THE BOOK OF ROMANS
J. Deering, AncientPath.net
ROMANS CHAPTER 6
Believers Are Dead to Sin, Alive to God
Gospel (Bible defined) righteousness does not produce sin
“What then … as we refer back to chapter 5, and its theme of The Eternal Security of the Believer in Christ Jesus (the Heart for God, the Father of Christ Jesus who was delivered up to the Cross, who was resurrected from the dead, and sits at the right hand of God the Father).
Now that the believer is eternally secure yet living in a world of sin, and that God is propitious and desires to forgive through His Son, and that the greater the sin the more God’s grace abound in that forgiveness – Should we not then continue in sin so that God can exercise more grace?
This verse is obviously aimed at believers – “what shall we say,” “are we to continue.” Paul’s questions alert us to the fact that, among the believers at Rome, these questions needed to be asked. The Roman and Greek (Hellenists) culture, much like our own, used clouded logic in a way that would allow them all kinds of wrongful living. In our own time we use this same kind of logical route to justify abortion and evolution. That kind of logic is based on a system that has blinded itself to the Biblical God and His character. Once He is redefined, or removed from the system completely, then there is no standard for “righteousness.” We can do as we wish, because we can find no “logical” reason why we shouldn’t.
It is true that when sin abounds God’s grace abounds much more, not just in salvation, but in the process of continuing in fellowship with Him (1 John 1:9 ff). So then... should we continue in sin, continue to sin, in order to continue to force God to increase His grace toward us?
The Greek mh genoito - (may gen-oi-tawh) – One of the strongest phrases in the Bible. The “may” is an absolute negative – NEVER! DON’T! ABSOLUTELY NOT! And “gen-oi-tah” has as its root meaning the same word as Genesis – things that have to do with beginnings. In this case the word structure brings a meanings of BEGIN, START, EVER. Then putting the two words together we get a very strong, “DON’T BEGIN, DON’T START, DON’T EVER.” To get the real thrust of the phrase it is often translated “GOD FORBID.”
How shall we who are dead to sin in Christ, considering the COST of the salvation we now have, continue in slavery to sin now that we have been rescued from it. Knowing HIM – He rescued me from drowning in the muck and mire of sin. Knowing HIM – He would not want me to jump back in. The problem of the continuing sin of the believer is a problem of KNOWING HIM (genwskw – gen-o-sko – To know experientially like I know my mother, not as in knowing a fact like I know 2+2=4.)
“Or” presents us with the question of knowledge. The assembly at Rome is now going to be reminded (or taught for the first time properly) concerning BAPTISM - Submission. For the real issue in "baptism" is submission whether it be to the Holy Spirit of God or as a type or picture of that submission by way of water baptism.
Please remove all images of any kind of water baptismal activities from you mind for the rest of this chapter. Those of us who are Baptists have always been taught that these are the quintessential verses concerning the perfect picture of baptism by immersion – if we put that aside for now we may see some things that are far better. If you are Baptist or immersionists please don't stop here but follow the line of thought so that your viewpoint can be enhanced as well.
Paul asks the question, “Don’t you know that being submitted to the authority of Christ means that you IDENTIFY with Him in His DEATH in the matter of SIN?
We’ve been talking about not sinning so that grace abounds. We must not leave the context of these verses. Scripture text can be used to verify and / or justify many things, but in the matter of Bible study we must follow the context to know what these verses teach.
Drop down to verse 10 and we read:
10For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Jesus died to sin. Since Jesus (God) is sinless by nature, not part of the creation, what does that mean?
Augustus Strong states it this way:
These verses show that Christ submitted to physical death as the penalty of sin, and by His resurrection from the grave gave proof that the penalty of sin was exhausted and that humanity in Him was Justified. “As the resurrection of the body is a part of the redemption, so the death of the body is part of the penalty.”
The law of death is an expression of the nature of God, and especially of His holy wrath against sin. This is the method God has chosen for propagating the race and reinforcing its life and it involves pain, suffering and death. This is the penalty and stigma attached to sin. Pain, Suffering, and death does not exist in the future life – they would not exist here, if it were not for the fact of sin. Now, through Christ’s death the evil, and the penalty of death has been removed. As long as we are tied to our present bodies we are tied to the physical penalty of sin, being descendants and in the headship of Adam.
