Romans 6


Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

6     What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 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.

Some people think that salvation in Christ is a license to sin, but that completely misses the point.  It buys into the myth that sin = fun, when that is not the case at all.  Sin separates us from God and causes misery. 

Once we are saved through faith in Christ we will still sin, but that doesn’t wipe out our salvation.  It does affect our relationship with God.  One example I heard is that if your child spit in your face you would still love her, but your relationship wouldn’t be the same until that issue was dealt with. 

Also, with Christ we can have power over sin and temptation that we didn’t have before. 

5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

“We should no longer be slaves to sin” – Amen to that!  Stop to meditate on that liberating truth. 

8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

When God helps us take something away He doesn’t leave a void.  It is replaced with something better – much better.  We are free from sin, if we will just exercise that freedom.  Now we can be slaves to righteousness.

V. 23 is a classic verse for evangelism.  It reminds us that the payment for sin is spiritual dead.  We are all spiritually dead with a saving trust in Jesus.  But God is so good and generous to us.  He gives us a completely free gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


3 Responses

  1. v.3-4…Baptism is a means by which we enter into a vital faith relationship with Jesus Christ. It is a means of receiving God’s grace, and it depicts graphically what happens as a result of the Christian’s union with Christ. Through faith we are united with Christ, just as through our natural birth we are united with Adam. As we fell into sin and became subject to death in father Adam, so we now have died and been raised again with Christ – which baptism effects.

    v. 8…As resurrection followed death in the experience of Christ, so the believer who dies with Christ is raised to a new quality of life here and now. Resurrection in the sense of a new birth is already a fact, and it increasingly exerts itself in the believer’s life.

    v.11…Note how we are “in” Christ, not just “with” Him, signifying that we have died with Christ and have been raised to new life with Him.

  2. “What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?”

    I am glad that I have been freed from the sins that used to bind me. I no longer look back with regret, but praise God for rescuing me from unhealthy choices and a bad lifestyle.

  3. Amen to that. I heard a great sermon by James MacDonald that pointed out signs of true repentance. One was that if we had the situation to do over again we wouldn’t commit the same sin.


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