- Romans Chapter 16
- Romans Chapter 04
- Romans Chapter 09
- Romans Chapter 08 Part Two
- Romans Chapter 08 Part One
- Romans Chapter 07
- Romans Chapter 06
- Romans Chapter 05
- Romans Chapter 03
- Romans Chapter 15
- Romans Chapter 02
- Romans Chapter 01
- Romans Chapter 11
- Romans Chapter 12
- Romans Chapter 13
- Romans Chapter 14
- Romans Chapter 10
Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Grace is so much more abundant than sin, and since sin copiously abounds, grace abounds even more, should we sin so that grace will e even more abundant? The words rendered “God forbid” in the King James Version are με γενοιτο, me genoito. It could be most literally rendered “may it not be.” But the term does not lend itself readily to translation. The most literal translation does not express its force. In order to understand the force of the phrase, we must use a dynamic equivalent. That would be something like””absolutely not!” or “definitely not!” or “no way!” or “never!” or “not on your life!” or “no way José!” or some similar phrase.
Even though sin is extremely prevalent in this world, (Gen 6:5, Isa 13:11, Jer 17:9, John 3:17-18) grace is even more plentiful (Rom 5:20). Some may put forth the theory that if grace is more plenteous than sin, which is quite widespread, perhaps we should sin more so grace may become even more abundant. Paul wanted to make double sure that he was not misunderstood on this point. Therefore, he makes the statement that it is not and never was his intention. He forcefully says that is absolutely not what he intended. We should never stay in our sins and continue to sin so that God’s grace will become more bountiful. No way! It should never occur!
He makes the point that once we are saved, at that point we have died to sin. 1 John 3:6 tells us that those who abide in Christ, that is, those who have Christ as their Savior will not continue in sin, for continuing in sin means that we really do not know Christ, which means we are not saved. A saved man does not sin as a matter of course; in fact, he does his dead level best not to sin. Since we have a sinful nature, it is not possible to completely abstain from sin. We all sin at some time or another. But those who are Christ’s own do not continue in sin. They sin occasionally, yes, but not continually, like the world. Since Christians do not habitually sin like the world does, they are considered to be dead to sin. Once a Christian does sin, if he or she will faithfully confess his sin to God, he or she will be forgiven (1 John 1:9).
Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
To further his point that we Christians are dead to sin, he gives us the very reason for public baptism. Paul compares baptism in water by immersion to Christ’s death and resurrection. What does baptism mean? Let us define the word. The Greek verb used here is (in its uninflected state) βαπτιζω, baptizo, meaning to dip, immerse, submerge, to overwhelm, to be covered, to be saturated, etc. The uninflected noun form is βαπτισμα, batisma, meaning immersion, submersion, or dipping. Being a Southern Baptist, I believe in baptism by immersion and that it is the only true way to be baptized in a truly biblical fashion. When I baptize someone I say this: “I baptize you in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” As I am dipping the person, I say, “Buried with Christ in Baptism; raised to new life in Christ.” In other words, our public baptism is to show the world that we are truly Christ’s own and to symbolize our death to the old sinful life and our new life in Christ. When Paul said we are baptized into His death, it signifies dying to our former sinful life.
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.
Here Paul states what we have been discussing. He fully explains being buried with Him by baptism into death. Just like Jesus the Christ was raids from the dead by God’s power, so we now live new lives. The newness of life we walk in is the new life as Christians—a life that is not stained by sin.
Consider this illustration. Before our salvation, we were walking in one direction—the sin direction. Our lives were filled with ourselves and with worldly lusts, habits, and pursuits. True godliness was the furthest things from our minds. What we wanted most was self-gratification. We would take that however we could get it. We may have pursued money, flashy things (such as new cars, boats, pools, big houses, etc), sex, power, perversion, etc. There are so many sinful things the world has to offer that we all had something or things we ran after. However, when we were saved, we made a 180° turn for the better. Our worldly pursuits stopped and we began to pursue heavenly things. Some of the indications of our heavenly pursuits were reading the Bible, praying often, going to church, changing our language, turning away from the sinful activities we once followed, etc. Our public baptism showed the world that we had died to that old life and were born to a new life that was diametrically opposed to the old life we once led.