Paul states that those of us who have BELIEVED or "submitted unto Christ Jesus" (one and the same thing) have through His headship (taking the place of Adam's headship) have been SUBMITTED unto His death. That means that all the things we acquire IN-CHRIST we are SUBMITTED UNTO. We become under Christ's authority in everything because of our belief that He alone has that right. Therefore, what He has acquired through His death, we have acquired. He submitted unto death and therefore IN-HIM we submitted unto His death.
we have been
(G) buried with Him through submission into death,
as Christ was (H) raised from the dead
through the (I) glory of the Father,
so we too might walk in (J) newness of life.
Paul now moves on from death to burial and resurrection. For victory over the moral character of death is not enough – there must be victory over death itself.
Where is the proof that death has been finally and totally dealt with? – the resurrection from death. Without resurrection death would still be victorious.
We have been buried with Him through our identification with Him as belonging to Him. The benefits of His death, paying the penalty for sin, are thusly applied to us because we are His. (“By virtue of the Authority placed upon me…”) He submitted to death in order to defeat it, and because we are His (Reckoned as partakers) it is JUST AS IF we died and were buried with Him.
SO THAT (with the results that..) When He was raised from the dead we were raised with Him – THROUGH the Glory of the Father – resulting in our BEING ABLE TO walk in newness of life.
The death penalty for sin has been paid, sin has no hold over your life any longer, therefore Walk in Newness of Life!
(K) if we have become united with Him
in the likeness of His death,
we shall also be
in the likeness of His resurrection,
For, through this identification with Him, we have become UNITED with Him in the LIKENESS (in the same manner) of His death. He has taken hold of us by His hand and taken us with Him to the grave into death.
MUCH MORE SO – we shall be in the LIKENESS (in the same manner) of His resurrection. On with Him to His resurrection into newness of life.
In God's heart and mind I am sitting in the heavenlies at the right hand of God the Father, In Christ. That has taken place because of the finished work of Jesus at the Cross.
We now have the opportunity to participate in Christ’s resurrected power and life.
Before our resurrection with Him we only had our old self. Upon Resurrection we acquired a New self – a self that is dead to sin, so that the old self MIGHT be done away with. If you chose to sin – your old self reigns. If you chose not to sin – your New self reigns. Now it is your choice, it was never a choice before – you were a slave to sin – there were no other options. Now you are FREE to choose, but in any case you are free from the power and penalty of sin, now no longer a slave to sin – yet still able to be caught up in sinful acts - if you choose to do so. They will not affect your SALVATION. Remembering that sin is "off the table." Therefore choosing to NOT sin is now a reflection of the change in your heart as you seek to live in a manner pleasing to Him in RESPONSE to His salvation.
(O) he who has died
is freed from sin.
Just the facts – if you are dead – you are free from the power of sin. When you are dead you are free from the earthly penalty of sin which is death (you can't die physically again).
Notice it does not say that if you are dead you are free from the results and penalty of sin – that’s true only for the believer who has died with Christ and been resurrected with Christ
(P) if we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with Him,
Another simple statement of fact. Those who (believers) who have died with Christ believe that they shall also live in resurrection life, and the reason they can believe that is … verses 9-10, coming up.
the death that He died,
He died to sin once for all;
the life that He lives,
He lives to God.
We who believe KNOW that:
Jesus has been raised from the dead
Jesus is never to die again (over and over again for each of us)
Jesus is no longer a SLAVE to DEATH
Jesus died to sin (on our behalf) ONCE (on behalf of all)
Jesus lives now and that life is in full submission to His Father
(no longer under the submission of death)
consider yourselves to be
(S) dead to sin,
but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Even so – better “Therefore”
KNOWING these things – YOU, CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE DEAD TO SIN, AND ALIVE TO GOD – because this what Christ has done and YOU are IN HIM
do not let sin (T)reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,
Therefore YOU, STOP LETTING SIN REIGN (as if sin were the king and you were its slave) BY OBEYING ITS LUST in your mortal body.
do not go on (U) presenting the members of your body to sin
as instruments of unrighteousness;
(V) present yourselves to God
as those alive from the dead, and
as instruments of righteousness to God.
AND – not one or the other.
YOU, STOP GOING ON PRESENTING YOUR BODY PARTS TO “SIN” AS WEAPONS OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. Again, a very strong statement. Paul leaves no room for interpretation. He does not say “don’t fool around with sin,” “don’t be engaged in it,” instead he says, “STOP.” He clearly states that his audience IS LETTING SIN REIGN AS IF IT WERE THEIR KING AND THEY WERE ITS SLAVE.
