When reading Romans, it's easy to follow the rhythm and just hit the highlights: amidst the flow of the argument, the sub-points, backup points, asides and so on are easy to miss.
One such easily marginalised verse, Romans 6:21, nestles immediately prior to the triumphant and highly memorable "But now you have been set free from sin...!"
But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. -- Romans 6:21
And yet, when I pause for thought, it reminds me that...
- I'm ashamed of my sin because my sin is shameful.
- Sin has no redeeming features: it brings no fruit, no growth, no strategic or long-term benefit.
- Sinning deliberately is the spiritual equivalent of sticking your arm in the jaws of an Tiger Snake. The existance of an effective anti-venom does not stop it from being criminally stupid and self-destructive.
- A sinner may be justified by Christ, but sin is never justified.
And it reminds me of the danger of reading Romans too quickly.