Romans 6:23 In Context

Romans 6:1-6 ESV

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.”

The verse for the day today on Bible Gateway is Romans 6:23, a verse which is most often quoted out of context and made to say what it is not saying. It is one of the verses commonly used in gospel presentations along with Romans 3:23 and a few other verses. Scriptures, when taught out of context, though, can be made to say what the Scriptures are not teaching, so as much as is possible, please try to read Bible verses in their context.

So, here is the context. When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, we are crucified with him in death to sin, and we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, not in the same manner as we walked (lived our lives) before we believed in Jesus. For our old self, our old way of living is crucified (put to death) with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin.

Therefore, we are NOT to continue living in sin, in deliberate and habitual and premeditated sin against our Lord and against our fellow humans. Our salvation from sin is not a free ride into heaven and we do nothing. God’s grace is not free license to continue living in sin only now without guilt and without punishment. God’s “free gift” is not freedom to keep on sinning, but it is freedom from our slavery to sin and it is empowerment of God’s Spirit to live holy and godly lives pleasing to God in obedience to his commands.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23]

Romans 6:12-16 ESV

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

“What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?”

Anytime you read Romans 6:23, please now read it in the context of all of Romans 6 (and Romans 8, too). God’s gift to us is freedom from our addiction to sin and it is empowerment of God’s Spirit to walk in obedience to our Lord, according to his will and purpose for our lives. Therefore, we are NOT to let sin reign (be in power and control) in our bodies to make us obey its sinful passions and desires. We are to no longer obey sin.

Instead, we are to present ourselves to God as instruments for righteousness, for whatever is right and holy and pure and just in the sight of God. Our lives and our bodies are to be surrendered to our Lord to be vessels of purity and uprightness and honesty and faithfulness, not as instruments for unrighteousness, for wickedness, immorality, lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, and idolatry, and the like.

For sin is to no longer have dominion (power, control) over us who have been saved by God’s grace. Since we are under God’s grace we are to no longer sin in practice, but righteousness is now to be what we practice. For we are either slaves to God and to his righteousness or we are slaves to sin. We can’t be both. So, if we obey sin, it leads to death not to eternal life with God (now compare this to Romans 6:23). But if we obey obedience to our Lord, it leads to righteousness and its end is eternal life with Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:20-23 ESV

“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I can still remember the first time I read this and understood what it said. We can’t be slaves to sin and be the Lord’s, too. For, when we were or are slaves to sin, we are free in regard to righteousness, i.e. we can’t be both. We can’t be righteous in God’s sight and be slaves to sin, too. And we can’t be positionally righteous and not live righteously, for we are righteous who make righteousness (the righteousness of God) our practice (1 Jn 3:4-10).

For, the end result of being enslaved (addicted) to sin is not life everlasting with God in heaven. It is death, i.e. it means that we will not inherit the kingdom of God but hell is our destiny, instead. But, if we truly have been set free from our enslavement to sin and now we have become slaves of God and of his righteousness, the fruit (result) we get leads to sanctification and its end is eternal life.

Now please take all this into account when you read Romans 6:23, for this verse is not teaching that we can just get this “free gift of God” and now be forgiven our sins, and now we have eternal life with Christ Jesus guaranteed. If you are still addicted to sin, and sin is what you practice, and righteousness is not what you practice, and obedience to our Lord is not what you practice, then you don’t have eternal life with Christ Jesus.

And “Lord” is not just a title that we give to Jesus like “Mr.”, etc. “Lord” means that he is our Owner-Master and that we are His possession, and our lives are no longer our own to be lived however we want, but our lives are to be submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ to do his will and to fulfill his purposes for our lives. So, to be “in Christ” we must die with Christ to sin, we must forsake our sinful lifestyles, and we must now walk in holiness in obedience to our Lord or else heaven is not our eternal destiny.

[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:28-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:3-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23]

Give Me Courage, Lord

An Original Work / November 13, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures

Do not let your hearts grow weary,
For your work will be rewarded.
Be strong; let your hearts take courage.
Do not fear but wait on Jesus.

Be strong and very courageous,
For your God will go before you.
Do not fear. He will not leave you.
Wait for Him. He’ll not forsake you.

Be careful to do what He says.
Do not turn away from your Lord.
Take courage! You’ll be His witness,
For God will guide and protect you.

So we are always encouraged.
We walk by faith and not vision.
We make it our aim to please Him,
So in Christ, we glorify Him.

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