That is why I do not understand baptism by sprinkling. I am not condemning those that do so, for they are free in Christ to do as they will, just as I am free. (The prohibition to that freedom is that we not cause a weaker brother or sister in Christ to sin because of our actions, 1 Cor 8:9). To me, and this is just my opinion, baptism should be by immersion because of the things set forth in the previous paragraphs. How can sprinkling show that we are buried with Christ in baptism? I simply do not see the correspondence. When I go out in the rain, I get wet, but that does not show any inner change in me. It is an anointing, and anointing is symbolic of the filling of the Holy Spirit. Yet, baptism is not about the infilling of the Spirit. It is about dying to our old life. We receive the Spirit of God at the moment we are saved (Rom 8:9, 1 Cor 12:13, Eph 1:13-14). Baptism is not symbolic of that infilling. Sprinkling, therefore, cannot be about anointing if it is called baptism, which, again, symbolizes our death to our old life and rising to a new life in Christ. To me, sprinkling does not accomplish that symbol; only baptism by immersion does. I wish to clarify one point. Your salvation does not depend upon whether you are baptized by immersion or sprinkling; it depends upon your belief in Christ.
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:
Our submersion under the water is a metaphor or likeness of His death on the Cross. Just like crucifixion ended Jesus’ life, immersion in water signifies the end of our old sinful lives. Furthermore, just as His resurrection began His life anew, coming up out of the water signifies our life anew as believers in Christ. Cannot one see that baptism by sprinkling annuls all this symbolism? While baptism is symbolic, and signifies our conversion to Christianity, it is commanded by Christ. Yes, He was baptized and we should voluntarily follow Him in Baptism, yet, He also commanded us to be baptized (Mat 28:19-20). Though baptism does not save, it is not an option. We are to be baptized after we are saved.
Baptism not only accomplishes our symbolic death and resurrection with Christ, it also seals in us our faith. We should only seek baptism after we are saved by our belief in Christ; therefore baptism is not that which saves us. However, being baptized seals in the believer’s heart and mind that he really is saved; that he really is Christ’s, and that he really does nave newness of life. It is like graduation. Graduates have already completed all the requirements of graduation and need only apply to the school for a transcript and a diploma. It is not necessary to attend graduation exercises. Nevertheless I would not advocate skipping those exercises. Though graduation has no academic value, it seals in the graduate’s mind that he or she has really completed his studies and is ready to move on in life. Graduation publically shows that he graduate has completed his or her studies satisfactorily. It is the same with baptism. In has no salvific value, yet it does help a person to realize that he really is saved and he has publicly stated such.
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.
Still alluding to Baptism, Paul contends that we have been crucified with Christ. We have put to death the old sinful nature and all of our sins (the body of sins) and are no longer slaves to sin. It no longer crouches at the door, ready to pounce upon us.
In First Corinthians chapter 15, Paul stated that if Christ is not resurrected from the dead then our faith is in vain and we are the most miserable of people. But, he says, “Christ has been raised from the dead.” Therefore our hope is in Him. He further said, in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”Death came to all mankind, men women, and children, through Adam. When Adam sinned, the entire human race became sinful. The sinfulness of humans comes to us in the seed of Adam passed down through all generations to us. We are the children of Adam and thus receive Adam’s nature, which is sinful. The psalmist David said, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). David was saying that he was born a sinner from the very moment he was conceived. We, as sons and daughters of Adam, are sinners. Sinfulness is passed on to us in our heredity. (This is what the Word of God says, however politically incorrect it sounds). We are sinners by birth, by family, and by nature. That is the legacy passed on to us in Adam. We are a part of Adam because we have his DNA, hence Adam is in us and we are in him.
This verse is telling us that our old man, the man born of the seed of Adam, our sinful nature, the flesh, was nailed to the cross with Christ. Jesus told Nicodemus, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:5-8). Our birth as humans is a birth of the flesh. We are born of Adam’s flesh. When Paul says that we were crucified with Christ, he did not mean it figuratively, but literally. When we received Christ as our Savior, we were reborn of the Spirit from above. (The Greek word rendered “again” in John 3:3, is ανωθεν, anothen, which is Strong’s Number 509, means both ‘again’ and ‘from above’). Therefore, we are literally born again Spiritually. From that point on, we are in Christ and Christ is in us. Our old adamic sinful man was crucified at the cross at Calvary with Christ. Just as we are born from the sinful seed of Adam at our natural birth, we are reborn with the sinless seed of Christ at our rebirth in Christ. Our old sinful man was killed at the cross of Jesus and our new regenerated man is resurrected with Christ at His resurrection.
