Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ
1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do 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. 14For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
As we have been going through Chapter 5 the last few weeks Paul has been laying the ground work for our union with Adam in sin and death, and with Christ in justification and life.
The purpose for chapter six and seven is that Paul steps back to answer a couple of questions that he knows some are asking. These questions come from chapter 5:20-21.
Romans 5:20-21 The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In chapter 6:1 Paul says - 1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
Paul’s concern here is that when people read verse 5:20 “so that the trespass might increase.” And in verse 5:21 about the triumph of Gods grace in us. That this may bring up two problems.
First - That if grace is destined to triumph in us then this may lead some to think that they should have no worries about their sin if grace will concur.
Second - What is the purpose for the law today and that if we retain the law that it will in some way destroy the gospel of salvation by grace and on the other hand if we retain the gospel of grace, then the law is now something extra that is not needed.
Both are good questions and rather than ignore them Paul stops and takes a little time to answer them before the questions can be asked.
We will start by looking at the first question about the triumph of grace.
There are two possibilities:
The First is that it doesn’t matter how much we sin as Christians if grace will triumph then we can do what we want. After all if works are not taken in to account for our salvation then why worry about them.
There are a few problems with this theology:
It overlooks God’s purpose in the plan of salvation, which clearly is to save us from sin and also save us from the guilt that every true Christian will have when they are in sin because of the Holy Spirit who convicts us of that sin.
It overlooks God’s means of saving sinners. That is that God justifies us, Christ redeems us, and the Holy Spirit makes us a new person who is now spiritually alive.
Last - It is just plain crazy to believe that we should just go on sinning. Paul is just making a point here in that statement, he is not making a literal statement as we will see.
Christ died for our sins not only as payment for them but to also free us from sins control of us. He died to empower us through the Holy Spirit so that we are able to fight sin with the ability to concur it through His death on the cross.