Romans 6:1-14

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Text: Romans 6:1-14

BELIEVERS ARE DEAD TO SIN

INTRODUCTION:

Chapter 6 begins the third major division of Paul's letter to the Romans. In Romans 1:18-3:20 he showed man's lack of righteousness. In Romans 3:21-5:21 he showed God's provision of righteousness: justification by faith. In Romans 6-8 he shows the transforming power of God's righteousness: sanctification. In chapter 6 Paul deals with the union of the believer with Christ. In chapter 7 he deals with the conflict of the two natures, and in chapter 8 he deals with victory through the Holy Spirit.

In chapter 6 we see that the union of the believer with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection has resulted in a different relationship with sin (vv. 1-7). Whereas prior to his salvation, he had been a slave to sin, now as a result of his salvation, he has been set free from the power of sin (vv. 6-7). As a consequence of this, he is to stop submitting to sin and, thereby, allowing sin to continue ruling over him. Instead, he is to regard himself as alive unto God through the Lord Jesus and to be living a life which is characterized by righteousness. Consequently, he must stop yielding his body to sin to commit acts of unrighteousness. Instead, he is to be yielding himself to God and using his body to do things which are characterized by righteousness (vv. 8-14).

We take note that -

I. OUR POSITION IN CHRIST INDICATES THAT SIN IS NOT TO CHARACTERIZE OUR LIVES - 6:1-10

This is based on two truths:

1. God has permanently delivered the believer from the power of the indwelling sin nature.

2. God has given the believer the divine nature which gives him the desire and power to do God's will.

Romans 5:20 - . . . Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound (i.e. grace was present in even more abundance).

A question is raised in verse 1.

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

What shall we say then? is Therefore (i.e. accordingly or consequently) what shall we say?

Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? reminds the reader of a similar question in Romans 3:7-8 wrote:

(7) For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?

(8) And not rather (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.

Shall we continue is understood in the sense of shall we persist (in)? or shall we persevere?

In sin is in the realm of sin or in the sphere of sin and suggests under the power of sin. The question is asking, Should the old sin nature be allowed to continue to dominate?

That is understood in the sense of in order that or for the purpose that.

Grace denotes God's grace in providing the Lord Jesus Christ to die for sin which has been mentioned in the preceding verses.

Might abound is might be present in abundance, might grow, might increase, or might multiply.

An answer is given in verse 2.

Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Paul is answering the question he raised in verse 1.

God forbid has been used several times previously. It is a paraphrase of a very strong negative statement which means, May it never be!, May it never happen!, or May it never come to pass! It is expressing utter abhorrence at the very idea and is understood in the sense of absolutely not, by no means, perish the thought, or no way!

Paul continues his answer to the question he raised in verse 1 by asking another question, How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? In the verses that follow Paul will explain what he means by this statement.

How? means in what way?, and we refers to believers.

That are dead to sin is who died to sin.

To sin indicates that to which we died and refers to the old sin nature.

Shall . . . we live suggests shall we continue to live or shall we continue living.

Any longer means yet or still.

Therein means in it where it refers to sin. The implication is that those who have trusted Jesus Christ as personal Savior have died with reference to sin. Consequently, sin no longer reigns supreme in their lives; and since they have been set free from sin, how shall they continue living under its power? The context indicates that the power of sin in our lives has been broken and that we should no longer yield to it.

We cannot continue to live under the power of sin. I have moved to Florida. I can no longer continue living in North Carolina or Utah because I am living in Florida. I have changed places. Similarly, I am no longer under the power or authority of the old sin nature. I have been removed from being under its power.

The point must be made that to continue living under the authority of sin contradicts what God did in saving us. He delivered us from the power of sin. Believers cannot continue living in sin.

A reminder is given in verse 3.

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Know ye not is are you ignorant? Nothing is assumed by the question even though a positive answer might be implied by the English text. It is possible that they knew, and it is possible that they did not know.

The clause so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ functions as the subject of the second were baptized. Into Jesus Christ means with reference to Christ, unto Christ, or in Christ. There is no hint in the Greek text that our salvation was brought to pass by baptism; instead, baptism is a public declaration of the salvation which has already been received by grace and through faith.

