We continue our study of Paul’s letters in Romans to Philemon. Last week, in Romans 5 we learned the benefits of being justified by faith. Two of the benefits Paul talked about were grace and righteousness.
For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ
Romans 5:17 (NASB)
In Romans 6, Paul talks about how God’s grace and gift of righteousness are not licenses to continue in sin.
In the first half of the chapter, he shares why as he explains how we are dead to sin:
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”
v. 1-2 (NASB)
I like how the Amplified version explains what it means to be dead to sin:
Are you ignorant of the fact that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually] live and behave in newness of life.
For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be [one with Him in sharing] His resurrection [by a new life lived for God].
We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin.
For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men].
Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
Because we know that Christ (the Anointed One), being once raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has power over Him.
For by the death He died, He died to sin [ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life that He lives, He is living to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him].
Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus.
Let not sin therefore rule as king in your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies, to make you yield to its cravings and be subject to its lusts and evil passions.
v. 3-12 (AMP)
When you die, sin no longer has control over you. Paul is telling us that since we have died with Christ, we have been freed from sin, so we should no longer submit ourselves to its control.
Even though we know that we have died with Christ, do you often feel like sin does have power of us? How do we break free from its control?
Paul instructed us to consider ourselves dead to sin. But we can’t forget that he also instructed us to consider ourselves alive to God. In the second half of Romans 6, he explains what it means to be alive to God:
and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
v. 13-17 (NASB)
To be alive to God is to be living in unbroken fellowship with Him. When we died, our relationship to sin was ended. But when we were made alive, our relationship to God was restored. Paul instructs us not to submit ourselves to sin’s control by presenting ourselves as slaves to it once again. Instead, we are now to submit ourselves to God’s control and present ourselves as slaves to righteousness.
Do you notice how easily you fall when you neglect your relationship with God? When sin has control over us, we have broken fellowship with God and returned to being a slave to sin. To break free from sin’s control, we simply return to God and restore fellowship with Him. Since our relationship with Him has been permanently restored, we can approach Him with confidence that He will give us the grace we need to help us turn away from sin.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:15-16 (NIV)
To summarize Romans 6, we have died with Christ and been set free from sin. We have been raised with Christ and made alive to God. To no longer submit ourselves as slaves to sin, we must submit ourselves to God as slaves to righteousness.
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
John 8:36 (KJV)
We praise You that You have set us free from sin and broken our relationship to it. It no longer has power over us. We praise You for making us alive in Christ, and restoring our relationship with You, just as You intended from the beginning. Help us to keep our fellowship with You and submit to You, so You can fill us with Your righteousness.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!
How did God speak to you through Romans 6? Is there anything He revealed that you would like to share with others?
*The series continues next Monday as we study Romans 7. Have a blessed week in fellowship with our amazing God!