ROMANS CHAPTER 6
Verses 1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we
continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 - Certainly not! How shall we
who died to sin live any longer in it?
A. "What shall we say then? Shall we
continue in sin that grace may abound?"
Verses 3-7 Or do you not know that as many of
us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 -
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just
as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so
we also should walk in newness of life. 5 - For if we have been united
together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the
likeness of His resurrection, 6 - knowing this, that our old man was crucified
with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should
no longer be slaves of sin. 7 - For he who has died has been freed from
sin. 8 - Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live
1. Paul picks up on the thought that
he finished with in chapter five. Chapter five finishes with the glory
of grace. "Where sin did abound, grace did much more abound."
B. "Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin
live any longer in it?"
2. It seems like Paul quotes some of his questioners
who very likely asked, "If grace is shown more glorious by the magnitude
of sin then the more we sin the more people can see God’s grace.
3. Paul looks at this point earlier in 3:5-8
when he dealt with the contention that unrighteousness is really good because
it demonstrates the righteousness of God.
1. Paul uses a strong declaration when
he says, "Certainly not." The KJV uses the powerful Elizabethan phrase,
"God forbid." While the name of God is not in the original text, the phrase
is still understood and being a powerful one in our day. The original language
demonstrated a strong and powerful negative. See the footnote in Reese’s
commentary on Romans.
2. Paul asked a rhetorical question. "How can
those who have died to the practice (lifestyle) of sinning continue living
a sinful life." In other words, how could anyone who has tasted to gracious
gift of grace in their lives have any desire to continue to sin. See also
2 Corinthians 5:14.
A. "Or do you not know that as many
of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?"
Verses 9-10 knowing that Christ, having been
raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
10 - For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life
that He lives, He lives to God.
1. Paul appeals to the fact that those
Christians have died to the old life of sin through baptism. All those
who have been baptized have died to sin.
B. "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism
into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of
the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
2. Baptism is "into Christ."
1. The primary meaning of this passage
is not what is usually argued. It is the fact that Christ have died to
sin in their participating in the death of Jesus in baptism. We no longer
live in sin but have been raised to walk a new life.
C. "For if we have been united together in the likeness
of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection"
2. Two other lessons to learn from this passage
a. We begin our new life at the waters
of baptism. When we are baptized into Christ we become Christians.
b. That baptism is a burial.
1. This is the greatness of baptism.
It is a participation in the death, burial , and resurrection of our Lord.
D. " knowing this, that our old man was crucified
with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should
no longer be slaves of sin."
2. The likeness of his death is when we are immersed
in baptism. The "likeness of his resurrection" is when we are raised up
from the waters of baptism.
1. When we are baptized be participate
in his death. The old sinful man is "crucified." This is to mark an end
to the old sinful life. We are no longer the bondslaves of a sinful way
A. "knowing that Christ, having been
raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him."
Romans 6:11 - Likewise you also, reckon yourselves
to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12
- Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey
it in its lusts. 13 - And do not present your members as instruments of
unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from
the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 -
For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but
1. When Jesus was resurrected he was
raised to never suffer the pains of death.
B. "For the death that He died, He died to sin once
for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God."
2. Coffman states, "This verse is not a technical
statement of the deity of Christ, but implies it." It is certainly true
that it is Christ who has dominion of death not death over him. See also
1 Timothy 1:17.
1. While on earth Jesus was subject
to temptation like any other man (Hebrews 4:15). This is seen in his temptation
in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1ff), and exchange with Peter (Mark 8:32-33),
and logically in the Garden of Gethsemane.
2. His dying to sin meant that at the point of
death Jesus no longer was subject to temptation like other men. He will
never be subject to temptation like he was on earth.
3. He now has returned to the state (spiritually)
of perfect agreement with the will of the Father. While on earth Jesus
physical will could be at variance with the Father’s (Matthew 26:39), even
though he subjected his will to that of the Father. In this regard see
A. "Likewise you also, reckon yourselves
to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Verses 15-18 What then? Shall we sin because
we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 - Do you not know
that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's
slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience
leading to righteousness? 17 - But God be thanked that though you were
slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which
you were delivered. 18 - And having been set free from sin, you became
slaves of righteousness.
1. This is a continuing picture of what
happens at the point of our immersion into Christ. We die to a life and
practice of sin. Just (likewise) as Jesus died to be subject to sin in
his death, so too in our spiritual death we die to being under the domination
B. "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal
body, that you should obey it in its lusts."
1. This passage answers two possible
questions that arise from this passage.
C. "And do not present your members as instruments
of unrighteousness to sin..."
a. Since we are Christians under grace
does it matter if we live in sin? Paul says NO! As far fetched as this
sound there have been some who professed to being Christians who held to
this philosophy, the infamous Russian Orthodox monk Rasputin being the
most famous. Since we did to sin in our baptism we must not give in to
the lusts of our bodies.
2. Christians should no longer continue a lifestyle
of sin, since they have died to the practice of sin. Paul does not say
it is impossible for Christians to, either hypocritically or deliberate
reentering the world, to begin living that lifestyle. He says that Christian
should not do that as long as they remember that they died to the practice
of sin in their immersion.
b. Second, do Christians commit sin after their
baptism? Again, there are some who erroneously concluded from Scripture
that once one becomes a Christian he/she is no longer subject to any of
the temptations of the flesh. They appeal to this passage and also to 1
John 3:9, "Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains
in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God." It becomes
obvious from a reading of the Scriptures that Christians are subject to
sin (1 John 1:7-9; Romans 3:23; 2 Peter 2:20-22).
a. Reese says that this literally means
"the sin" and could just as easily be substituted by "the Devil" reigning
over our bodies. Since sin is the means by which the Devil controls mankind,
when we control sin in our lives we control the Devil’s influence.
