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6. Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2God forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein? 3Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; 6knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin; 7for he that hath died is justified from sin. 8But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him; 9knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death no more hath dominion over him. 10For the death that he died, he died unto sin once: but the life that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus. 12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof: 13neither present your members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace. 15What then? shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? God forbid. 16Know ye not, that to whom ye present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants ye are whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17But thanks be to God, that, whereas ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered; 18and being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness. 19I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity, even so now present your members as servants to righteousness unto sanctification. 20For when ye were servants of sin, ye were free in regard of righteousness. 21What fruit then had ye at that time in the things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22But now being made free from sin and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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11. Likewise—even as your Lord Himself.

reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed—"dead on the one hand"

unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord—(The words, "our Lord," at the close of this verse, are wanting in the best manuscripts.)

Note, (1) "Antinomianism is not only an error; it is a falsehood and a slander" [Hodge]. That "we should continue in sin that grace may abound," not only is never the deliberate sentiment of any real believer in the doctrine of Grace, but is abhorrent to every Christian mind, as a monstrous abuse of the most glorious of all truths (Ro 6:1). (2) As the death of Christ is not only the expiation of guilt, but the death of sin itself in all who are vitally united to Him; so the resurrection of Christ is the resurrection of believers, not only to acceptance with God, but to newness of life (Ro 6:2-11). (3) In the light of these two truths, let all who name the name of Christ "examine themselves whether they be in the faith."

Ro 6:12-23. What Practical Use Believers Should Make of Their Death to Sin and Life to God through Union to the Crucified Saviour.

Not content with showing that his doctrine has no tendency to relax the obligations to a holy life, the apostle here proceeds to enforce these obligations.

12. Let not sin therefore—as a Master

reign—(The reader will observe that wherever in this section the words "Sin," "Obedience," "Righteousness," "Uncleanness," "Iniquity," are figuratively used, to represent a Master, they are here printed in capitals, to make this manifest to the eye, and so save explanation).

in your mortal body, that ye should obey it—sin.

in the lusts thereof—"the lusts of the body," as the Greek makes evident. (The other reading, perhaps the true one, "that ye should obey the lusts thereof," comes to the same thing). The "body" is here viewed as the instrument by which all the sins of the heart become facts of the outward life, and as itself the seat of the lower appetites; and it is called "our mortal body," probably to remind us how unsuitable is this reign of sin in those who are "alive from the dead." But the reign here meant is the unchecked dominion of sin within us. Its outward acts are next referred to.

13. Neither yield ye your members instruments of unrighteousness unto Sin, but yield yourselves—this is the great surrender.

unto God as those that are alive from the dead, and—as the fruit of this.

your members—till now prostituted to sin.

instruments of righteousness unto God—But what if indwelling sin should prove too strong for us? The reply is: But it will not.

14. For Sin shall not have dominion over you—as the slaves of a tyrant lord.

for ye are not under the law, but under grace—The force of this glorious assurance can only be felt by observing the grounds on which it rests. To be "under the law" is, first, to be under its claim to entire obedience; and so, next under its curse for the breach of these. And as all power to obey can reach the sinner only through Grace, of which the law knows nothing, it follows that to be "under the law" is, finally, to be shut up under an inability to keep it, and consequently to be the helpless slave of sin. On the other hand, to be "under grace," is to be under the glorious canopy and saving effects of that "grace which reigns through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (see on Ro 5:20, 21). The curse of the law has been completely lifted from off them; they are made "the righteousness of God in Him"; and they are "alive unto God through Jesus Christ." So that, as when they were "under the law," Sin could not but have dominion over them, so now that they are "under grace," Sin cannot but be subdued under them. If before, Sin resistlessly triumphed, Grace will now be more than conqueror.




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