Dead to Sin

How can we continue in sin? (Romans 6:1-7)

            If our sins caused God to give such a rich blessings, then it could be argued that sin doesn’t matter because God will take care of the problem (Romans 5:20). Paul takes the argument to the extreme to say that we might as well claim that we are generating grace by our sins. The claim is completely absurd. We died to sin, so how can we live in it? (Galatians 4:9; Colossians 3:3; I Peter 2:24). What Paul is expanding on is the idea raised in Romans 3:8.

            All Christians have been baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:27), but that also means we were baptized into his death (I Peter 2:24).

            Baptism represents three things in regards to Christ: his death, his burial, and his resurrection. Going down into the water represents his death, being under water represents his burial, and coming up out of the water represents his resurrection.

            In a similar fashion, baptism represents the believer’s death to sin and his resurrection to a new life freed from the slavery of sin (Ephesians 4:22-24). Coming out of the water also represents his hope of eternal salvation after life on this earth is over (Philippians 3:10-11).

            Thus, baptism is a symbolic representation of the believer’s joining with his Savior (Colossians 2:12). This symbolism cannot be understood unless it is recognized that baptism is an immersion in water for only through immersion are the burial and resurrection seen.

            If we died to our old ways of sin, then that life was done away with (Galatians 2:20; 5:24; 6:14; Colossians 2:11). In baptism we were set free from sin (I Peter 3:21). The point is that we cannot claim to have died to sin if we continue to sin (I Peter 4:1-2).


Class Discussion:

1.         Some Baptists argue that a Christian cannot so sin as to lose their salvation. How does Paul’s arguments address this idea?

2.         Some Roman Catholics take a lax view toward sin believing that any sin committed during the week can be taken care of at confession at the end of the week. How does Paul’s arguments address this idea?

3.         Could the baptism here in Romans 6 be the baptism of the Holy Spirit?


We live with Christ (Romans 6:8-11)

            A person who is baptized and thus dying with Christ does so believing he will also live with Christ (II Timothy 2:11; Colossians 3:3-4). The Christian understands that Jesus arose to eternal life, never to die again (Hebrews 10:12-13; I Corinthians 15:12-26; Revelation 1:18).

            Jesus needed to only die once for all sins of men (Hebrews 9:27-10:14; II Corinthians 5:15; I Peter 3:18). His life now belongs to God, the Father (Luke 20:38; Romans 14:7-9; I Peter 4:6). We too must do the same. We died to sin, so our life now belongs to God (I Corinthians 6:20; Galatians 2:19-20).

            Therefore, sin cannot be a apart of our lives (I John 3:2-10).


Sin cannot rule us (Romans 6:12-14)

            The conclusion is that we cannot let sin reign over us (Psalms 19:13; 119:133). The very command implies that we have a choice when it comes to sin. Sin’s roots are in the desires of the body, which must be controlled (James 1:13-16; I John 2:15-17). We cannot give over parts of our body to be used as tools for unrighteousness (Colossians 3:5).Instead, we are to be tools of God to do righteousness (I Peter 4:1-3).

            Sin’s existence is defined by the law, but we are not under the law but under grace. Therefore sin is not to reign over the Christian. Paul is not saying that we are not obligated to obey the law, but that we are not justified or saved by law. Our justification comes from God’s grace; therefore, sin should have no hold on us to dominate us.


Class Discussion:

1.         How does being under the Law cause sin to reign over the one under the Law?

2.         What is the difference between law and grace?


Grace is not a license to sin (Romans 6:15-19)

            The law forbids sins. Grace is given to forgive sins. Since we are not under the law but grace, Paul supposes there may be some who would conclude that we would have no obligations to be obedient to the law’s commands against sin. Paul asserts that such a conclusion cannot be drawn (Galatians 5:13; I Peter 2:16; Jude 4).

            To prove this, Paul points out that we serve whomever we obey. If we are following sin, then we are serving sin and not Christ (John 8:24; I John 2:17). You can’t serve both at once (Matthew 6:24). Thankfully, for Christians, service to sin is a thing of the past, ending when we sincerely obeyed God’s teaching.

            “Form” is the Greek word for a type or die. God’s teachings molds us into His image (II Timothy 1:13; II Corinthians 3:18).

            Set free from sin, we were made slaves of righteousness (John 8:32; Galatians 5:1). Therefore, we have never been left independent to choose our own way (I Corinthians 7:22; I Peter 2:16). The illustration, Paul explains, is not perfectly accurate but was expressed this way to be more easily understood. It is a warning not to stretch the illustration too far from its intended purpose. However, if you understood that as voluntary slaves to sin you yielded to impure thoughts and sinful acts, which in turned produced more sin, then you should realize that as voluntary slaves of righteous we should be doing the opposite, holy things, which will result in more righteousness.


Class Discussion:

1.         There have been elements, even among the church, who argue that there are no laws, only principles. In their view laws are merely suggests of how to apply principles. How does this section contradict this belief system?

2.         Obedience to God’s teaching that freed us from sin, occurred when Christians do what?

3.         How are people delivered to God’s teachings?

4.         How can we claim to be free if we are slaves to righteousness?


There are no benefits to sinning (Romans 6:20-23)

            When we were sinners, there was no drive to do righteousness. What benefit did you gain from the sinful acts of your past? There were no true benefits, only a judgment of death (James 1:13-16). Even the thoughts of what we once did are embarrassing (II Corinthians 4:2; Ephesians 5:12; Philippians 3:19). Sin didn’t benefit us in the past. That is why we left the way of sin. As Matthew Poole asked, “When you served sin, you knew that God and righteousness had no whit of your service; why then should sin have any of your service now, when ye have delivered up yourselves to righteousness, or godliness, to be the observant followers thereof? Why should not ye now abstain as strictly from all sin, as then ye did from all good?”

            But now that Christians have been freed from sins and made slaves of God, they do produce fruit to be proud of and the end result is not death but eternal life.

            Sin earns death (Ezekiel 18:4). God’s unearned gift is eternal life that is found in Jesus Christ, who is our ruler. Why would anyone want to go back? A choice, then, must be made (Deuteronomy 30:19).