greek perfect, would read, “Has been made free from sin, and more so now than ever.”

Whereas the English definition of the perfect tense is an action completed in past time, developing a state continuing down to the present; the Greek has the same definition, but always lays the emphasis on the present, the English putting it on the past, thus giving a wonderful force to the revealed truth on Christian experience; e. g., Hebrews 10:10, “By whose will we have been sanctified by the offering of the body of Christ once, and have it yet better than ever.” This Romans 6:7 we are now investigating has been appropriated by Universalists to refute the future punishment of the wicked, deducing from it the conclusion that physical death liberates all from sin. This construction is utterly untrue, since the apostle is not speaking of the physical man at all, but the spiritual, throughout the entire argument. This verse follows the sixth as a legitimate corollary from the death of the old man and the destruction of the body of sin. Of course in that case the person having experienced the actual death of sin has been made free from it. There is a rattlesnake on your premises, much to your annoyance and danger.

That venomous monster is not only killed, but taken away and buried deep in the earth, there to remain forever. Of course you are now free from the presence, alarm, and peril of the monster, and will so remain forever. This monster is inbred sin. Jesus wants to kill him and utterly put him away forever, thus making you free from sin.

Verse 8

8. “But if we died along with Christ, we believe that we shall live along with him,

Verse 9

9. “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more: death hath no more dominion over him.” We are here portrayed, by the inspired apostle, going with Christ to Calvary and there being nailed to the cross and crucified with Him. None but disciples of Christ go to heaven. If you would be His disciple you must follow Him in the great salient facts of His personal experience. You must follow Him to the manger and be born of the Spirit in utter obscurity and contempt of the world. You must follow Him to the Jordan and receive the Holy Ghost descending on you and filling you. You must follow Him as He climbs Mount Calvary, and there be nailed to the cross, bleed and die as He did. You must also follow Him in His glorious resurrection, transfiguration and triumphant ascension. After Christ had died He had the perfect and eternal victory over death. All the powers of the Roman Empire could never have killed Him again. Just so this wonderful experience of entire sanctification, crucifying the old man and burying him deep into the atonement, sinking him away into the “sea of forgetfulness,” never to be heard of again, thus “destroying the body of sin,” makes us just as free from sin as Christ was from physical death after He had consummated His work and exhausted all of His resources, so far as He was concerned, becoming powerless as a fleeting shadow.

Verse 10

10. “For in that he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.” This verse continues to tighten up the preceding argument, confirming more and more the triumphant assurance of the gracious possibility for us to be as free from sin as Christ is from death. These are paradoxical revelations. Yet we have but to believe and God will see to their verification.

Verse 11

11. “Thus you also reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus.” Hitherto the apostle has been on the divine side presenting the mighty works of God in the destruction of the sin-principle in the human heart. He now turns over to the human side, telling us how to get it. This “reckon” means consider, believe, reason, et cetera. It is a verb in the imperative mood, plural number, and present tense. Good Lord, help us to obey this commandment and “reckon ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin.” See the emphatic adverb “indeed” obliterating every possible doubt. Now will you do this “reckoning”? Rest assured God will make it good. When I crossed the Atlantic Ocean the second time, we were confronted by an awful storm five days and nights; no glimpse of sun, moon, nor stars, but mountain billows lashing the clouds and rolling over the ship. We were mid-Ocean, the storm striking us five hundred miles this side Gibraltar and letting up a thousand miles east of New York. Yet our noble ship with her thirty-six boilers shot through the storm like an arrow, landing precisely on time according to the reckoning of those sturdy old German sailors. If human reckoning can be relied on amid ocean storms, certainly we can depend on divine reckoning amid all the storm of probationary life. So you make the reckoning. He who has commanded you to “reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin,” will certainly make the reckoning good by killing sin outright, so dead it will never kick again. Shall I make this reckoning when I know sin is alive in me? Of course, with the painful consciousness that sin is alive in you as big as a rhinoceros, you muster courage to “reckon [it] dead indeed.” You have nothing to do but hold on to the reckoning, shout victory and be true. God, pursuant to your faith, will certainly attend to the death problem. He will kill it. So, to your infinite delight, you will find it is “indeed dead.”

Verse 12

12. “Let not sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey the lusts of the same.” This verse is tersely recapitulatory, dropping, for a moment, back to the unconverted state in which sin reigns in the “mortal body.” In justification sin is conquered and bound preparatory to execution in sanctification (5:6).

Verse 13

13. “Neither permit ye your members arms of unrighteousness unto sin”; as in that case you will necessarily backslide and go headlong to hell. Justification is a transition experience, destined either to go on into holiness, consummated by the execution of the “old man,” or by yielding your members as “arms of unrighteousness,” go back into sin and down to hell. “But present yourselves unto God as alive from the dead, and your members as arms of righteousness unto God.” This is an important appeal for entire consecration, which is the human side of sanctification. How pertinent this fervent exhortation after his vivid description of entire sanctification by the crucifixion of the “old man” and the destruction of the “body of sin.” The Jew presented the offering to God by laying it on the altar which sanctified the gift. He had nothing to do with the work of sanctification. That was effected by mere contact with God’s altar. But he must bring the offering and put it on the altar; even so the crucifying of old Adam is not your work, thank God. For you could never do it; but it is the work of Him who hung the heavens upon naught, and flung the stars glittering over the skies; so hurry up and make the consecration. Time is flying and eternity is coming. Consecrate at once and make the reckoning. Then the louder you shout, the sooner the walls of Jericho will fall.

