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Romans 6:1-10 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? (2) Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (3) Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? (4) Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, (6) knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. (7) For he who has died has been freed from sin. (8) Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, (9) knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. (10) For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
In Romans 6:1-10, Paul explains how the cross has dealt with, not only the consequences of sin, but the ongoing power of sin. In Romans 5, he explained the meaning of justification. Now he elaborates on the subject of sanctification.
Whereas justification is the righteousness that God has imputed to us, sanctification is the righteousness that God wants to work into our lives by the Holy Spirit.
Verses 1-2: Paul anticipates a question that might result from concepts he presented in chapter 5. His argument goes like this: Sin led to grace and increased sin led to increased grace. Therefore, let's just keep sinning so that we can keep experiencing God's grace. Not so, says Paul. The next step after receiving God's forgiveness and the gift of His righteousness, is that we have also died to sin. So having died to sin, how is it then possible that we could even consider continuing in deliberate sin?
Verse 3: We are dead to sin and that condition came about through baptism. Water baptism (See the Topical Bible Study on water baptism that shows that this experience is not an optional extra.) is where we identify with Christ's death on the cross. When He died, we died. A dead person has no further interest in sin.
Verses 4-5: When, through water baptism, we identify with Christ in His death, we also identify with His resurrection. When Christ died, we died. When Christ rose from the dead, we rose from the dead too. This enables us to walk in newness of life. Compare this with 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Co-crucifixion means to be crucified with. We have been crucified with Christ (see Galatians 2:20). Paul says that our "old man", our sinful nature, was crucified with Christ that the "body of sin" (another term for our sinful nature) might be done away with. This ends our slavery to our natural sinful tendency because a dead man has no desire to sin.
Verses 8-10: Having identified with Christ in His death (through baptism), we are also identified with Him in His life. To "live with Him" is not a reference to going to heaven, although that is true too. It means to experience Christ Himself as our life. (See Colossians 3:4) Although Christ submitted temporarily to the power of death, it could not hold Him in its grip because of His sinlessness.
Unlike Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead, yet had to experience death again, Christ's resurrection was a one-time-only event. He will never rise from the dead again because He could only die once. Although resurrected, Lazarus was still under the dominion of death, but Jesus was under death's dominion voluntarily and temporarily.
So having died to sin, since He can no longer be tempted, Christ now lives to God. Paul has now set the theological foundation so that the theory of being dead to sin can become a reality in our everyday lives.
Interestingly, the Greek word for "has dominion over" means to have lordship over. It comes from the same word as the title "Lord" in Lord Jesus Christ.
If God's response to sin is to provide grace, why shouldn't we just keep sinning?
What does it meant to be dead to sin?
What is the significance of water baptism?
What does it mean to be raised with Christ and how should that affect our lives?
What is the difference between Christ's resurrection and the resurrection of Lazarus?
If you like these Expository Bible Studies, don't forget to check out our Topical Bible Studies too.