Dead to Sin, Alive to God
6 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Slaves to Righteousness
What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Veto: A decision by a person in authority to not allow or approve something.
Paul lays out the power of sin and death and brings in this very well-known chapter. The Message translation really puts some of it into perspective.
So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives.
Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. So, since we’re out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since we’re free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do.Romans 6 MSG
The power of sin in our life is something we face daily. We are tempted in so many ways to give in to the set-up it brings to us. It’s funny because many times it comes at us in ways we seem to justify. Of course, there are the blatant acts that go against God, which a decision to follow is pretty much an about-face to the ways of God. But the sneakiness of sin also shows itself in ways not so noted, at least initially. Attitudes, reactions, and justified behaviors are just a few that rear their head. It seems before we know it, we’ve given in to them and find ourselves on the dark side.
Paul very clearly points out here though that although the power of sin is great, the freedom in the right choices through Jesus is greater. The power to do so is through sanctification or the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Without Him, we will fail every time. Jesus has given us a veto right through the power of the Spirit that all can take charge of.
Sin brings death. Vetoing the power of it daily in our life brings freedom.
Romans 6 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Grigori Rasputin was a Russian mystic and self-proclaimed “holy man” who claimed to speak on behalf of God. He gained considerable influence in Russian during the early 1900s. Controversy surrounds Rasputin as he claimed and demonstrated divine healing for a boy named Alexei, the Tsar and his wife Alexandra’s only son, who suffered from hemophilia.
But there was a dark side to Rasputin. He struggled with alcohol abuse and sexual promiscuity. Attaining divine grace through sin seems to have been one of his central secret doctrines that was preached to (and practiced with) his inner circle of society ladies. The idea that an increase of sin would cause an increase of God’s grace was a convenient excuse to continue to feed the flesh what it desired. The problem is, Paul had already debunked this doctrine in Romans 6.
More Sin = More Grace?
Paul is not speaking to those who backslide from time to time and know their choices are sinful. All believers are in that category. He is speaking to those who willingly continue sinning and allow it to develop into a pattern of life. He is addressing those who actually justify their own behavior by believing they are receiving more grace than others who are not sinning. The entire concept makes no sense whatsoever. If someone justifies their sinful behavior, why would they need grace anyway?
This is exactly the point Paul is delivering to his readers. If we have been delivered from sin and now recognize it for what it is, why would we go back to it? Grace brings this kind of revival.
Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.Romans 6:13-14 ESV
We are free to live in righteousness through the grace of Jesus Christ. But ultimately, that freedom still requires a choice. Many Christians today know freedom is available but choose instead to live as a prisoner.
(I use everyday language because of the weakness of your natural selves.) At one time you surrendered yourselves entirely as slaves to impurity and wickedness for wicked purposes. In the same way you must now surrender yourselves entirely as slaves of righteousness for holy purposes.Romans 6:19 GNB
Once you choose to live in freedom, you experience the riches of being a slave to righteousness. The power comes from Jesus’ love, not from our own ability to conquer sin. An important question to ask yourself is, what is my default mode? Do I operate most days as a slave to sin or a slave to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? If I am free now to use my mind, body, and resources for God’s purposes, where have I gone back to the pigpen of sin? All of us have a struggle and all of us need to be reminded of the covering of Jesus. His power is sufficient to produce fruit from our shattered lives.