A Study of Romans 6:21
What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
“What fruit” (fruit is works) “had ye then” (when?: “then” – when you were servants of sin – see the previous study of verse 20) “in those things” (works) “whereof ye are now” (Now – a servant of righteousness) “ashamed? for the end” (result) “of those things is death.” (will not save you).
Our text is teaching us that a saved person realizes that they have repented of thinking any works they perform could save them; they have been given our theme today: “Repentance unto life”.
The servant of righteousness (a believer in Christ) realizes that when they were not believers (“servants of sin”): that all their works (“fruit”) were nothing but sin. The believing Christian has been given “Repentance unto life”.
Repentance means a complete change of mind in our thinking on a matter or situation. The servant of righteousness has come to repent of what the Bible calls “Fruit unto death” – saying the same thing the end of our text says: “For the end of those things (fruit=works) is death”.
This is also proclaimed in Romans 7:5:
For when we were in the flesh (unsaved; a servant of sin), the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members (mind, emotions, will, body) to bring forth fruit unto death.
Trying to please God with our works outside of looking to Christ for ALL of salvation is dead works – “fruit unto death”: they are unacceptable to God and only brings death – eternal damnation.
“Repentance unto life”: is repenting (changing ones mind completely about a matter or situation) from ever thinking that our works apart from Christ could recommend (find us acceptable) us unto God. Repentance is part of the gospel and just like all other aspects (effects) of the gospel – to the believer it (repentance) is a gift from God (grace):
“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
2 Timothy 2:25
…if God peradventure will (if God wills to) give them (one of His people) repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. (the gospel – what the Bible says about salvation through Christ ALONE)
Have you been given “repentance unto life”?
Have we repented of ever thinking that any thing we did or didn’t do apart from Christ made us perfect before God?
Is repentance necessary for salvation?
The Words of Christ: “Except yet repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (come under eternal damnation; Luke 13:3).
If you are a servant of righteousness – trusting in Christ ALONE for ALL your salvation: God has granted (given) you “repentance unto life”!
If so, praise God that: “ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9).
If you are among God’s people and are still a servant of sin (not trusting in Christ ALONE for ALL your salvation) – Jesus Himself has a command for you: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)
By Craig Miklosik