This is what Paul meant when he said in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” When we are born again and our old sinful nature is crucified with Christ, we are then resurrected with newness of life and now Christ lives in us. Our old nature is crucified with Christ and we are resurrected with Him to new life in Christ. Just as we were formerly in Adam and he was in us, now we are in Christ and Christ is in us. We are truly and literally new creatures in Christ (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15).
While the old sinful habits may remain with us somewhat, that does not mean we are not saved. Some of our old habits take some time even after our salvation has taken place. My own example is that I was a weekend alcoholic. I would drink on Friday evenings and Saturdays and get inebriated. I would not drink on Sunday so I would be fresh and ready to work on Monday morning. While I maintain that the mere consumption of alcohol is not a sin, drinking enough to get drunk or even to get a “buzz” is sinful. If there is enough alcohol in one’s system to be convicted of DUI, then such consumption is a sin. So I was a sinner in that area (of course I sinned in many other areas as well). When I believed on Christ and my Savior and was saved, many of my sins immediately stopped (such as cursing), but my alcohol consumption did not. I would still drink on Saturday and go to church on Sunday. The folks at church would smell it on my breath; I could see them wince. It was about three months after I was saved that the Holy Spirit finally got hold of me about my drinking problem. It is quite seared in my memory to this day almost thirty years later. I immediately poured out all my beer and booze down the sink and never took up drinking again. My daughter remembers that day well. She could not believe it. But my drinking problem has never returned, thanks be to God.
Once you are saved, a process begins in you. It is the process of sanctification, which simply means setting you apart from a sinful world. It is a process that occurs over our entire lives once we are saved. Besetting sins may be stubborn, but through the process of sanctification, all will be eventually wrung out of you.
Romans 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
A dead person is no longer animate. The dead do not breathe; they cannot feel; they cannot move; they cannot think; they cannot feel; they cannot speak; they can do absolutely nothing but lay right where they are placed and in the position they are put in. They are simply lifeless inanimate objects. A dead person can take absolutely no action of any kind, type, or variety. Since the dead can do absolutely nothing by themselves, then they cannot sin. Hence a dead body is freed from sin. This is not to say that we do not sin, for all humans sin (1 John 1:8-10). However, we do not purposely continue in sin (1 John 2:1).
In a similar manner, once we become dead to our sinful lives, we will sin no more. Though it may take time to completely remove all of our sinful habits, we are dead to sin and we do not sin purposely. Our sins are painful to our consciences and when we do sin, we will seek forgiveness of our sins (1 John 1:9) and try not to sin again.
Romans 6:8-9 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: (9) Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
Since Christians are baptized into His death, buried with Him in baptism, planted together in the likeness of death, and crucified with Christ, they are dead to sin. Like the dead person of verse 7, Christians are dead to sin and thus not condemned by it. Since we are dead in Christ in all the ways mentioned in this paragraph, we believe that, like Him, we shall live and live and have eternal life in the presence of Christ.
Christ was resurrected from death and will never again die. Similarly, our belief in Christ means our death to the sinful life we once led. Once we are dead to our old lives and sins, then we look forward to eternal life, hence death will not reign over us just as it does not reign over Him. Though we die a physical death, we will not die a spiritual death—we will inherit eternal life.
Romans 6:10-11 For in that he died, he died to sin once for all; but in that he liveth, he liveth to God. (11) Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Christ died once to forgive sins for eternity. The blood of bulls and goats was not effective in keeping us cleansed from sin, so those animals had to be sacrificed regularly to atone for sins. But Christ is perfect and there is no sin found in Him. Thus His blood is effectual in cleansing sin forever. He needed to die only once and His shed blood was efficacious from that point on unto eternity. He died once for all. That means His one death is sufficient to forgive our sins for all time. He never needs to die again to atone for our sins. His one death was sufficient.
What does it mean to live to God? The word “to,” has many meanings. Let us define it. Out of more than two dozen possible definitions, these three seem to fit best here:
Expresses motion or direction toward a person, place, or thing that may be reached (in opposition to from).
