v.17 Nygren points out that after detailing the conversion of the Romans, he does not praise the Romans, but gives thanks to God. Pauls focus is always on God and His emerging Kingdom.
v.21 Paul asks the Romans what was the fruit (karpos) of following the way of sin. He concludes in a word death. Here, the word is abstract and must be understood in all its fulness death physically, spiritually, and eschatologically.
v.22 Paul continues with his personification of Sin (Jamartia)" as a master. Paul speaks in terms of a transfer of ownership.from one master to another. The fruit of the new ownership is seen as bearing fruit in holiness which ends (telos) in eternal life.
v.23 Again, sin, as a master, pays a wage death. Conversely, God gives a free-gift (charisma) eternal life. Paul does not speak of God owing wages or being indebted in any way. He simply shows his beneficence by freely offering eternal life to all who believe in his Son, Jesus Christ.
1) How do you react to Pauls "all or nothing" attitude about serving God?
2) In verse 17, Paul speaks about a "form of teaching". What can we draw from this verse about the nature of Christian teaching?
3) There are several words in Greek for gift but the word Paul consistently uses to describe Gods gift of salvation is charisma This words is based on the root charis which we translate as grace in English. What insight does this knowledge bring to us.