Dead to Sin
Romans 6:1-4 NIV
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have 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.
When we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, with God-given faith, we die with him to sin so that we might live with him to righteousness. This is what it means to be “born again.” And, this is what our physical baptism with water symbolizes.
When we are immersed in baptism with water, it is a testimony that we have been buried with Christ in death to sin, and when we are raised out of the water, it is a testimony that we have been raised with Christ to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (See: Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Pet. 2:24).
So, we should not continue living in sinful lifestyles, for we died with Christ to sin, so how can we live in it any longer? Or, don’t we know that God’s grace to us is not a free license to continue in willful sinful practices? Instead, His grace instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await his return (See: Tit. 2:11-14).
No Longer Slaves
Romans 6:5-7 NIV
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 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.
When we are born into this world, we are born with sin natures, as slaves to sin. We are without God and without hope. And, there is nothing we can do within our own flesh to earn or to deserve our own salvation from sin.
So, God the Father sent his Son Jesus Christ, who is God the Son, to the earth to take on human flesh, and to eventually die on a cross for our sins. He who knew no sin became sin for us on that cross, so that when he died he put our sins to death, and when he was resurrected from the dead, he rose victorious over sin, hell, Satan and death on our behalf.
So, when we believe in Him with God-given faith – a faith which is divinely persuaded as to his will for our lives – our old (former) lives of living for sin and self are put to death so that we should no longer be slaves to sin. For Jesus died on that cross to free us from our slavery to sin, not just to forgive us our sins and to promise us heaven when we die.
Live to God
Romans 6:8-11 NIV
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.
Because of what Jesus Christ did for us on that cross in putting our sin to death, and because the life he lives, he lives to God, he sets the example for us in how we must live our lives.
As Christians, and as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to consider our lives as dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Yet, this is not meaning to merely intellectualize this, but to literally regard ourselves, in all our thinking, attitudes and behaviors, as though sin no longer has any control, any power, or any sway over our lives. This is how we are to live.
But, it isn’t that we just don’t do bad things any longer. It is that, instead of living to please our flesh, we now live to please God. Instead of sin having mastery over our lives, now Jesus Christ is our Lord (owner-master). Instead of making lying our practice, now telling the truth is our practice. Instead of stealing, now we give generously to others. And, this is because we have been transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God and now the Spirit of God is living within us empowering us to live godly and holy lives.
Not Mastered by Sin
Romans 6:12-14 NIV
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.
So many people these days are teaching a faith in Jesus Christ that does not require death to sin or living to righteousness. But, that is a human faith based in human teaching, and not in the Word of God. For, even the demons believe in God, and they shudder, but they are not saved from their sins.
They are also teaching a grace which merely forgives sin and promises heaven when we die, but they don’t teach that God’s grace delivers us from our slavery to sin and that it sets us free to walk in HIS righteousness. So, what they are teaching is a lie, which is giving people a false hope.
If we have truly believed in Jesus Christ, with God-given faith, it means death to sin and living to God and to his righteousness. So, we should no longer be offering our bodies to sin, but we should be offering them to God as instruments of his righteousness, to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God. For, this is why Jesus gave his life up for us on that cross.
Slaves to Righteousness
Romans 6:15-18 NIV
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.
If we remain slaves to sin, it will result in death, not in eternal life with God. The Bible clearly teaches that if we walk in sin we will die in our sins. If we hold on to our old lives of living for sin and self, we will die in our sins, not live with Christ for eternity. If we say that we have fellowship with God, but we walk in darkness, we are liars who do not live by the truth (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21).
So, don’t buy into the lie which says that if you “believe” in Jesus that your sins are forgiven and heaven is guaranteed you no matter how you live your life. True faith in Jesus Christ results in death to sin and living to righteousness.
Leading to Holiness
Romans 6:19-23 NIV
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 in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This last sentence above is Romans 6:23, which is a frequently quoted passage of scripture when people are sharing the gospel of our salvation. But, it is often quoted in the context only of Jesus forgiving our sins. In other words, they quote it separately from the rest of Romans 6 and they make it out to say that if we believe that Jesus died to forgive us our sins that we are no longer under this curse of death. But, is that the message?
If we read this in context, we will see that there is more to the message than that. For, if we continue to offer ourselves as slaves to impurity, the result is death, not life with Christ for eternity. For the wages (the payment) for sin is death. But, if we offer ourselves to God as slaves of righteousness, it leads to holiness and the result is eternal life with God. For the gift of God, which is freedom from slavery to sin, results in eternal life with God.
So, our salvation is not merely forgiveness of sins and the hope of heaven when we die. Our salvation is death to sin and living to righteousness. It is freedom from slavery to sin so that we can now become slaves of righteousness. For, if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. But, if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live with Christ for eternity.
For, a saved life is a changed life, transformed from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. It no longer walks in sin, but it now, by the Spirit of God, lives to righteousness.
An Original Work / March 19, 2012
I can do no less than praise You,
Lord, for all You’ve done for me.
You died for my sins to save me,
So I would be set free.
I adore You! Lord, I praise You!
Jesus, Savior, King of kings!
You provided my redemption.
Your grace has pardoned me.
I can do no less than serve You.
Lord, Your witness I would be,
Telling others of Your love,
And why You died on that tree.
Tell of how You gave of Your life,
So from sin we’d be set free,
So we could worship You forever,
And live eternally.
I can do no less than love You,
Lord, for You have first loved me.
You gave of Your life so willing,
Because You cared for me.
Turn from my sin! Obey freely!
Live for You each passing day.
Read Your word, and follow Your lead,
Lord, as I humbly pray.
Saturday, March 24, 2018, 1:00 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from Your Word. May we walk in righteousness and no longer to please our flesh.