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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 6 - Verse 7

Verse 7. For he that is dead. This is evidently an expression having a proverbial aspect, designed to illustrate the sentiment just expressed. The Rabbins had an expression similar to this, "When one is dead he is free from commands." (Grotius.) So, says Paul, when a man dies he is exempt from the power and dominion of his master, of him who reigned over him. The Christian had been subject to sin before his conversion; but he has now become dead to it. And as when a servant dies he ceases to be subject to the control of his master, so the Christian being now dead to sin, on the same principle, is released from the control of his former master, sin. The idea is connected with Ro 6:6, where it is said that we should not be the slaves of sin any more. The reason of this is assigned here, where it is said that we are freed from it as a slave is freed when he dies. Of course, the apostle here is saying nothing of the future world. His whole argument has respect to the state of the Christian here; to his being freed from the bondage of sin. It is evident that he who is not freed from this bondage here, will not be in the future world. But the argument of the apostle has no bearing on that point.

Is freed. Greek, Is justified. The word here is used clearly in the sense of setting at liberty, or destroying the power or dominion. The word is often used in this sense. Comp. Ac 13:38,39. Comp. a similar expression in 1 Pe 4:1, "He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin." The design of the apostle is not to say that the Christian is perfect, but that sin has ceased to have dominion over him, as a master ceases to have power over a slave when he is dead. That dominion may be broken, so that the Christian may not be a slave to sin, and yet he may be conscious of many failings and of much imperfection. See Ro 7.

{p} "For he that" 1 Pe 4:1 {1} "freed" "justified"

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