Verse 14

14. “For sin shall not have dominion over you; because you are not under law, but under grace.” The law has no quarrel with any one but the law- breaker, i. e., this old man of sin. Hence, when he is dead, you are as free from the law as if there was no law. When you get rid of everything in your nature that wants to violate the law, you are then just as free from the law as if there were none. In a great city like this (New York), full of policemen, jails, and penitentiaries, I am as free as a bird of paradise. Though I do not know the laws of the city, I have no fear; because I have no longer any disposition to violate any law, human or divine. The four stages, i. e., sin, law, grace, and glory, appertain to every soul in the transition from earth to heaven. Egypt is sin-vexed, Pharaoh emblematizing the devil! The wilderness is law-land, the law actually thundering forth from Sinai in the wilderness, and given to people who were in covenant relation with God and amenable to His law, yet possessed of inbred sin antagonizing the law, and destined to die verifying the penalty of the violated law. Pursuant to the violated law, old Adam is buried deep in the bottom of the Jordan, and Canaan, grace-land, is entered amid the triumphant shouts which knock down the walls of Jericho. In Egypt we had guilt; in the wilderness, depravity; and in Canaan, infirmity; justification taking us out of bondage, sanctification out of legalism, and finally glorification sweeping away all infirmities and transporting us out of grace into glory.

Verse 15

15. “What then? May we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? It could not be so.” This is one of Satan’s heretical phases of sanctification, persuading people that when they are free from the law, they can violate it with impunity. Ever and anon he catches a lot of fanatics on that hook. Well does Paul settle the question summarily by a positive negation. Such a conclusion is preposterously false, from the simple fact that this glorious freedom actually identifies you with the Lawgiver, making you a subordinate in the divine administration, helping God in the maintenance of law and order throughout the universe. Hence the gross incompatibility of the slightest disharmony with the law on your part. The children of the King are free from the law; yet they are the paragon exemplars of legal obedience, conservatism and loyalty. When your will is lost in God’s will, you enjoy the very freedom of God Himself, who is perfectly free to do everything good and nothing bad. This is the very climax of perfect liberty.

Verse 16

16. “Do you not know that to whom ye present yourselves slaves to obedience, ye are slaves to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Man is a dependency by nature, All attempts to assume independence have collapsed and ultimated in ruin; i. e., the Eden independence winding up in the Fall, the Antediluvian in the Flood, the Patriarchal in Egyptian slavery, the Jewish in destruction by the Roman armies; and in the clear light of prophecy the Gentile destined to go the same way, ending in the great tribulation. Man would have stood under any or all of these dispensations if he had been true to God. Human independence is but another name for Satanic slavery. Entire sanctification makes you God’s slave. This is the identical word applied by the Holy Ghost to God’s apostles and saints throughout the Bible. God’s slavery means perfect liberty. If you were a slave on earth, and your master were perfectly good, infinitely rich, and loved you enough to die for you, in that case you would be free and happy as an angel.

Verse 17

17. “Grace belongeth unto God, because ye have obeyed from the heart that type of teaching unto which ye were committed,

Verse 18

18. “And having been made free from sin, you became slaves unto righteousness.” The stupendous fact of your wonderful deliverance out of Satanic slavery, which means brutality here and damnation hereafter, and have been transformed into the slaves of God, which means the highest freedom in the universe, i. e., the very delectable and glorious liberty of God himself, is a grand source of thanksgiving to God. Hence the apostle opens this sentence with a shout of triumph, proceeding with a beautiful rehearsal of the glorious transformation, culminating in entire sanctification which really makes you the slave of righteousness, i. e., perfectly subservient to righteousness, having not the slightest affinity for unrighteousness.

Verse 19


19. “For I speak after the manner of a man on account of the weakness of your flesh.” While in these bodies, as Wesley well says, “we can only think, speak and act through organs of clay.” Sense and phraseology must be simplified and adapted to the people. For this reason, the Old Testament abounds in symbolism, and the New in parabolic and materialistic imagery and illustration. In heaven Paul hears language incomprehensible on earth, doubtless because of its pure spirituality (2 Corinthians 12:0).

“For as ye presented your members slaves unto uncleanness and iniquity pursuant to iniquity.”