Some have argued that there is no water mentioned in Romans 6 . However, just because the term water is not used here does not necessarily mean that this is the baptism of the Holy Spirit rather than water baptism as these persons have concluded. Baptized itself suggests water baptism rather than the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It was normal in New Testament times for all believers to be baptized in water as soon as possible following their salvation. Thus, all could be said to have been baptized. Over the centuries, however, some have erroneously concluded that baptism is optional for believers. As a result many believers in the twenty-first century have never been Scripturally baptized even though they may have been truly saved for many years. Their disobedience to the Scriptural command, however, has no bearing on the understanding of this passage by the reader in the New Testament era. Had Paul wished this baptism to be understood as something other than the usual act of baptism, he would have given some clue in the context. Since he did not, it is best to understand baptism here in its normal sense, i.e. as immersion in water following salvation.

Others would argue, however, that to understand baptized in Romans 6 as referring to water baptism supports baptismal regeneration, i.e. the false teaching that an individual is saved through his baptism; but this is not so. Paul is pointing out that baptism in water is symbolic of the union of the believer with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Consequently, Romans 6 argues for water baptism by immersion as the only Scriptural mode of baptism. The actual union of the believer with Christ occurred at the instant the individual placed his faith in Christ for salvation, and baptism symbolized this.

Into his death is best understood as with reference to His death or unto His death. When we were baptized with reference to Christ, we were baptized with reference to His death. It means that believers are symbolically united with Christ in His death by baptism.

An inference is drawn in verse 4.

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Therefore is inferential and means consequently, accordingly, then, or so.

We are buried with him = we are buried together with Christ.

By baptism = through baptism or by means of baptism

Into death = with reference to death.

Thus, baptism focuses on the death of Christ. By contrast, the believer's new life focuses on the resurrection of Christ and the believer's relation to the resurrection of Christ.

That = in order that or for the purpose that

Like as . . . even so is used to introduce a comparison and is understood in the sense of just as . . . even so.

Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, i.e. by the glorious Father.

We also refers to believers.

Should walk is should go about, should walk around, should live their lives, or should conduct their lives.

In newness of life suggests that a believer should live a different sort of life from what he lived prior to his salvation.

An explanation is provided in verses 5-7.

Romans 6:5-7 - 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

For introduces the explanation.

If we have been planted together in the likeness of his death is a condition which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true; and it is true for believers. However, it is not true for unbelievers. If is, therefore, to be understood in the sense of because, since, inasmuch as, or assuming that.

We refers to believers.

Have been planted together is have become grown together. Baptism by immersion symbolizes our having been planted together with Christ.

We shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Our salvation, which is typified (or pictured) by our baptism guarantees our resurrection from the dead; and our resurrection from the waters of baptism typifies (or pictures) our future resurrection at the rapture.

Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Knowing this = because you know this, inasmuch as you know this, or since you know this where the content of this is indicated by the rest of verse 6, That our old man is crucified with him that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Our old man is used to refer to our old sin natures.

Is crucified with him is was crucified together with (Christ).

That the body of sin might be destroyed indicates the purpose of our having been crucified together with Christ. That is, therefore, to be understood in the sense of in order that or for the purpose that.

The body of sin is the body which is characterized by sin. It is the body that is the seat of sin which is destroyed.

Might be destroyed is placed first for emphasis and is to be understood in the sense of might be made ineffective, might be made powerless, might be abolished, might be wiped out, might be set aside, or might be destroyed.

That henceforth we should not serve sin is a purpose or result clause. It may be showing intended result. That is, therefore, to be understood in the sense of in order that, for the purpose that, so that, or with the result that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Henceforth is no more, no longer, or not from now on.

Serve sin is serve as a slave to sin. Thus, the believer is no longer serving as a slave to sin. Consequently, we should not be living like it.

Romans 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

It is an explanation of the last half of verse 6.

