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THE EPISTLE OF ROMANS - Part 9 of 15 – Romans 6:1-14
The saga of Jesus Christ rescuing us from absolute death has been clearly and systematically declared through Romans chapter 5. Through Adam’s one act of disobedience all of mankind received a heritage of sin, death and condemnation. The best of our own efforts couldn’t produce our escape from this heritage. We were all under sin (Romans 3:9). All have sinned and therefore fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). There is none righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10). We were all without strength (Romans 5:6) to help ourselves out of this immense problem. We needed God to intervene. Jesus Christ was sent as God’s solution to the problem. He rescued us from our heritage in Adam and gave us a new heritage - a heritage of right standing with God according to God’s perfect standard, of life to the fullest degree and of no condemnation through acquittal.
Beginning in chapter 6 and continuing through chapter 8 educates the believer of this message regarding how to walk in our new heritage in Christ Jesus. This is systematically done through a series of 4 logical arguments against our new heritage in the form of questions. These argumentative questions are recorded in Romans 6:1, 6:15, 7:7 and 7:13. Each of these questions is given the response of God forbid! This means “Absolutely not!” Then each question is answered and naturally develops into the next. In this hub we will start with the first of these questions and its answer from Romans 6:1-14.
Romans 6:1-2 “1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in *sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein?” (ASV)
- What shall we say then? This is a transitional question.
- Shall we continue in *sin, that grace may abound? This first question is the first logical question which typically arises when Romans 5:19-20 is brought up, stating that we are caused to be righteous through Jesus Christ. In the sin and grace race grace is always in the lead, and not by a little. From the opening of the starting gate of this race in Genesis 3 when Adam disobeyed God grace took the lead. This grace, which God had planned would come through the propitiatory work of the Lord Jesus Christ, always abounds over all sin. This is why the question is asked.
- continue in To continue in is to abide in, to remain in.
- God forbid quickly comes as the answer. Then comes the explanation in the form of a question.
- We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein? How shall we whose relationship with sin has been terminated live in it any longer?" Death terminates a relationship. How could it be true that our relationship with sin has ended? The explanation follows.
Romans 6:3-4 “3 Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life. (HCSB)
- Or are you unaware You should know this. Do you not know?
- "baptized" doesn’t mean with water. We usually associate it as such because of what we’ve been taught. Baptism refers to being immersed so as to be identified with the qualities of that into which the thing was immersed. The idea of baptism must be grasped in that it is a fundamental point used in Romans to communicate our heritage through Christ Jesus. This word “baptism” was used regarding dyeing cloths and pickling. The thing baptized is immersed into a solution with which it is now identified. A cucumber is baptized in a pickling solution. When it is removed it is called a pickle because it is identified with the solution into which it was baptized.
- We who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
- Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death When someone is buried it is the last time that they are seen. All that has been passed to us through Adam’s disobedience, sin/death/condemnation (sin and its just punishment/absence of life with God/all judgments against us) all died and were buried. Remember, we are learning through the apostle who is in service to the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1) what the true perspective is: we are learning the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. What Adam’s disobedience passed to us died and was buried with Christ.
- in order that This phrase shows that the purpose is about to be stated.
- just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life. When Christ died he carried each and every one of our sins past and present and future. All of these sins died WITH HIM. When Jesus was raised from the dead was he still carrying all of those sins? NO! The purpose of Jesus being the propitiation for our sins (Romans 3:25) was to make full payment for each and every one of them. His payment satisfied God’s just judgment against all sins. When he was raised, full payment for all sins became an historical event. All sins died with him in his death. He was raised for our justification (Romans 4:25). To exist in a state of sin is to remain is the land of the dead, in the realm of the results of Adam’s disobedience from which Jesus Christ delivered us. To continue to deal with your own sins is to disregard Christ’s work for our justification. Isn’t this unbelief? Isn’t this what the Apostle Paul warned us about in 2Corinthians 6:1 Do not receive the grace of God in vain! Jesus Christ identified with sin in our behalf by his death. This was in order that we would identify with him being raised from the dead so we too may walk in a new way of life.
- What is this new way of life? It is the reality of us being justified in Christ’s death so that we now walk as those who, through Christ, have peace with God (5:1), are reconciled to God (5:10-11), reign in life (5:17) and who live in the power of his resurrection. See Romans 1:4 & Philippians 3:10.