1. We are not to give our lives over
as tools in the hands of the Evil One. It become painfully obvious that
the primary tool of the Devil in the world today is through the lives of
those whom have given themselves over to him.
D. "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for
you are not under law but under grace."
2. See also 1 Peter 2:11
3. This is more than a negative command to stay
away from the domination of sin. We must give our selves as active tools
of righteousness. We must submit willingly to the will of God. See Romans
12:1-2; James 4:7.
1. Sin should no longer be the controlling
force in the life of the faithful Christian. We are under grace, having
been saved by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:7-9)
2. Christians can confidently affirm the ability
to overcome temptation and remain faithful because the understand that
they live and survive through the grace of God. They are not under the
Law of Moses, where every transgression required payment by the one who
sinned. They are under grace, where there is constant forgiveness through
the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7).
A. "What then? Shall we sin because
we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!"
Verses 19-23 I speak in human terms because of
the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves
of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now
present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. 20 - For
when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
21 - What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed?
For the end of those things is death. 22 - But now having been set free
from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness,
and the end, everlasting life. 23 - For the wages of sin is death, but
the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1. Paul certainly doesn’t mean that
the Christian is not under any obligations in serving God, as he will proceed
to affirm. He is not under the Law of Moses, that law which condemned without
any hope of salvation within itself. We are under a law of grace, which
provides forgiveness of past and present sins. See Romans 8:1-2; 1 Corinthians
9:21; James 1:25.
B. "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves
slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin
leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?"
2. Paul is saying that grace puts us under obligation
to live different from the world. See Titus 2:11-12.
3. Paul uses the same strong affirmation as verse
one ("God forbid!" - KJV). He cannot imagine anyone believing that just
because one lives under grace that they believe that they can live a lifestyle
of sin. This is not referring to physical impossibilities, for the Bible
talks about those who go back into the lifestyle of the world (See 2 Peter
2:20-22), but is stating that is should not happen.
1. This is a picture of one who was
a slave. Once he was sold to another the old master had no claim over him.
He was completely the property of the new master.
C. "But God be thanked that though you were slaves
of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you
2. Notice that Paul gives what causes a person
to be a "slave of Christ." One either obeys the Devil in living a life
of sin, or obeys Christ by living a life of obedience.
1. This, in a nutshell, simply repeats
what Paul had said at the beginning of the chapter.
D. "And having been set free from sin, you became
slaves of righteousness."
2. Obedience comes from the heart. See Romans
3. Baptism is the "form of doctrine" because
it is the participation in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
It is there that we receive the benefits of the shed blood of Christ. It
is the expression of our obedience that is required of all men. See Matthew
7:21; Hebrews 5:8-9.
4. This gives the two actions that are required
on the part of the slave of sin in order to become free from sin. He/She
a. Obey the form of doctrine - by being
baptized into Christ.
b. Obey from the heart - with true sincerity.
1. We have become free from the domination
of sin in our lives. We have voluntarily become the servants of Christ.
2. It is a ironic that in order for us to become
free from the bondage of sin we must voluntarily become the slave of Christ.
But it is a more than fair exchange in that we are giving up the pain and
sorrow that sin always leads to for the joy, peace, and true happiness
which our servanthood to Christ leads to.
3. This is just another way of saying that we
are no longer free to deliberately sin, i.e. be bound by sin as our master.
Our new master, the one we gave ourselves to voluntarily, is a righteous
way of life.
A. "I speak in human terms because of
the weakness of your flesh."
1. Paul is saying that he was speaking
in terms which they could understand, instead of speaking in more spiritual
terms. He used the illustration that Romans, fresh out of idolatry, could
readily understand. The status of slaves and being sold from one master
to another was a normal part of society in Rome. It has been estimated
that there were more slaves than free men in the city of Rome during the
B. "For just as you presented your members as slaves
a. The Scriptures always sought to put
in human terms great spiritual truths that come from the mind of God.
2. Concerning this whole section Coffman gives an
interesting paraphrase, " To paraphrase this verse, without metaphor, Paul
was simply telling the disciples that just as they once used all their
time and resources in committing impure and lawless deeds, now thy should
use all their energies in doing the things that honor God and bless humanity.
‘Iniquity unto uniquity...’ means more and more iniquity."
1. Coffman’s comments are succinct here.
They had lived "all out" for wickedness before they became Christians,
now they should live "all out" for righteousness, since righteousness is
now their master.
C. "For when you were slaves of sin, you were free
in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things
of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death."
1. There is a sense in which those who
have not been saved by the blood of Jesus are free from the "master" of
righteousness. They are subject to wicked living.
D. "But now having been set free from sin, and having
become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting
2. Paul asks, "what good came out of your wicked
living. What really comes from wicked living but death (separation from
1. Paul is urging the Roman brethren
to set their minds to live righteous lives. Their "fruit" (byproduct of
their right living) is being set apart to God. Each Christian’s live should
be dedicated to serving God. It is a simple truth that the farther we try
to separate ourselves from sin the closer we get to God.
E. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift
of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
2. The word holiness here is translated "sanctification"
in other translations (ASV, NASV).
1. Why should we live godly, righteous
lives? Because the just reward to living a lifestyle of sin is separation
from God eternally.
2. They end of righteous living "in
Christ" is just as sure, though not considered a wage. We do not deserve
salvation, no matter how godly we live. It is the "gift of God." But because
we are in Christ Jesus through our baptism into Christ we can expect the
blessing of eternal life, because we are faithful unto death. See also
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