The word “presenting” brings forth the image of two altars of worship.
At the one – the altar of unrighteousness (the Devil’s altar) where sin reigns and bringing and dedicating their whole selves to be used as weapons or instruments of unrighteousness.
The second is that of God, where His sacrificed son is on the altar – where the believer SHOULD be bringing their entire being before Him and dedicating / offering themselves to Him for their service as weapons or instruments of God’s righteousness.
This is the last part of the question (6:1-14) “Shall we sin that Grace may abound?” Here Paul states that for the believer SIN SHALL NOT BE MASTER OVER YOU! You are no longer condemned to death as the result of any system of law, because you are now under God’s system of GRACE. YOU HAVE BEEN PROCLAIMED INNOCENT and removed from the Jurisdiction of the law.
Knowing the Jewish mindset Paul asks the question before his audience can. “If were not allowed to sin because we died and were resurrected to life, can we instead sin because there is now no penalty?”
God Forbid, for heaven’s sake NO, never, don’t even think it!
you not (AC) know
that when you present yourselves to someone as (AD) slaves for obedience,
you are slaves of the one whom you obey,
of (AE) sin resulting in death,
of obedience resulting in righteousness?
Don’t you KNOW? Again an indication that they didn’t know.
It is a little convoluted here but…
But, You are a slave of the one whom you obey!
If you obey sin, you are a slave of sin, resulting in death.
If you obey the call to OBEDIENCE, you are a slave in answering that call, and the result is righteousness
Please note, the statement here does not concern the believer’s sins but the sins of two different categories of people. 1- Those who ARE the slaves of sin (UNBELIEVERS). 2- Those who ARE the slaves of righteousness (BELIEVERS). The clarification of this issue is in the verses that follow.
BUT – though you WERE slaves of sin,
You became slaves of CHRIST through Obedience – you are no longer salves of sin! – You may not feel that way, but that doesn’t change the truth of the matter. If you have Believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ as your own personal savior - then you are no longer a slave, but free In-Christ.
having been (AH) freed
you became slaves of righteousness.
AGAIN – Having been FREED FROM SIN (and as a believer you have)
You, at that time, BECAME SLAVES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (You now belong to RIGHTEOUSNESS – even if you may/will continue sinning, for In-Christ you have been freed from the ownership of sin.
19 (AI) I
am speaking in human terms because of
the weakness of your flesh
you presented your members as slaves
to impurity and to lawlessness,
resulting in further lawlessness,
You present your members as slaves
resulting in sanctification.
In human terms how hard it is to grasp the concept of Grace. There is nothing you can do or work for – even in the midst of personal sin – continuing sin – In the past (before belief) your sin led you more and more impurity and lawlessness. BUT NOW, In Christ, you are FREE to Not Sin, FREE to act in Righteousness, FREE to increase in Sanctification, Today, Everyday without end. Will you sin? Yes, of course, but you will never again do so because you have no choice in the matter. In Christ Jesus you have the power to Not Sin!
(AK)when you were slaves of sin,
you were free in regard to righteousness.
An amazing statement – when you were obedient (a slave) to sin (and death) YOU WERE FREE IN REGARD TO RIGHTEOUSNESS. You had no need of righteousness, no need of performing righteous acts, because you were the slave of sin and death. “The dead atheist in the coffin at the funeral home – All dressed up – and nowhere to go!”
What were the benefits of the Sin and Death Policy? Sin is fun for a very short time. The outcome is death – the kind of death that does not result in resurrection to eternal LIFE, but in resurrection to eternal DEATH and separation from God.
BUT NOW – You Believer, you are FREE from sin and ENSLAVED to God. The benefits of this policy – and you will get your benefits (you derive), progressively growing in SANCTIFICATION (resulting in being sanctified in His presence) and the OUTCOME, the final check is in the amount of: ETERNAL LIFE (not eternal death).
Why not sin as a believer? It is the antithesis of all that God, In Christ, Through the Holy Spirit, has done on behalf of the one who believes – That’s why! “God Forbid” that we should enter into sinful activities specifically presuming upon the Grace of God. You will sin, and for that there is God’s Grace, but don’t set out to sin because you are already forgiven and even if there will be no penalty – how could you even think such an offensive thing.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
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