Expresses aim, purpose, or intention
Expresses attachment or adherence
Living to God expresses our moving toward a Person, God. We may seek and reach God. We seek God with intention and purpose. Our aim is to please God. We are attached to God through love. His love and ours. His because He loved the world so much that He sent His own Son to die for us. Ours because we cannot help but to love Him once we believe on Him thus we adhere to His will. Living to God means we live for Him; we live to please Him; we live to do His will; we love Him because He first loved us even though we are most unlovable because of sin. Living to God simply means living a life with God at the center. Christ lives because God the Father resurrected God the Son, and thus he lives in God’s will. Christ is our example for living to God. He perfectly lived his life on earth to God and He continues to perfectly live his life to God. He lives for the glory of the Father just as we should. Just as Christ died for our sins and was raised to new life, so we die to sin when we trust Christ as Savior and are raised to new life in Him. Therefore, we live also unto God Just as He does.
Romans 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
John sums this verse up nicely in:
1 John 1:5-2:2 (NLT), This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in Him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts. My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the One who is truly righteous. He Himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
How do we stop sin from reining in our mortal bodies? It is not possible to do so 100%. Yet John gives us the tools and the know-how to accomplish this feat. Follow his advice in the above passage and you will be able to stop obeying the lusts of a sinful nature.
Romans 6:13 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.
What are our members? They are the many parts of our bodies including but not limited to our mouths, hands, feet, hearts, sexual organs, stomachs, and emotions. We should not allow any part of our bodies, internal or external, to become a means of sinful behavior.
We have thoroughly discussed being dead to the old live in the previous paragraphs. Paul is applying that death to our daily behaviors. No part of our part of our bodies should participate in sin. That includes our mouths (Mat 15:11). There are twenty references, both positive and negative, to controlling our tongues in the book of Proverbs. Pro 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Our tongues are the most vicious part of our bodies. The tongues of men have caused genocide, wars, separation of families, and many terrible acts. It is imperative that we learn to control our words. By the same token, all of our body parts can become involved in sinful behavior from overeating to sexual perversion to murder and all things in between.
Instead, we should use our tongues to promote righteousness, to compel others to seek Christ, to heal, to instill joy, to promote brotherly love, etc. Our bodies should be involved in works leading to righteousness. When we do our jobs, we should do them for Christ Who provided them for us. We should be beacons of light to the world in all that we do.
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Paul will explain this statement further in other places. Many people misconstrue Paul’s words, “ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Plenty of people make the mistake that the law has been abolished for Christians and that grace has taken its place. Not so. Paul did not say that the law was ended. He simply said we are not under it. The law is still in force. If you don’t believe that, go out and rob a bank and see if the law is in force. You will quickly find out that it is indeed still in force. “But,” you may say, “Paul is talking about the Law of Moses.” Certainly he is. What is robbing a bank? It is stealing. What is the eighth commandment? Thou shalt not steal. That law is still in force. In fact, all of the Ten Commandments are in force today. Some apply to civil and criminal law; some are only God’s laws and not the laws of society. The laws against theft, murder, adultery, false witness, and those dealing with human relations are still in effect in society. The laws pertaining to God (Commandments 1-5) are still in effect for Christians. We are not to worship other gods or idols, we are to gather together regularly for Christian fellowship and to set apart one day to worship God. We are still not to take the Lord’s Name in vain. We are to honor our parents. So, you see, all of God’s laws are still in effect and we are still to obey them. Disobeying one of them or all of them is still a sin. As Paul said earlier in this chapter, we should not continue in our sin.
By his statement that we are under grace, Paul meant that the law does not have to power to condemn Christians. Christ died to save us from our sins and the law points out our sins. If we break a law, we are sinning, but the law does not have the power to condemn us to death. Civil and criminal law still have power over us through our society, but breaking the commandments of God will not forever separate us from God. Christ paid the penalty for our sins at Calvary. Therefore, even when we do transgress the law, the penalty for that transgression has been paid. The grace of God has provided a way for our sins to be forgiven. That Way is through belief in Jesus the Christ as your Savior. Remember the creed I use, “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He was born of a virgin, grew as a man, died on the cross as a sacrifice in my place, was raised on the third day and today sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for my sins.” If you truly believe those things, you have received the gracious gift of salvation from God and any transgression of the law you commit is covered by the shed blood of Christ. The law condemns us, but the grace of God forgives us. That is why sin does not have dominion, that is, done not hold sway over us.
