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 Romans Chapter 6 – Part One

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PostSubject: Romans Chapter 6 – Part One   Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:34 pm


Romans 6:1-2

God’s Righteousness Revealed in Sanctification
God’s provided righteousness involves more than declaring believers righteous on the basis of faith. In Romans the first clue to this fact is in Rom_5:5 : “God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” The presence of the Holy Spirit within believers and God’s reproduction of an attribute of His (His love) in believers speak of their new natures and their new lives. This new kind of life, with the sanctifying ministry of the Holy Spirit, is now discussed at length by Paul in chapters 6-8.

Ground of sanctification

The questions that open this section demand reflection. A review of God’s provision by grace through Jesus Christ should elicit praise to God. But the teaching on God’s justification of sinful people (3:21-5:21) and the statement of Rom_5:20 in particular might lead some to suggest what Paul expressed: Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? Some may have reasoned that since grace increases “all the more” when sin abounds, then believers ought to sin more so they could experience more grace! The apostle voiced this idea only to reject it vehemently: By no means! (mē genoito; cf. comments on Rom_3:4) In no way is the abundance of God’s grace designed to encourage sin. Paul anticipated the major objections of his critics, that by preaching a justification based solely on the free grace of god, he was encouraging people to sin.
This still is an ongoing discussion in the church today. Many believe that it is not necessary to live above sin. They feel that it is a natural thing to sin, and God will overlook sin. He surely knows their weakness. The flesh will sin, but we found in the previous lesson that our flesh must be dead so that our spirit can live. There are two forces in our body today, our flesh nature and our spirit nature.
Then Paul explained why such a thought cannot be entertained. The fact is, Christians died to sin (cf. Rom_6:7, Rom_6:11). “God forbid” or “may it never be!” This expression is the strongest Greek idiom for repudiating a statement and it contains a sense of outrage that anyone would ever think the statement was true.
Galatians 2:19-20 "For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God." "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
You see, if Christ truly lives in us, we have no desire to sin any more. We no longer serve the lust of the flesh, but we follow the Spirit of God.
The Greek aorist (past) tense for “died” suggests a specific point when the action occurred, at salvation. Death, whether physical or spiritual, means separation, not extinction (cf. Rom_6:6-7, Rom_6:14). Death to sin is separation from sin’s power, not the extinction of sin. Being dead to sin means being “set free from sin” (Rom_6:18, Rom_6:22). That being true, Paul asked, how can they live in it any longer? Obviously believers cannot live in sin if they died to it.

Romans 6:3-4

Paul explained in more detail the spiritual basis for his abrupt declaration, “We died to sin” (Rom_6:2). Whether the Roman Christians knew it or not, the fact is that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death. This isn’t referring to water baptism, but is a metaphorical why of saying of someone who was immersed in his work, or underwent his baptism of fire when experiencing trouble. Christians have, by placing saving faith in Him, been spiritually immersed into the person of Christ, that is, united and identified with Him.
The question here is whether Paul had in mind Spirit baptism (1Co_12:13) or water baptism. Some object to taking Rom_6:3 as Spirit baptism because that verse speaks of being “baptized into Christ” whereas 1Co_12:13 speaks of Spirit baptism placing the believer into Christ’s body. Of course, both are true: the believer is “baptized” (placed into) Christ and also into the body of Christ, and both are done by the Holy Spirit.
Others take Rom_6:3 to refer to water baptism, but the problem with that is that it seems to suggest that baptism saves. However, the New Testament consistently denies baptismal regeneration, presenting water baptism as a public attestation to an accomplished spiritual work (cf., e.g., Act_10:44-48; Act_16:29-33). The spiritual reality Paul spoke of is that by faith believers are “baptized (placed) into Christ” and thereby are united and identified with Him. This spiritual reality is then graphically witnessed to and pictured by believers’ baptism in water. The one baptism (by water) is the visible picture of the spiritual truth of the other baptism (identification with Christ; cf. Gal_3:27, “baptized into Christ… clothed with Christ”).
This is supported by the statement; we were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death. Christ’s burial shows that He actually died (cf. 1Co_15:3-4). Christians’ “burial” with Christ shows that they in fact died with Him to their former sinful ways of living. The purpose of their identification with Christ in His death and burial is that just as Christ was raised from the dead (lit., “out from dead ones”; cf. Rom_4:24; Rom_8:11) through the glory (a synonym for God’s power; cf. Eph_1:19; Col_2:12) of the Father, we too may live a new life (lit., “so also in newness of life we should walk about”). We are buried a natural man and we are raised a spiritual man. We are a new creature in Christ. Old things have passed away, behold all things are made new. We are born again and not of corruptible flesh but of the Spirit of God. We walk no longer in the lust of the flesh, but with the guidance of the Spirit of God within us.
Since we have been united by faith with Him, as baptism symbolizes, His death and burial become ours.
“Walk in the newest of life” simply means that in Christ, we died and were buried with Him, and then we also have been united with Him in His resurrection. There is a new quality and character to our lives. This speaks of the believer’s regeneration, whereas sin describe the old life, righteousness describes the new.
The Greek word “newness” (kainotēi) speaks of life that has a new or fresh quality. The resurrection of Jesus was not just resuscitation; it was a new form of life. In the same way the spiritual lives of believers in Jesus have a new, fresh quality. Also, a believer’s identification with Jesus Christ in His resurrection, besides being the start of new spiritual life now, is also the guarantee of physical resurrection.
This work of God at salvation in identifying a believer with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection — thus separating him from sin’s power and giving him a new quality of life — is the basis of the Holy Spirit’s continuing work in sanctification.

