Death to Sin, Alive to God
Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
Rom 6:2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
Rom 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,
Rom 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;
Rom 6:7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
Rom 6:8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
Rom 6:9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.
Rom 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Rom 6:11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Rom 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,
Rom 6:13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
v1-2 – We start here with the idea of Dead to Sin and Alive in Christ. He starts out with a rhetorical question, that being ‘Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?’ Francis Schaeffer in his book, “The Finished Work of Christ” said in His comment on Romans 6:1, ‘Because we are saved only on the basis of Christ’s finished work, without any works on our part, does that mean we should just continue in sin?’ This is a great way of saying it. He then answers his own question in verse 2. And He starts with a very unambiguous and absolute denial. “God Forbid!” When we accepted the forgiveness offered by Christ through His death, burial and resurrection, at which point we died to sin, how can we still live in it? Our sins were dealt with on the cross and we are to obey the commands of Christ. James said, “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” James 2:17. In other words, if you have the faith and belief to truly accept Christ, you will truly live it as well. Now, the idea that we can continue in sin after salvation is the basic idea behind Antinomianism. It comes from the Greek meaning “lawless”. It is a pejorative term for the teaching that Christians are not under any obligation to obey the laws of ethics and morality. It is the exact opposite of legalism. The ethical and moral laws are not to be followed for salvation, but need to be followed to show our love of Christ. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15.
v3-4 – It is important to understand that when we were saved, we were baptized with Him by the Spirit into His death. Our old man died. Our old nature died. We are now under no obligation to obey the old man. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. But it does not end there. Because just as Christ was raised from the dead, we can now walk in newness of life. In other words, the new man we have become is who we now are. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20.
v5 – Paul brings out a very good argument here. If we are united with Him in the likeness of His death, then certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection. Someday, we will be raised physically from the dead. New bodies when He returns. However, this is not just something for the future. It means something for the present as well. As we saw in verse 4, we will walk in newness of life.
v6-8 – Paul now lays out five components regarding what he had stated in the previous passages. First, our old self was crucified with Christ; our old man died. So that, secondly, our body of sin might be done away with, in other words, destroyed. It will no longer have any power over us because, so that thirdly, we will no longer be slaves to sin as we once were. We no longer have to obey it, for the one who was bound as a slave, the old man, no longer lives. This means that, fourth, we are freed from sin. And fifth, if we have died with Christ, we know we will also live with Him.
v9 – When Jesus died and rose from the dead, that was the end of death as far as He was concerned. He is the Son of God, He came and gave His life for us. He did not deserve death, but He freely gave His life for our sins, to pay the penalty.
v10 – Of course He never sinned, He was perfect in all ways. So, why the words, ‘He died to sin?’ He never sinned, however, He was tempted. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15. The enemy had it in for Him, and wanted Him to fail in His mission. However, though he tempted Him just as we are, He never succumbed to it as we have.
v11 – So, as He died to sin, or for Him the temptation of sin, we must also consider ourselves dead to sin. And because we accepted Christ and the work He did on the cross, we are now alive to God, just as He is. Not because of anything we did, but because of all He did. Now, if we are honest with ourselves, we cry out ‘How is this possible?’. And the answer is through Christ. We are not called to live our life to God by ourselves, but through Christ.
v12 – Therefore, based on everything he said earlier, we must not let sin reign in us, to obey it’s lusts. We must be watchful that we do not go back to our old master, sin, and obey it’s calling. Let’s look back at verse 6 again. “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” Romans 6:6. There is a difference between not being perfect in this present life and letting sin rule your life. What Paul is saying is that we are not to let sin rule over our body. There will be times we fall, but the idea is the practice of sin. He uses the analogy of a slave and his master to make the point that a slave obeys his master because he belongs to him. Slaves have no will of their own. They are literally in bondage to their masters. When sin is our master, we are unable to resist it. But, by the power of Christ to overcome the power of sin, “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness”
v13 – The word ‘instruments’ is the Greek word for “arms used in warfare, weapons”. The idea here is that we do not yield ourselves as “arms of unrighteousness” to sin, in service to sin”, but yield ourselves and our members as “arms or weapons of righteousness” to God in service to Him.
v14 – Sin shall not be master over us if we live in and to Him, for we are not under law, but under grace. To be “under the law” is, first, to be under its claim to entire obedience; and so, next under its curse for the breach of these. And as all power to obey can reach the sinner only through Grace, of which the law knows nothing, it follows that to be “under the law” is, finally, to be shut up under an inability to keep it, and consequently to be the helpless slave of sin. On the other hand, to be “under grace,” is to be under the glorious canopy and saving effects of that “grace which reigns through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” The curse of the law has been completely lifted from us ; they are made “the righteousness of God in Him”; and they are “alive unto God through Jesus Christ.” So that, as when they were “under the law,” Sin could not but have dominion over them, so now that they are “under grace,” Sin cannot but be subdued under them. If before, Sin triumphed, Grace will now be more than conqueror.