Summary: This is the first message from a series over Romans 6-11. This series examines the new live we have under God's grace. This message looks at how God moves us from a life under sin to a new life under grace.
In the first five chapters of the letter, Paul presented a picture of our position before God. Although the picture was quite dismal, he let us know that there was hope for our situation to be changed. Through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross, God extended His grace allowing us an opportunity to be rescued from the mess that we got ourselves into. As we enter chapter six, Paul will build a case that will keep people from viewing God’s grace as a license to do whatever we want to. Unfortunately, there are those who believe that because of grace, obedience to God’s commands is unnecessary. A famous historical instance of such a view comes from the Russian monk Rasputin, who dominated the Romanov family in their final years. Rasputin taught that salvation came through repeated experiences of sin and repentance. He argued that because those who sin more require more forgiveness, those who sin with abandon will as they repent experience greater joy; therefore, it is the believer’s duty to sin. In our text Paul is going to show that grace does not remove the obligation to obey God’s commands but it actually makes obedience possible. The bottom line is this, God’s grace has changed us, and it has given us the power to live apart from sin’s control. Chapters 6-11 of the book of Romans helps the believer understand exactly how to live this new life under God’s grace. Today, we will begin by learning that grace does not equal anything goes but it does increase our obligation to live in obedience.
I. A life no longer under the control of sin.
A. Paul begins with a question intended to get the reader to weigh the evidence that he has presented about grace and sin.
1. The goal is to keep people from taking his statement, “where sin increased grace increased all the more” and running with it.
2. The question when you look at the Greek text could be posed this way, “Should we continue to stubbornly insist on living a life in sin?”
3. Paul poses this question because someone could quite easily draw that sinning would allow God to extend more grace resulting in Him receiving more glory.
4. Paul could very well be thinking of the problems that existed in the church in Corinth where some thought since forgiveness is guaranteed you can live any way you want.
B. Paul shows that this type of thought should not even be entertained.
1. Paul could not even begin to reason how a person could believe the Gospel and yet believe that they could continue to live in sin.
2. The argument is that the Christian has died to sin or has been freed from the power of sin, this should prevent us from living in sin.
3. How’s this work? When Jesus died for our sins on the cross, the believer actually died to sin which means that they sin no longer has them in its grip.
4. Instead of sin ruling in the believer’s life, righteousness has become the controlling factor so to go on sinning it totally against this new nature.
II. Winning the daily battle against sin.
A. Explaining the effect that baptism has on the life of the believer.
1. Paul begins verse 3 with a rebuke as the literal translation of the Greek would be “are you ignorant of this?”
2. The readers may have remembered when they were baptized but apparently they were missing the deep spiritual significance of the event.
3. In baptism the believer participates with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection. Before salvation we are identified with Adam and his sinful nature but after baptism we are identified with Jesus and His righteousness.
4. The significance of baptism can’t be missed, as Christ died and was placed in the grave when the believer goes down into the water they are being buried representing their death to their old life.
5. Jack Cottrell writes this about baptism. “He has appropriately designated this event as the occasion for the beginning of this saving union with the Redeemer.”
6. Without a doubt Paul is referring to water baptism here because wherever He uses the Greek word baptizo it refers to water baptism.
B. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, sin and death is no longer in control of our lives.
1. One may think Paul is repeating himself but as any good teacher knows, sometimes the information is not absorbed the first time around so it needs to be reinforced especially when it is important.
2. Paul wants his readers to realize that we have been raised into new life with Christ and sin no longer has a hold on us.
3. When we died with Christ in baptism, we trusted that when we came out of the water we were resurrected with Him to live for all of eternity.