Death to Sin, Alive to God

A preacher in South Carolina wanted nothing more out of life than to run a Bible college. All his life, he worked for the position and eventually attained it. As he fulfilled his life’s dream and vocation, Alzheimer’s disease struck his wife. Her health degenerated to the point w … More

Death

Some people must have thought that since God’s grace (favor and mercy) increases “all the more” when sin abounds, then believers ought to sin more so they could experience more grace (v. 1). Paul explains how such a thought should never be entertained (v. 2). Instead Christians are “dead to sin” (v.3). Anyone who has died to sin has been freed from sin (v. 4). Sin doesn’t have power over dead people (vv. 6-7). An example of this would be a drunk who has died. He can no longer be tempted by alcohol, because his body is dead to all physical senses. He can no longer desire alcohol.

The fact that death has no more dominion over Christ is the basis for Paul’s argument that sin has no more dominion over us (vv. 8-10). It is one thing “to know” (v. 9); it is something else “to reckon” (v. 11).  Many people have a general knowledge of the truths of this chapter, but never enter into the good of them because they fail to reckon them true in experience. We should regard our old sinful nature as dead and unresponsive to sin. Because of our union and identification with Christ, we are no longer obligated to carry out those old motives, desires and goals. We have a new start, and the Holy Spirit will help us become in our daily experience what Christ has declared us to be.

We are not only dead to sin, but we are also alive in Christ. We are “in Christ” so sin and death have no more dominion over us. The word “destroyed” in verse 6 does not mean annihilated; it means “rendered inactive.” The body is not sinful; it is neutral. It can be controlled either by sin or by God.  Sin wants to be our master, as the old nature seeks to control the members of our body. However, the old man was crucified with Christ so that the body does not need to be controlled by sin. It is  like a good dog and a bad dog fighting. The one that we feed is the one that wins.

Application

Because of Christ’s death and resurrection I never need to fear death. This assurance frees me to enjoy fellowship with Him, and to do His will. This should affect all of my activities.

Romans 6:1-11 (English Standard Version)

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. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

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