Romans 6:5-7 “For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be abolished, so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims.” (ASV & HCSB)
- It seems that there was an acceptance of being likened with Christ’s death, but that there was resistance to being likened unto his resurrection.
- We have been joined together with Christ in two ways: in death and resurrection.
- The word “resurrection” isn’t referring to the future resurrection of all the dead, but to the resurrection life of the previous verse. For shows that an explanation is coming.
- our old self refers to our heritage from Adam’s disobedience. This was crucified with Christ.
- in order that This tells us that a purpose is about to be stated.
- the body of sin might be abolished meaning all that is incorporated in sin being master over us, that it might be rendered powerless in its effect to control us.
- so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin that we would be freed from sin’s deceptive tyranny.
- Who is being referred to as the one who died?
- freed from sin’s claims Sin’s claims in the context is all that has been passed to us through Adam’s disobedience (sin and its just punishment/absence of life with God/all judgments against us).
Romans 6:8-11“8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him; 9 knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death no more hath dominion over him. 10 For the death that he died, he died unto sin once: but the life that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus.” (ASV)
- Verses 8-10 continue to give an answer to the question asked in verse one, Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Paul, as the lawyer continues building his case.
- The same problem is being addressed here that the saints seemed to believe in having died with Christ, but not in having been raised with him to newness of life.
- Bear in mind here that we are joined with him in his death and resurrection.
- dieth no more; death no more hath dominion over him This is likened to us!
- he died unto sin once So did we!
- he liveth unto God. SO DO WE!!! Our life in Christ begins with being born again. To be born again one must believe in the event of Christ’s death and resurrection. To walk in Christ one must believe that when Christ died he died with him and that when Christ was raised he was raised with him to walk in newness of life. The walk in Christ is dependent upon personalizing the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. See Galatians 2:20 as another example.
Verse 11 Personalizing Christ’s death and resurrection:
- Even so In the same manner, likewise.
- Reckon means to add up the points made to draw a conclusion: Logically conclude. The points being made in answer to the question of verse one might be best seen in the use of the word “know” in this section… “Do you not know?” (verse 3), “For we know that” (verse 6),and “knowing that” (verse 9). In summary, we now know that we have been baptized into Christ’s death so that we might walk in newness of life. We know that our old self was crucified with him. We also know that Christ having been raised is never to die again, death is no longer master over him. This same word “reckon” is used in chapter 4, verses 22, 23 & 24 where God reckons righteousness to us because we believe him. Here in 6:11 we are to reckon. So we logically conclude ourselves to be…
- dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus.
- This is the first thing in the book of Romans that we are told to do. Up to this point we have been told of the state of man’s depravity and need for the Savior, the Savior’s redemptive work in our behalf and the results of his work. Verse 11 gives us our part after knowing the doctrine of our identification with Christ.
Romans 6:12-14 “12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof: 13 neither present your members unto sin [as] instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under *law, but under grace.” (ASV)
- We are servants, either to sin or to God. Allowing ourselves to be put under, or putting ourselves under any law gives sin dominion over us. We are under grace.
These verses have been used to say, “Keep yourself from sinning!” But this is not the point. The point of Romans is to make known the gospel. We can’t forget that. The main theme of the gospel in Romans is righteousness by faith. Our part is to simply believe the message which produces its fruit through us who believe. These few verses haven’t abandoned this theme. The “how” of doing verses 12-13 resides in verse 14, accepting that we are under grace – the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. The word “therefore” is tying in verse 11. In other words, don’t continue to live the opposite of what this verse 11 says, as if you are alive unto sin and dead unto God. Accept the truth! You are dead unto sin and alive unto God in Christ Jesus. This is based on his work, not yours. Live accordingly!
- Present is used as it is in the Old Testament as presenting a sacrifice to God.
- To allow ourselves to be placed under the authority of any kind of law apart from grace is to give sin dominion over us. Chapter 7 makes this abundantly clear.
Our relation to God as righteous ones has been reinstated by Jesus Christ our propitiation. To communicate this new way of life Romans 6:3-4 state that we have been baptized into Christ Jesus. We have been raised from the dead with Christ to live unto God. Acceptance of this most basic truth is how we reign as kings in all of life. This is how we live as ones who are reconciled to God through Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, therefore, being joined to God. This is God’s intended purpose for mankind: to reign in life through our Lord Jesus Christ, hand in hand with God as our Father.