Romans 6:12-23 [8-24-11]


[Verses 12-23]




Romans 6:1-3; 10-11) [NIV] What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

2) [NIV] By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

3) [NIV] Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

10) [NIV] The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11) [NIV] In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

QUESTION: In what way, besides physical death, has Jesus died “once for all”?

ANSWER: He died to sin “once for all.”

QUESTION: What does that have to do with you and me?

ANSWER: This is the part of His death that we have been baptized into. Jesus died to sin “once for all.” We were in Him when He died to sin “once for all.” Consequently, we are told in verse 11 to “In what way,” count ourselves “dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

QUESTION: What does “in the same way” mean?

ANSWER: Verse 10 tells us that Jesus died to sin “once for all.” We are to count ourselves dead to sin “once for all” time.

NOTE: Our problem is that we keep trying to die to sin, when God is telling us that we have died to sin through our union with Christ. Not only have we died to sin, WE HAVE DIED TO SIN “ONCE FOR ALL.” “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”

Matthew 3:23-24) [KJV] Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things [are] possible to him that believeth.

24) [KJV] And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

(BBE) I have faith; make my feeble faith stronger.

(CEV) “I do have faith! Please help me to have even more.”

(GNB) “I do have faith, but not enough. Help me have more!”

(GW) “I believe! Help my lack of faith.”

(MSG) “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!”


On To This Week’s Lesson:

Romans 6:12-23) [NIV] Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

In regards to, “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin,” in verse 11,

It “means to accept what God says about us as true and to live in the light of it” — “One day Augustine was accosted by a woman who had been his mistress before his conversion. When he turned and walked away quickly, she called after him, ‘Augustine, it’s me! it’s me!’ Quickening his pace, he called back over his shoulder, ‘Yes, I know, but it’s no longer me!’” [BBC].

“We will see him where God sees him—on the Cross, put to death with Christ. Faith will operate continuously to keep him where grace placed him” [Ruth Paxson, quoted by BBC].

QUESTION: What is our responsibility as believers in regards to sin?

ANSWER: We must refuse to live as though Sin is still our Master! We must treat temptation the way a dead man would treat it. No matter how tempting a situation might be, a dead man will be unaffected by it. The Scripture tells us that we are to treat temptation the same way.

QUESTION: How can we possibly do this?

ANSWER: Romans 1:17 says in the KJV it will be “from faith to faith,” and II Corinthians 3:18 says it will be “from glory to glory.” The NIV says it will be “by faith from first to last,” and “with ever-increasing glory.” The idea is that it’s a process. We begin by aligning our thoughts with the truth of God’s Word, and we go from there. We will initially have some successes, and some failures, as we go “from faith to faith,” and from “glory to glory,” but we will become more successful as we refuse to ignore the truth of this passage.

 13) [NIV] Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

QUESTION: How do we start?

ANSWER: We start by making the act of resisting temptation an act of worship. We are to offer “the parts of” our bodies “to him as instruments of righteousness.” We are to do this in the very way an O.T. priest would offer an animal as an offering to the Lord.

NOTE: If you were poor you probably had a difficult time letting loose of a lamb to offer it to God as an offering, but you did it because you wanted to walk in covenant with God. As a believer wrapped in flesh you will sometimes have a difficult time letting loose of a temptation that your flesh really wants to get involved with to offer “the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness,” but you do it because you want to walk in covenant with the Lord. MAKE IT AN ACT OF WORSHIP!

14) [NIV] For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

QUESTION: What does not being “under law” have to do with sin not being our master?

ANSWER: Note the following verses:

I Corinthians 15:55-56) [NIV] Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”  

56) [NIV] The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

Romans 7:7-8) [NIV] What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”  

8) [NIV] But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead.

QUESTION: What are these verses telling us?

ANSWER: Sin latches on to the “thou shalt nots” of the O. T. and makes the forbidden look good. Sin makes the forbidden look good; therefore “the power of sin is the law.”

15) [NIV] What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!

16) [NIV] Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

NOTE: Verse 15 points back to the beginning of this discussion; verse 1.

QUESTION: Why doesn’t grace free us to sin?

ANSWER: If we yield our members to sin then we become slaves to sin. We step into bondage. We can’t be free to be bound to sin, “which leads to death.” We can enter into servitude to obey God’s Word, but that bondage isn’t bondage, but genuine freedom.

17) [NIV] But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.

18) [NIV] You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

QUESTION: What exactly was it that “set us free from sin”?

ANSWER: We “wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching” we received.

QUESTION: What does that mean?

ANSWER: We asked Jesus Christ to be our Savior, and our Lord. He saved us the moment we trusted Him as our Savior; and salvation included freedom from sin. It also included our becoming “slaves to righteousness.”

NOTE: Unfortunately, we often try to sneak to disobey our master, righteousness.

19) [NIV] I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.

QUESTION: What is Paul putting in “human terms”?

ANSWER: He is illustrating his doctrine of our offering our bodies in an act of worship by obeying God. He likens it to our becoming slaves of righteousness because his readers understood the idea of being slaves to sin.

NOTE: When Jesus sets us free we are free, not bound. However, Paul wants us to understand that we should yield our bodies to God in obedience, just like we used to yield them to sin. That’s why he compares slavery to sin to slavery to righteousness.

20) [NIV] When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.

QUESTION: Is Paul saying that sinners never do anything good?

ANSWER: No! He’s simply saying that when people don’t embrace the truth of the Gospel they make their own determinations about right and wrong. Their perception becomes their reality. They felt no obligation to search the Scriptures to find true understanding of right and wrong.

21) [NIV] What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!

QUESTION: What is Paul suggesting here?

ANSWER: Once we become Christians we become ashamed of some of the things we did in the past that we thought were OK back then.

QUESTION: What are verses 16 and 21 talking about when they talk about sin leading to death?

ANSWER: Sin always kills something. Sometimes it kills relationships. Sometimes it kills happiness. Sometimes it kills peace. Sometimes it kills our very conscience, in the sense of eroding it.

22) [NIV] But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

QUESTION: What benefit does our being “set free from sin” give us?

ANSWER: We now have the promise of eternal life.

QUESTION: What does holiness mean?

ANSWER: The Greek work “hagiasmos” is used 10 times in the N.T. It’s translated “holiness” 5 times, and it’s translated “sanctification” 5 times. Holiness is sanctification! Sanctification is holiness! WE ARE IN GOD’S PILE OF STUFF!

NOTE: I’m talking about positional “sanctification” above. Progressive sanctification is the process of spiritual growth taking place in our lives. It’s the work of the Holy Spirit empowering us to overcome the sin that dwells in the members of our bodies.

23) [NIV] For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

QUESTION: What’s the difference between a wage and a gift?

ANSWER: A wage is something we earn as an agreed amount of money for an agreed amount of work. A gift is something we receive as a token of good will from the giver.

QUESTION: What is this verse telling us?

ANSWER: If we go to Hell it’s because we earned it. If we go to Heaven it’s because we received it.  It is a gift freely given to us by a benevolent God.

Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church