Romans 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
Just like verse one. We should not continue in sin for any reason. Not so that grace may abound, not because we are under grace. Sinning should stop when we are saved. Period. There is no reason to deliberately continue in sin.
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Look, this is a rule of life. It is a rule for everyone, not just “religious” people. If you submit to the authority of anything or anyone, that thing or person rules you. If you have a lot of debt, that debt control what you do, how you spend your money, and how you live your life. If you sing a contract to do a job, then you are obligated to perform hat contract and to obey the person you contracted with, within the bounds of the contract. If you are employed, you agree to obey the rules of your employer. Those rules even extend beyond work. If you get into trouble with the law off duty, that may affect your job. In more and more cases, if you smoke at home, you are subject to discipline at work.
Similarly, if you choose to follow sinful ways, you are a slave to sin, which leads to death. If you choose to obey God, that will lead to righteous living and eternal life. Like God says in Deuteronomy 30:19, choose life.
Romans 6:17-18 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. (18) Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
If you are a Christian; if you have trusted in Christ as your Savior, your sins are forgiven. It is to Christian that Paul speaks. What is the doctrine that was delivered to us? It is the Gospel, the good news that Christ is risen and our sins are forgiven. Thank God that because of the Gospel, we Christians are no longer slaves to sin. Since we are no longer slaves to sin, we have become the servants of righteousness.
Romans 6:19-20 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. (20) For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
Since we are in our human flesh and subject to its weaknesses, thus we cannot understand the things of God except in an imperfect manner. We are in this world and inside of creation unable to escape creation while we are living as humans. God is supranatural, that is, He is outside of nature and its constrictions; we are not. Therefore, Paul speaks to us in terms we will easily understand—human terms. He uses everyday examples to help us to understand spiritual, supranatural things.
He compares our relationship with Christ to the relationship between a slave and his master. For example he explains that in the past, before our conversion to Christianity, by yielding parts of our bodies to the flesh, we were slaves to perversions of all types, evil actions, and disobedience to God’s precepts. Just as a slave is completely under his master’s control, so the sins we participated in all the time, controlled us. But now, as God’s children and heirs to His kingdom, we must make every part of our bodies His servants. In other words, we must yield completely, totally, and unconditionally to God as a slave must yield completely to his master. This is the standard—that we give ourselves absolutely to God. Being human, we often fail at this. Nevertheless, as Paul said when he compared the Christian life to a race, when we stumble we get up and keep going, keeping our eye on the prize, the crown of life. Our sins are covered by the blood of Christ so when we fail to live up to the standard, forgiveness is available.
When we were busy following the dictates of their world and its perversions, we were free from righteousness. It had no control over us nor did we care that we were not righteous. Every one of us thought we were pretty good folks (“I’m a good person”) and that God saw that goodness and would never punish us for he is a loving God. In other words, we figured we were actually righteous when we were actually depraved. We also figured, incorrectly, that because God is love, He will never punish anyone. Of course when you really think about that, if God really is love, and He is, then He would not be able to turn a blind eye to sinners. That is because not only is He a God of love, but of righteousness, and of justice. Justice dictates that a sinner be paid for his sins.
Romans 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
We now regret the sinful life we once lived. To be ashamed of our past sins could be rendered to be sorry for our sins. What good did our old sinful lifestyle do for us? The elliptical answer is nothing. What was the end result or the ultimate end of such a lifestyle? Death. Not physical death, but the destruction of the body and soul (Mat 10:28).
Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
The fruit of our sinful lifestyle led to death. But the fruit of being the slaves of God is that which leads to holiness and ultimately to eternal life.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Justice dictates that a sinner be paid for his sins. Such payment is akin to wages. Sin causes us to be owed wages, and not a wage. Our sins were manifold and manifold sins must be paid by wages. Additionally, the term wages can be singular or plural and may be used with a singular or plural verb. So, wages could mean the same as wage. We could say that the wage of sin is death and be just as grammatically correct as the KJV.
While the wage of sin is death, we will receive the gift, from God, of eternal life because of our faith in Jesus Christ. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He was born of a virgin, grew as a man, died on the cross as a sacrifice in your place, was raised on the third day and today sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for your sins.