He that is dead refers to the one who was crucified together with Christ, the one who has been planted together in the likeness of Christ's death, the one who has been buried with Christ through baptism with reference to death. It is literally the one who died.

Is freed means has been set free. It indicates a new state of being in his life, and it has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action.

From sin indicates that whereas an unsaved man is in bondage to sin, at the time of his salvation he was set free from his bondage to sin and remains in a state of having been set free.

A restatement of verse 5 is found in verse 8.

Verse 8 repeats the logic of verse 5 using different words.

Romans 6:5 - For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Romans 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.

If we be dead with Christ is a condition which is assumed to be true for sake of discussion. It is true of believers, but it is not true of unbelievers. Hence, as far as believers are concerned, the if should be understood in the sense of because, since, or inasmuch as. It might also be understood in the sense of assuming that.

Be dead = died or have died. It is translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action. We died; hence, we are dead. The time we died with Christ was when we were united with Christ in His death at the instant of our salvation. It is pictured for us in our baptism.

We believe that we shall also live with him is the conclusion of this condition. If the condition is true, then the condition is true.

We believe indicates continuous action meaning that we continuously believe. It is a settled matter. There is no wavering on our part in our belief.

That we shall also live with him is that we shall live together with him, i.e. with Christ. Just as Christ was physically raised from the dead, we shall also be physically raised from the dead. This was likewise pictured in our baptism when we were raised out of the water of baptism.

A statement parallel to verse 6 is given in verse 9.

Romans 6:6 - Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Romans 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

Knowing is used in a causal sense = because you know, since you know, inasmuch as you know

What you know is that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no dominion more over him

Being raised is understood in the sense of because (Christ) was raised, since (Christ) was raised, or inasmuch as (Christ) was raised

Christ . . . dieth no more is a future tense and means Christ will face death no more or Christ will face death no further. He is not like Lazarus and others who were raised from the dead but were again subject to death.

Death hath no more dominion over him is death is no longer lord over him (i.e. Christ), death is no longer master over him, death no longer rules over him, death no longer lords it over him, death no longer controls him. Apparently, death ruled over him from His death until His resurrection, about 3 days and nights; but He has been raised from the dead and will never die again. Death does not in any way rule over Christ or control Him.

An explanation of verse 9 appears in verse 10.

Romans 6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

In that he died = lit. what He died

He died unto sin = He died with reference to sin. His relation to sin was that of sin-bearer. His bearing of our sin ceased when He died, and He will never have the same relation to sin because He will never again have to bear the sins of anyone.

Once means once for all time

In that he liveth = lit. what He is living

He liveth unto God = He is living with reference to God. Christ's life is lived completely for God just as it was before His death. The only difference is that His life before the cross was lived in anticipation of the cross while after the resurrection, sin and death have been defeated once and for all time.

Next, we note that -

II. OUR PRACTICE MUST BE BROUGHT INTO CONFORMITY TO OUR POSITION - 6:11-14

Romans 6:11-14 - 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are 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 the law, but under grace.

Verses 11-13 detail the believer's responsibility toward sin, and verse 14 provides the reason for this.

1. We are to reckon ourselves to be dead unto sin but alive unto God - v.11

Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Likewise draws an inference from the previous verses and is used in the sense of thus, hence, or so

Reckon ye is emphatic and means you be reckoning (or considering), you continuously reckon (or consider), or you be continuously reckoning (or considering).

Also is likewise used for emphasis and may be understood in the sense of indeed, in fact, yea, verily, certainly

What believers are to be continuously considering is yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Indeed is on the one hand; whereas, but is but, on the other hand. The word translated indeed sets up a contrast between dead unto sin and alive unto God.

Dead . . . unto sin = dead with reference to sin, dead with regard to sin. Thus, as far as the old sin nature is concerned, we are to continuously consider ourselves to be dead. This means that we no longer have the same relation to sin that we had before our death to it. This death to sin occurred at the instant of our salvation. Sin stopped ruling over us at that instant and should never again be allowed to rule over us.