Romans 6:5-7

Attitudes for sanctification
Sanctification begins with regeneration, the implanting of spiritual life in a believer. From that starting point sanctification is God’s progressively separating a believer from sin to Him and transforming his total life experience toward holiness and purity. The process of sanctification for a believer never ends while he is on earth in his mortal body. It is consummated in glorification when that believer through death and resurrection or through the Rapture stands in the presence of God “conformed to the likeness of His Son” (Rom_8:29). A believer’s identification with Jesus Christ by faith is both the ground and the goal of sanctification. The process of translating that identification into the daily experience of progressive sanctification, however, demands three attitudes of mind and action on a believer’s part. These Paul discussed in Rom_6:5-23.

Reckon

The first attitude for sanctification demanded of believers is to “count” (pres. imper., “keep on counting”) themselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus (Rom_6:11). Being able to reckon something as true, however, depends on knowing and believing certain things. These things to know and believe are stated in Rom_6:5-10.

The first clause should be translated, “Since (not if) we have become united in the likeness of His death,” because the statement is assumed to be true and is true. It affirms the certainty of the second clause of the sentence, which promises that believers are united with Christ in the likeness of His resurrection. Colossians 3:1- "If ye then be raised with Christ, seeks those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." "When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."
We Christians live or die in Jesus. We are believers in and followers of Him. In fact, He has taken up His abode in us, as we read above, Christ in us.
As a result we know (ginōskontes suggests experimental or reflective knowing, not intuitive knowledge as in eidotes in Rom_6:9) that our old self was crucified with Him. Literally, the last portion of this sentence is, “our old man was crucified together,” obviously with Christ. A believer’s “old man” is the person as he was spiritually before he trusted Christ, when he was still under sin (Rom_3:9), powerless and ungodly (Rom_5:6), a sinner (Rom_5:Cool, and an enemy of God (Rom_5:10). (“Old self” or “old man” does not refer to the sin nature as such. The Bible does not teach that the sin nature was eradicated at salvation or is ever eradicated in this life.)
The “old man” was “crucified” with Christ (cf. “baptized into His death,” Rom_6:3; and “united with Him in His death,” Rom_6:5) so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless. “Our old man” speaks of the believer’s unregenerate self. Not old in number of years, but something which is worn out and useless. Our old self died with Christ, and the life we now enjoy is a new divinely given life that is the life of Christ Himself.
Paul uses the terms “body” and “flesh” to refer to sinful propensities that are intertwined with physical weaknesses and pleasures. Although the old self is dead, sin retains a foothold in our temporal flesh or our unredeemed humanness, with its corrupted desires. The believer does not have two competing natures, the old and the new; but on new nature that is still incarcerated in unredeemed flesh.
We see a parallel Scripture to this in Colossians 3:5 "Mortify therefore your members who are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:"
Mortify means to deaden. We are to do away with all sin in the flesh and live to the Spirit of God.
“Might be destroyed” meaning rendered powerless or inoperative.
The phrase “the body of sin” does not mean that a human body is sinful in itself. It means that one’s physical body is controlled or ruled by sin. This was the condition of each believer before his conversion. But now at salvation the power of controlling sin is broken; it is “rendered powerless” or ineffective (katargēthē; trans. “nullify” in 1Co_1:28).
The next clause (Rom_6:6-7) in effect explains the first clause (Rom_6:6). In his unregenerate state a believer was enslaved to sin. But his “old man” was crucified (identified) with Christ, and that is the basis for deliverance from enslavement to sin. Anyone who has died has been freed from sin. “Is dead”: through his union with Christ, when our body dies, it no longer longs for things of the flesh. Sin is dead in us.
We have subdued the flesh man and become spirit.
The words “has been freed” are a loose rendering of dedikaiōtai, literally, “has been justified or declared righteous.” The perfect tense of this verb describes a past action with a continuing effect or force. Sin no longer has the legal right to force its mastery and control on a believer, for he has died with Christ.

