Romans - 6:1-23

The Christian Walk

      1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 May it never be! We who died to sin, how could we live in it any longer? 3 Or don't you know that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism to death, that just like Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection; 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him; 9 knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no more has dominion over him! 10 For the death that he died, he died to sin one time; but the life that he lives, he lives to God. 11 Thus consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore don't let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 Neither present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? May it never be! 16 Don't you know that to whom you present yourselves as servants to obedience, his servants you are whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that, whereas you were bondservants of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto you were delivered. 18 Being made free from sin, you became bondservants of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh, for as you presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to wickedness upon wickedness, even so now present your members as servants to righteousness for sanctification. 20 For when you were servants of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit then did you have at that time in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now, being made free from sin, and having become servants of God, you have your fruit of sanctification, and the result of eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Chapter In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of Romans 6.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

The argument commenced in this chapter is continued through the two following. The general design is the same - "to show that the scheme of justification which God had adopted does not lead people to sin, but on the contrary to holiness." This is introduced by answering an objection, Romans 6:1. The apostle pursues this subject by various arguments and illustrations, all tending to show that the design and bearing of the scheme of justification was to produce the hatred of sin, and the love and practice of holiness. In this chapter, the argument is mainly drawn from the following sources:
(1) From the baptism of Christians, by which they have professed to be dead to sin, and to be bound to live to God, Romans 6:2-13.
(2) from the fact that they were now the servants of God, and under obligation, by the laws of servitude, to obey him, Romans 6:15-20.
(3) from their former experience of the evil of sin, from its tendency to produce misery and death, and from the fact that by the gospel they had been made ashamed of those things, and had now given themselves to the pure service of God. By these various considerations, he repels the charge that the tendency of the doctrine was to produce licentiousness, but affirms that it was a system of purity and peace. The argument is continued in the two following chapters, showing still further the purifying tendency of the gospel.

We must not abuse the boundless goodness of God by continuing in sin, under the wicked persuasion that the more we sin the more the grace of God will abound, Romans 6:1. For, having been baptized into Christ, we have professed thereby to be dead to sin, Romans 6:2-4. And to be planted in the likeness of his resurrection, Romans 6:5. For we profess to be crucified with him, to die and rise again from the dead, Romans 6:6-11. We should not, therefore, let sin reign in our bodies, but live to the glory of God, Romans 6:12-14. The Gospel makes no provision for living in sin, any more than the law did; and those who commit sin are the slaves of sin, Romans 6:15-19. The degrading and afflictive service of sin, and its wages eternal death; the blessed effects of the grace of God in the heart, of which eternal life is the fruit, Romans 6:20-23.
The apostle, having proved that salvation, both to Jew and Gentile, must come through the Messiah, and be received by faith only, proceeds in this chapter to show the obligations under which both were laid to live a holy life, and the means and advantages they enjoyed for that purpose. This he does, not only as a thing highly and indispensably necessary in itself - for without holiness none can see the Lord - but to confute a calumny which appears to have been gaining considerable ground even at that time, viz. that the doctrine of justification by faith alone, through the grace of Christ Jesus, rendered obedience to the moral law useless; and that the more evil a man did, the more the grace of God would abound to him, in his redemption from that evil. That this calumny was then propagated we learn from Romans 3:8; and the apostle defends himself against it in the 31st verse of the same, (Romans 3:31) by asserting, that his doctrine, far from making void the law, served to establish it. But in this and the two following chapters he takes up the subject in a regular, formal manner; and shows both Jews and Gentiles that the principles of the Christian religion absolutely require a holy heart and a holy life, and make the amplest provisions for both.

The Apostle having finished his design concerning the doctrine of justification, refutes the charge brought against it as a licentious doctrine, and prevents any ill use that might be made of it by men of evil minds, justified persons by the strongest arguments, and with the best of motives to holiness of life and conversation: he saw, that whereas he had affirmed in the preceding chapter, that sin being made to abound by the law, in the condemnation of sinners, the grace of God the more abounded in their justification and pardon; that some would rise up and object, that this doctrine countenances men's continuance in sin, and opens a door to all manner of iniquity; and that others would abuse this doctrine, and encourage themselves in a vicious course of life, upon this mistaken notion, that the grace of God would be the more illustrious by it; all which is suggested in Romans 6:1, to which an answer is returned in Romans 6:2, with an abhorrence of everything of this kind; and by an argument, showing the absurdity and inconsistency of it, seeing persons dead to sin, as justified ones are, cannot live in it: and that they are dead to sin, and under obligation to live unto righteousness, he argues from their baptism into Christ's death, which represents their being dead with Christ, and buried with him, Romans 6:3, and likewise the resurrection of Christ from the dead, and theirs by him, whereby they are both fitted and obliged to walk in newness of life; since they are, and should be like him, as in his death, so in his resurrection from the dead: and the rather, as they are implanted in him, as the branches in the vine, Romans 6:4, and especially as it was the great end of his death, that by the crucifixion of sin with him, it might so be destroyed, that his people should be no more servants to it, Romans 6:6, this being proved, that justified ones are dead to sin, the apostle argues upon it, that such are freed from sin, Romans 6:7, and therefore ought not, and cannot live in it; for this must be given into as an article of faith, that such as are dead with Christ live, and shall live a life of communion with him, Romans 6:8, which is inconsistent with living in sin: he further argues from the resurrection of Christ, which was not to die more, Romans 6:9, and suggests, that in like manner, those who have been dead and buried, and risen with him, which their baptism signifies, should not live in sin, which is no other than dying again; and to strengthen this, directs to the ends of Christ's death and resurrection, Romans 6:10, the end of the one being unto sin, to finish, make an end of that, and be the death of it, and the end of the other, being living unto God; wherefore in like manner, such who profess to be Christ's, to be justified by his righteousness, to be baptized into his death, and to be risen with him, should account themselves dead unto sin, and so not live in it, and alive to God through the righteousness of Christ, and so live to his honour and glory, Romans 6:11, and having thus answered the objection, and removed the calumny, and set this matter in a clear light, the apostle proceeds to dehort from sinning, and to exhort to holiness of life, Romans 6:12, in which he compares sin to a tyrant, the lusts of it to the laws of such an one, and which therefore should not be obeyed; and the rather, as the wages of them are death, and have made the body already mortal; wherefore the members of it should not be employed in such service, but in the service of God: and whereas it might be objected, that sin is too strong and prevalent, and has got the mastery, and will keep its power, the apostle declares it as a promise of grace, that sin shall not have the dominion, Romans 6:14, giving this as a reason, because such as are justified and sanctified, are not under the law, as a covenant of works, but under the covenant of grace, of which this promise is a part; and in order to prevent an ill use of this doctrine, and remove an objection that might be made, that if not under the law, men are under no restraints, but may go on in sin without control, he answers it with his usual detestation, Romans 6:15, and argues the folly and absurdity of living in sin upon such an account, because it would make them servants of sin unto death, Romans 6:16, and so they were before conversion, but now were otherwise, for, which they had reason to be thankful, Romans 6:17, since through the grace of God they had yielded an hearty obedience to the Gospel; wherefore to obey sin would be to return to their former state of bondage; whereas being freed from the power and dominion of sin, they were now the servants of righteousness, and ought to act becoming such a character, Romans 6:18, wherefore it was but acting the part of reasonable men, it was but their reasonable service, to yield themselves servants, not to sin and uncleanness, but to righteousness and holiness, Romans 6:19, in order to engage to which, the apostle puts them in mind of their former state; how that when they were in subjection to sin, they had nothing to do with the exercise of righteousness, Romans 6:20, and therefore as there was an alteration made in them, they ought to be just the reverse in their conduct and conversation; for he appeals to them, that they had no pleasure nor profit in their former course of life; which had brought upon them shame and confusion, and must have ended in death, had it not been for the grace of God, Romans 6:21, but now as they were delivered from the slavery and dominion of sin, they were under a better master, were servants to God; and the fruit of their service was holiness, and the issue of all would be everlasting life, Romans 6:22, which is illustrated by the contrary, Romans 6:23, the wages due from the service of sin, and which only could be expected from it, being death; whereas grace and holiness, the gift of God, issue in eternal life by Christ Jesus; in whose hands it is, and through whom it comes, and is enjoyed.

(Romans 6:1, Romans 6:2) Believers must die to sin, and live to God.
(Romans 6:3-10) This is urged by their Christian baptism and union with Christ.
(Romans 6:11-15) They are made alive to God.
(Romans 6:16-20) And are freed from the dominion of sin.
(Romans 6:21-23) The end of sin is death, and of holiness everlasting life.

SUMMARY.--Death by Sin. Burial with Christ. Rising to a New Life. Those Dead not under the Dominion of Sin. Hence, Consecrated to a New Life. Once the Servants of Sin, but after Baptism the Servants of Jesus Christ. The Wages of Sin. The Gift of God.

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