Romans 6 (kjv)

Sanctification and Sin

Dead to Sin
Slaves with respect to Destiny

1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
5 If we have been united with him like this in his death,
we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.


12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness,
but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life;
and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

Set Free From Sin
Slaves with Respect to Behavior

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!
16 Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves,
you are slaves to the one whom you obey--
whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience,
which leads to righteousness?
17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin,
you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.
18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves.
Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness,
so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.
20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?
Those things result in death!
22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God,
the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Discussion Questions

Is the idea of being dead to sin in this section talking about sin no longer determining our destiny or sin no longer controlling our behavior, or what?


The end of chapter 5 indicates that we, as humans, were appointed to play the role of sinners in God's story so that His graciousness may be revealed more clearly when contrasted with our sinfulness, and therefore comes the obvious question: "Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?" The answer basically is that having believed in Christ, our role changes. In this new role, we are dead with respect to sin and free from its mastery. And if that is what our position is, then we should behave appropriately.

vs 3 Baptized into Christ: This is not the same as being baptized into water. For water baptism doesn't save any more than communion does. Many, if not most Christians, are water baptized before they really believe. Many are baptized simply as a sign they are commiting themselves to follow Christ. But they are not actually saved until they put their faith in His atoning work on the cross. And many do not even realized what that means for them personally until some time later in their Christian life. "Baptize" simply means to immerse one thing into another. You can immerse something into water or fire or Christ. To be immersed into Christ is like Noah being placed into the Ark. There he was safe from God's wrath, represented by the flood waters.

vs 4-10 When we were immersed into Christ, we were immersed into his death. He speaks of death in the past tense. So what is it that we died with respect to? For we still face a physical death in the future. We have died with respect to the wrath that sin incurs, having had our sins forgiven. And not only so, but also raised with him and now being alive with respect to God.

vs 7 "anyone who has died has been freed from sin". The word "freed" is "justified" which indicates that he is not talking about the influence of sin over one's behavior, but over one's destiny. By ellipsis according to the context this really means "anyone who has died with Christ has been justified from sin".

vs 11-13 Therefore, according to this section, the motivation for not sinning is that by faith we reckon that our salvation status has been changed. By the grace of God our sins have been forgiven having been payed for through the death of Christ and now we have a living relationship with God whom we serve and a destiny which has been made secure. If this is our new status and the new role to which we have been assigned, then it is only appropriate that we physically behave that way by ceasing from sin and rather offering our bodies in service to God, which implies that we have the ability to do so.

vs 14 What does "sin shall not be your master" mean? His statement "because you are not under law, but under grace." reinforces the idea of "master over your destiny". For as believers our destiny is no longer determined by whether we sin or not, as if we were under the law, but by the fact that our sins have been graciously forgiven. Furthermore, he's using the future tense "shall not", as opposed to the subjunctive "should not" or present "does not", to again reinforce the idea of sin controlling our future destiny. This as opposed to the idea that he is focussing on sin's mastery over our behavior.But if he's referring to our destiny, then what then is the motivation for not sinning. Same as

1John 3:2,3 "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

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Edition: Wednesday, 29-Jul-2015 17:23:10 EDT