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Chapter 6 Bible study

 

Believers are united with Christ in His death and His resurrection.

 

6:1-2 What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

 

What have we learned in Romans so far? We have learned that we are all sinners, but that God loves us and that we are saved by His grace through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. So should the fact that we are saved by grace, not good works, lead us to think that it does not matter how we live? Shall we just go on living as we did before? This is the question Paul asks in verse 1.

 

“Certainly not!” Is the reply. It is true that we are saved by grace. Tit 3:5. God’s grace given to us in Christ covers all our sin for time and eternity. Even when a Christian falls into sin, God has made a way for us to know cleansing and forgiveness as we confess our sins to him. 1 John 1.9. But that does not mean that we should continue in a life of sin, for God has saved us from a life of sin.

 

6:3-5 Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life. For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of his resurrection.

 

When we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ we were united with Him in His death. The punishment we deserved for sin was death, but Christ died for every one of us. It was our death that he died, so his death is ours. Because of this all believers are said to have died in Him. 2 Tim 2.11 ; Col 2.20 ; 2 Cor 5.14 This sentence of death cannot be carried out twice. Since Christ has died for us, death has no more claim on us and since He died for our sin, sin has no more hold on us! We have been set free from sin’s penalty and power.

 

But if we have died with Christ, we also live with Him. By His unimaginable power (“the glory of the Father”) God raised Christ from the dead. That same power of Christ’s resurrection has brought us from a state of spiritual death to one of spiritual life. Eph 2:1. Through faith in Christ we have been quickened - made alive with Christ. The new life we have received is the nature of Christ in us, a new life principle which sets us free from the power of sin and death. Rom 8.1,2

 

6:6 We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

 

By our union with Christ’s death, the “old man” - what we were outside of Christ and which was enslaved by sin - is no more. It has died. The sinful nature, though still present with us, is no longer the major controlling force in our lives.

 

6:7 (For someone who has died has been freed from sin.)

 

Sin can no longer be our master, for a slave is only in slavery as long as he lives. When he dies he is free. We died to sin through the body of Christ that we might serve a new master - Christ.

 

6:8-10 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that since Christ has been raised from the dead, he is never going to die again; death no longer has mastery over him. For the death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God.

 

Since Christ is alive, we are alive to God too. Christ’s death brought an end to our old life of sin, but His resurrection brings us into new life in union with Himself.

 

God’s purpose is that we should share the fulness of the resurrection life of Christ. Since death no longer has power over him and we are united with him in his resurrection, we await the day when God’s power will resurrect and transformation of our mortal bodies.

 

6:11 So you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

 

To sum up, His death is our death and His life is our life. Having died to sin, we were made alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord, so that we might walk in newness of life. [Remember Paul’s question - shall we continue in sin - no, we walk in newness of life]

 

Believers Serve Christ in Newness of Life

 

6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires,

 

It is characteristic of Paul’s writings that he tells believers to “be what you are”. He says in v2 “You have died to sin” and so he tells us in v11 to “reckon yourselves to be dead to sin” and in v12 “do not to let sin hold sway in your lives”

 

6:13 Don’t yield yourselves to sin any more or your bodies to do what is unrighteous, but yield yourself to God as servants of righteousness for Christ has brought you from spiritual death to spiritual life.

 

There was a time when as slaves to sin we gave ourselves to sin body and soul. But we are not to do this anymore, for Christ has set us free from sin. Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the life they lived before they came to know Christ. 1 Cor 6:10-11 It seems some were still struggling to break with the old life of sin. But Paul tells them that because of what Christ has done, they should no longer continue to live the lives they once did. “Such were some of you...” [You aren’t anymore so don’t do it anymore]

 

Instead we are to yield our lives to God to serve Him in righteousness and holiness( see v18,19 and Rom12.1-2).

 

FF. Bruce says “When a man yields his life to the risen Christ.. his inward being is radically transformed, a new creation takes place. The man receives a new nature which delights to produce spontaneously the fruit of the Spirit.”

 

6:14 For sin will have no mastery over you, because you are not under law but under grace.

 

Christ has set us free from slavery to sin. The law could offer no such freedom, for we were unable to keep its demands. But in Christ, we are saved freely by his grace.

 

You would have though that those who had been set free from slavery would have been delighted to live their new lives. That is not always the case. When God brought the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, it was not his intention to take them back again, but bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey. Yet some of the people hardened their hearts, did not believe God and longed to return to Egypt.

 

The righteousness we now enjoy was as unknown to us as freedom was to these lifelong slaves. But should we go back?

 

6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not!

 

This is the question Paul asks in v15 “shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace?” It is the same as asking “Shall we go back into slavery?”

 

6:16-17 Do you not know that if you present yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you

 

Believers should not take themselves back into slavery. If you yield yourself to obey someone then you are his servant or slave. If you yield to sin then you are its slave, and in the end sin pays the wages of eternal and spiritual death. But if you yield to God then you will find the life he has called you to. Why yield yourself to sin when Christ, thank God, has set you free through the gospel message which you believed?

 

6:18-19 and having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. (I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.) For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

 

Having received Christ as Saviour we are his servants, not the servants of sin. Just as we used to yielding ourselves to obey sin, so now we must yield ourselves more and more to the Christ who loves us. Instead of giving our bodies to sex sin, drink, drugs, violence, theft or whatever, we are to give our bodies to serving Christ fully in every way we can.

 

So, as Peter says You have had enough in the past of the evil things the godless enjoy--sex sin, lust, getting drunk, wild parties, drinking bouts, and the worship of idols, and other terrible sins. Of course, your former friends will be very surprised when you don't eagerly join them anymore in the wicked things they do, and they will laugh at you in contempt and scorn. But just remember that they must face the Judge of all, living and dead; they will be punished for the way they have lived.  1 Peter 4:3-5 (Living Bible)

 

6:20-21 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness. So what benefit did you then reap from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death.

 

What good did our slavery to sin do for us? How were we profited by it? Not at all. In fact, as v21 says, the end of such living is eternal death without God in hell. So why go back? Sadly some do  2 Peter 2:20-22

 

6:22 But now, freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life.

 

We have been set free from sin by Christ that we might walk in newness of life - a holy life. The end of such a wonderful salvation which is promised and sealed by Christ’s blood is everlasting life! So let us forget the life that is behind and think of what God has set before us.

 

6:23 For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

What we justly deserved was payment for our sin - death. What we have instead received is what we could never hope to merit - the undeserved and unspeakably wonderful gift of God which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. This gift brings with it a heartfelt desire - and power - to live a life that pleases God and does his will.

 

Conclusion

 

In the Old testament, Isaiah foresaw the way of salvation and referred to it as the “way of holiness”. Isa 35.8 “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!” God says. “Be ye holy, for I am holy” We have seen that we are united with Christ in his death and resurrection. Christ is holy. Let us walk together with him in the way of holiness, the new life God has called us to. There is no such thing as salvation without holiness, only salvation which produces holiness.

 

Go to Romans 7 Bible study

 

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