What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We 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.
If we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God.
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. – Romans 6:1-14
SLAVES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life inChrist Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:15-23.
Romans chapter 6 explains that believers are free from sin’s control. This section deals with sanctification – the change God makes in our life as we grow in the faith.
WHAT HAS GOD DONE ABOUT SIN?
1. He Has Given Us New Life
Sin’s power is broken, sin’s-loving nature is buried and we are no longer under sin’s control. We can be certain that sin’s power is broken.
2. New Nature
Now we share His new life. Let us look upon our old self as dead and be alive to God. We can see ourselves as unresponsive to the old power and alive to the new.
3. New Freedom
We should not let sin control us and give ourselves completely to God. We are free and can choose our own Master. We can commit ourselves to obey Christ in perfect freedom.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed – John 8:36
COUNT OURSLEVES DEAD TO SIN
The basic principle in Romans chapter 6 is how the believer is united with Christ in both His death and life. If we are true followers of Christ, we have died to sin – a fact that is reflected in several areas of our Christian experience.
a) We died to sin in God’s view. We are considered by God to have died with Christ on the cross and to have been raised up to new life through His resurrection.
b) We died to sin when we received Christ and were spiritually “born again” by the power of the Holy Spirit. As a result, we have been given Christ’s power to resist sin, to “put to death the misdeeds of the body” and to live a new life in obedience to God.
c) We died to sin in water baptism as we identified with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and committed ourselves to reject sin and to live for Christ.
These areas of the Christian experience mark the first stage that shows our life is dead to sin and alive to God. But in order to experience ongoing victory over sin, we must consider ourselves dead to sin not only in principle but also in practice.
What does it mean to be dead to sin? Consider the fact that if something is dead, it is not active or responsive. Being dead to sin means that the influences and temptations that may have once caused us to give in to sin no longer have control of us because we are unresponsive to these things. Developing this type of spiritual resistance requires a deliberate and willful choice not to feed or exercise our sinful nature. It means refusing to carelessly expose ourselves to those activities and areas of life that can easily trouble or tempt us. Instead, we must feed ourselves spiritually and exercise godly disciplines that bring us closer to Christ and build our strength to resist Satan’s temptations and the sinful tendencies of our own human nature. These spiritual disciplines include time in prayer, God’s Word, worship, Christian companionship and acts of service. Dying to sin means refusing to let sin have its way so we can offer ourselves fully to God – spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally – for His honour and purpose.
DO NOT LET SIN REIGN
Since sin has been removed from the place where it once ruled, the believer must continually resist its effort to regain control. Sin attempts to reign primarily through the desires and temptations involving the body. We must resist these desires by relying on the spiritual strength available to us through Christ. By doing so, we can say “no” to the desires and lusts of our sinful nature that try to fulfill themselves through our body. We must refuse to give in to these desires by the things we do, see and think about so they cannot control our behaviour. Instead, we must present our body and whole personality as a willing servant to God so we can fulfill His desires and purposes and do what He says is right.
Source: Culled from The Life Application Bible & Fire Bible – Global Study Edition.