From Here to Eternity
Once Upon a Time
Now Slaves of God
This is the clear parallelism between vv. 21 and 22 that is created if v. 21 is punctuated with a question mark after “then”:
“then”: slaves of sin, free from righteousness
“fruit” bringing shame
“now”: free from sin, slaves of God
“fruit” bringing sanctification
Paul highlights the negative nature of the “freedom” enjoyed by Christians in their past by showing that the “fruit” of which they are now ashamed resulted from that freedom.
Wage Earned versus a Gift Received
We may summarize the verse by noting, with Lloyd-Jones, its three contrasts: the master that is served—sin versus God; the outcome of that service—death versus eternal life; and the means by which this outcome is attained—a “wage” earned versus a gift received.