Alive unto God = alive (or living) with reference to God, alive (or living) with regard to God. Our relation to God has changed. We are spiritually alive.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord is by means of Jesus Christ our Lord. It is by means of the sacrificial death of Christ upon the cross that our salvation has been provided. After studying the situation, the believer is to consider that he is dead with reference to sin but alive with reference to God. Hence, he is to be living for God rather than continuing to live under the power of sin.

2. Sin must no longer reign in our lives in order that we should continue to obey it - v.12.

Romans 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Verse 12 draws a further inference based upon what was stated in verse 11 as is indicated by therefore, i.e. accordingly, consequently, then, or so

Let not sin . . . reign is a command whose tense indicates that its action is already going on and must be stopped. Hence, it means stop letting sin reign or stop letting sin rule. Believers are dead with reference to sin. Why should sin rule over them any longer? Sin must stop ruling over believers; yet, the believers have a responsibility in this matter because, when they yield their bodily parts to commit acts of sin, they yield again to sin's power. This results in their obeying their old sin natures once again.

In your mortal body is where sin must no longer reign. It means in your body which is subject to death.

That ye should obey it is used to express intended result.

The reason sin must no longer rule over a believer's body is in order that or so that the believer will no longer be compelled to obey sin. By contrast, if one continues to yield his body to commit acts of sin, he will be obeying it, i.e. he will be subject to it or he will follow it.

In the lusts thereof = in its cravings

The point is simple to understand: if the believer yields to his old sin nature, he will obey its cravings and commit sin as a result.

3. We must top yielding our members (i.e. body parts) as instruments (i.e. tools) of unrighteousness to sin (so that sin can continue ruling over us) - v.13a

Romans 6:13 a - Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Neither yield = stop yielding, stop putting at sin's disposal, stop handing over, stop offering, or stop presenting. The same term is translated present in Romans 12:1 . It is a sacrificial term. Believers are thus called upon to stop offering their members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin.

Members = parts or limbs and refers to parts of the body

As instruments is as tools

Of unrighteousness is of wickedness

Unto sin is an indirect object of yield. Thus, believers are no longer to be offering their minds, tongues, hands, feet, and other body parts to sin so that sin can continue to rule over them.

4. We must (once and for all time) yield ourselves unto God and our members as instruments of righteousness unto God - v.13b

Romans 6:13 b - Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Yield is the same term used in the first part of this verse, but its tense indicates that its action is to be done completely and at one time, the same as is true of present your bodies a living sacrifice in Romans 12:1 .

Believers are to dedicate themselves to God as those that are alive from the dead. Whereas believers had been dedicated to serve as slaves to sin, now they are to be dedicated to serve as slaves to God in order to live lives characterized by righteousness. Thus, they are to yield their minds, tongues, hands, feet, and all other body parts to God as instruments or tools of righteousness.

5. Whereas law results in sin's abounding, grace results in godly living - v.14

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Sin shall not have dominion over you is the explanation of verses 11-13.

Shall not have dominion over you was previously used in verse 9. It means shall not be lord over you, shall not be master over you, shall not rule over you, shall not lord it over you, or shall not control you.

For you are not under the law, but under grace provides the reason why sin will not have dominion over you.

For is to be understood in the sense of because.

Ye are not under the law is you are not under law. It is law as a principle rather than the Mosaic Law specifically. This verse is a reference to Romans 5:20-21 - (20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

The law had entered that sin might abound. It was like drawing a line and then telling someone that he could not step across it. The first thing he would want to do would be to step across the line out of defiance in order to find out why it had been forbidden. They are no longer under law as a system; they are under grace as a system. The law had resulted in an abundance of sin, and sin had reigned unto death.

But introduces a statement in strong contrast to Ye are not under the law.

You are under grace = They are under grace as a system. Now, grace abounds more than sin. Grace should result in an abundance of godly living. Grace now reigns through righteousness unto eternal life. Sin, therefore, no longer rules over believers; instead, grace reigns. Therefore, the believer does not have to sin. Grace does not incite one to sin; instead, grace settles him down and encourages him to live a godly life.

What does this verse have to do with not having standards for Christian living? Absolutely nothing.