This is a vivid description of the wicked living animal lives, afflictive and even suicidal to themselves. God’s order reversed the angel down in the mud and the hog on top! The brutal “uncleanness” peculiar to the wicked gives them a hell on earth ten thousand aches, pains and sorrows known only to themselves. Thousands of people annually die in the hospitals of this city (New York) and are buried alone in the Potter’s Field, with no friend on earth to speak a word in the dying ear. Millions of people shorten their lives by brutality and sink into paupers’ graves. The wicked not only sin against themselves and humanity, but sin against God. Hence this double epithet: “uncleanness,” which is sin against themselves; and “iniquity” (Greek, lawlessness, i. e., transgression of God’s laws), sin against God. Here the Holy Ghost specifies the source of all this, i. e., eis anomian, “pursuant to iniquity” or “lawlessness.” This word means depravity. In, prefixed to a word, means not. Hence iniquity means the want of equity, i. e., justice. De, used as a word, has a negative meaning, i. e., deprivation. Hence you see iniquity and depravity are synonymous. In this verse we have the affirmation that both uncleanness and iniquity proceed from the common source of human depravity. This is the negative side of the argument. Now, in the prosecution of the affirmative, we find a radical tergiversation take place, eliminating depravity and superseding it by holiness to the Lord. “Thus now ye have presented your members slaves unto righteousness pursuant to sanctification.” This part of the verse describes the experience following the wonderful transformation of grace. I find here the very pure Greek construction appertaining to sanctification after the wonderful transition as to depravity in the former state when you were “slaves to uncleanness and iniquity.” Hence it follows as a logical sequence that the deep interior of the heart, where Satan has his throne and the rattlesnakes of inbred sin coil and rattle on all sides, is gloriously expurgated of all evil, Satan ousted, the snakes, reptiles and doleful creatures slain, their blood and bones enriching the soil, now turned over to King Immanuel, who transforms the entire situation into the blooming gardens and beautiful fields of Eden, through which the angels walk, and the songs of the seraphim are wafted on heavenly breezes, and there the Holy Ghost has enthroned Jesus to reign without a rival. The antithesis is profoundly significant, eis anomian and eis hagiasmon: “pursuant to iniquity” in case of the sinner, and “pursuant to sanctification” in case of the righteous. Here is the significant fact: the deep, subterranean region of the fallen spirit, occupied by inbred sin and impregnably fortified by the devil, is radically expurgated of all carnal debris, washed in the blood of the Lamb, and filled with the perfect love of God. Consequently the very temptations which formerly stirred the malevolent affections, i. e., anger, wrath, malice, envy, jealousy, prejudice, bigotry, egotism, pride, vanity and all of the selfish predilections, now arouse the very opposite, i. e., love, kindness, pity, sympathy, philanthropy, charity, forgiveness, and an earnest desire to do good for evil. All this follows as a logical sequence from the fact that the old malevolent affections are eradicated and gone, and the benevolent emotions have taken their place. Hence so long as you are truly sanctified, the very incentives which formerly to your sorrow, defeat and disgrace aroused evil, will now only awaken the corresponding good. This is truly a miracle of grace, paradoxical to aliens, but blessedly real to the truly sanctified.

Verse 20

20. “For when you may be the slaves of sin, you may be free of righteousness.” The sinner has no righteous character whatever. The sanctified have no sinful character. The one the slave of sin, and the other that of holiness, while the justified are somewhat intermediate, though no longer serving sin, but still having it on hand in a subjugated state and serving in the kingdom of God after the similitude of hirelings, liable to go out at any time.

Verse 21

21. “Then what reward had you at any time? in which things you are now ashamed; for the end of those things is death.” Here is an interrogatory allusion to your old life in sin, when Satan paid you in ruined health, dissipated fortune, alienated friends, scandal, bankruptcy and a guilty conscience of which you are ashamed.

Verse 22

22. “But now having been made free from sin and having become slaves unto God, you have your fruit unto sanctification and the end eternal life.” Regeneration is the flower, and sanctification the fruit. While the flower is exceedingly beautiful, and indispensable to the production of the fruit, yet it alone is utterly worthless. Not so with the fruit; you can live on it if you never saw the flower. Hence we see the grand end of the gracious economy is sanctification, which qualifies you for the battlefield and robes you for the mount of victory; regeneration being an indispensable preparatory work, but an utter failure if not followed by sanctification, as the flower is futile if nipped by frost or blighted by death, so that it falls away, producing no fruit. As we see millions of flowers bloom and fade and no fruit appear, so myriads are happily converted, who fall away, never producing the delicious fruit of holiness for the angels and redeemed spirits to enjoy in heaven.

Verse 23

23. “For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We see from the preceding that all sinners are Satan’s slaves, who may deluge them with the alluring promises of the good things in this life, at the same time flattering them that they will get saved before they die and reach heaven after enjoying all the pleasures of sin. No man can pay what he does not possess. Satan has nothing but sin, misery, disgrace, death and damnation. Hence he invariably, in the end, pays off his servants with his own currency, giving them disappointment, wretchedness and remorse in this life and a burning hell through all eternity. God’s people, when saved to the uttermost, are free as angels, enjoying the glorious liberty of God Himself, qualifying them to do everything good and nothing bad. The greatest desire of the immortal soul is eternal life. This we have in our wonderful Savior, without money and without price; while Satan pays off his poor slaves with death, not simply the fleeting, evanescent death of the body, but that of the soul, which never dieth, though dying on through all eternity.

Bibliographical Information
Godbey, William. "Commentary on Romans 6". "Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament".