Summary: Once we’ve been immersed in God’s grace, our spiritual DNA has been changed in such a way that sin becomes contrary to who we are in Christ and who Christ is in us! Our addiction to sin and self-centered living is broken and we are free to be who we were
Freed by Grace!
Intro: The first 3 chapters of Romans show us how all people, Jews and Gentiles, are sinful and have failed to be who they were created to be. We’ve all sinned and we’ve all gone our own way. We are not capable of approaching God’s glory or coming close to Him. Chapters 4 & 5 show us how simple faith in Jesus and His work on the cross eradicates our sin, changes our sinful nature, and makes us right with God. The law served to show us clearly that we cannot fix ourselves! We are all moral failures before God and cannot make ourselves holy. Now Paul says that because of the fact that the law increases sin, but grace always trumps sin through faith, some might think or say, “Let’s really increase our sin so God’s grace can increase even more!” But Paul says, “Huh, uh, uh!” Once we’ve been immersed in God’s grace, our spiritual DNA has been changed in such a way that sin becomes contrary to who we are in Christ and who Christ is in us! Our addiction to sin and self-centered living is broken and we are free to be who we were created to be in Christ!
-So in chapter 6, Paul shifts his focus on the practical area of our lives - our lifestyle. He begins to describe the lifestyle of the forgiven as being immensely different than our lifestyle before we met Christ.
1. Grace brings death to the old life (1-4a)
1 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more kindness and forgiveness? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with him? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism.
-God’s grace removes sin, it does not okay it. Sometimes people get the idea that God doesn’t mind a little sin here and there as long as you confess it occasionally. After all, God knew we would sin and He took care of it for us. However, when we say that God took care of it, that doesn’t mean we can live however we want.
-Paul says that those who have put their faith in Christ have died to sin. The word death means separation. When we die physically our spirit is separated from our body. When you come to Christ, the old “you” dies and is separated from the new you. The new you becomes one with Christ – united with Him. This is illustrated by water baptism – the sign that a person is leaving the old life of sin and disobedience, and joining their life to Christ.
-Paul says that we were buried with Christ by baptism. When we go down under the water, that symbolizes the death and burial of the old you and the old way of living. No longer do we live according to the standards of this world. We are dead to the old way of living.
-It is interesting that Paul refers to water baptism as the normal, assumed practice of every believer. It typically occurred immediately after a person called on the Lord and became a follower of Jesus. You never find any place in the Bible where baptism is optional for a believer. No! It was expected and assumed! It was part of the package because Jesus made it so. For many years before Christ came, Gentiles who wished to convert to Judaism were baptized in water to symbolize a complete cleansing from their formerly pagan ways. Jesus brought the new covenant and instituted water baptism as the outward sign of a person entering into a new life with God. They were putting their sins and their past impurities behind them and moving forward in a relationship of love and obedience to God.
-So Paul says, “No! We can’t plan to keep on sinning with the idea that God’s grace has us covered. That would be a presumptuous abuse of the grace of God, and a sign that perhaps we have not really identified with Christ’s death. Grace is a sin slayer! Sin has no place to land in the heart of a follower of Jesus. Does that mean we will never sin? No. But it does mean that we won’t give it a place to stay. It has no hold on us any longer because we are dead to it! So grace brings death to our old lives, but in place of the old comes the new!
2. Grace brings new life (4b-5)
And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. 5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised as he was.