Romans 6:1-7

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 20, 2015 0 comments
by Katie Erickson

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin — because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” (Romans 6:1-7)

Previously in chapter 5, Paul explained the assurance of our salvation. He then went on to explain how Jesus’s death and resurrection could obliterate the power of sin (here). When Paul originally wrote this letter, there was no chapter break between what we know as the end of chapter 5 and the beginning of chapter 6; the verse and chapter markings that we have are simply a method of organization so we can more easily refer to the specific pieces of Scripture. So immediately before today’s passage, Paul wrote, “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Reading the end of chapter 5 probably raises the same question in your mind as it did to those original readers: What now? What does all that stuff mean for someone who has faith in Jesus Christ? How should it change how we live our lives?

Jesus Christ has set us free from not only the penalty of sin (which is death), but also from the power of sin. Being set free from the penalty of sin means we will not face eternal spiritual death. We will still die a physical death, but we not live out eternity in condemnation. Without Him and His Spirit dwelling with us, we are powerless to resist the sin and temptation that is all around us. But with His Spirit dwelling with us, it is possible for us to resist sin and temptation! It may not be easy for us, since we are still humans, but it is definitely possible. That is what it means to be released from the power of sin.

As verses 1-2 say, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” We as humans may think that if we want have to do the bad thing (sin) to get the good thing (grace), we should do more of the bad so we can get more of the good! But that’s not how it works with God’s grace. You may think that because of grace, your actions are irrelevant and you can just keep on sinning. But Paul makes sure that his readers see that is NOT the case! God’s grace does not condone sin, and we are no longer slaves to it.

We’re now dead to living a sinful life. If you’re dead, you can’t do anything, so if we’re dead to sin we shouldn’t sin anymore. The image of dying to sin is powerful because of how final it is. There is no coming back from the dead (unless you’re Jesus). That is how far we are away from that sinful life that had a hold on us before we had faith in Christ Jesus.

The good news is that we don’t just die to our sins by participating in Jesus’s death, but we get to participate in His resurrection too! Because we’re dead to sin, that sin no longer separates us from God, so we can be with Him forever. We do still sin, but God sees us as righteous because of the grace we can have through Jesus.

This hope should transform our lives! Because we have God’s grace, we desire to live for Him and do what He wants with our lives. We should not desire to sin any longer, but instead we should desire to give God glory with our entire lives. How does that play out in your life?

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