Romans 6:8-11

These verses state much the same truth as Rom_6:5-7 and in the same format, beginning with if (“since”). Those who by faith receive Jesus Christ and are identified with Him have died with Christ (cf. Rom_6:3, Rom_6:5). Because this is true, we believe (pres. tense, “we keep on believing”) that we will also live with Him. Our new life is in Christ, not in the flesh.
The context suggests that Paul means not only those believers will live in the presence of Christ for eternity, but also that all that have died with Christ, which is true of all believers, well live a life here that is fully consistent with His holiness.
The sharing of the resurrection life of Christ begins at the moment of regeneration, but it will continue as a believer shares eternity with the Lord. Again as a result we know (eidotes, “intuitive knowledge,” perceiving a self-evident truth [cf. Rom_6:15], not ginōskontes, “experimental or reflective knowledge” as in Rom_6:6) that Christ’s resurrection was a removal from the sphere of physical death to an unending spiritual form of life. Having experienced physical death once and having been removed from its realm by resurrection life, Jesus cannot die again (lit., “dies no more”). In resurrection Jesus Christ was victorious over death (Act_2:24) and death no longer has mastery (kyrieuei, “rules as lord”; cf. Rom_6:14) over Him as it does over all other human beings (Joh_10:17-18). Jesus has won the victory over sin and death and for all of those who will follow him, He offers life everlasting.
II Timothy 1:10 "But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:"
I Corinthians 15:26 "The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death."
I Corinthians 15:54 "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."
“No more dominion over him” meaning mastery, control or domination.

Paul summarized this discussion by stating that Jesus in His physical death… died to sin (i.e., in reference to sin) once for all (ephapax; cf. Heb_7:27; Heb_9:12; Heb_10:10). This stands in opposition to the doctrine and practice of the so-called perpetual sacrifice of Christ in the Roman Catholic Mass. Contrariwise, the life He lives, He lives (pres. tense, “keeps on living”) to God. Jesus gave His body on the cross to pay the debts for the sins of all the world.
Hebrews 10:10 "By which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all]".
John 1:29 "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
Christ died to sin in two senses:
1. In regard to sin’s penalty – He met its legal demands upon the sinner and
2. in regard to sin’s power – forever breaking its power over those who belong to Him. And His death will never need repeating.
Paul’s point is that believers have died to sin in the same way.
“Liveth unto God” means for God’s glory.
Resurrection life is eternal in quality and everlasting in duration. Furthermore, God is its Source and also its Goal. What is true of Jesus Christ in reality and experience, believers who are identified with Him by faith are commanded to reckon true for themselves. They are to count themselves dead to (in reference to) sin but alive to God. “Likewise” implies the importance of his readers’ knowing what he just explained. Without that foundation, what he is about to teach will not make sense? Scripture always identifies knowledge as the foundation for one’s practice.
“Reckon”: While it simply means to count or number something, it was often used metaphorically to refer to having an absolute, unreserved confidence in what one’s mind knows to be true, the kind of heartfelt confidence that affects his actions and decisions.
Paul is not referring to mind games in which we trick ourselves into thinking a certain way. Rather he us urging us to embrace by faith what God has revealed to be true.
2 Corinthians 4:11 "For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh."
“Through Christ or in Christ” is Paul’s favorite expression of our union with Christ. This is its first occurrence in Romans.
Since they are dead to its power (Rom_6:2), they ought to recognize that fact and not continue in sin. Instead they are to realize they have new life in Christ; they share His resurrection life (cf. Eph_2:5-6; Col_2:12-13).
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Romans Chapter 6 – Part One
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