Romans 6, part 1

Romans 6:1-4

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.


We are now at a very important part of Romans, and it is a chapter that we really must understand carefully.

Do you remember how the book of Romans started out? What was it teaching us?

It started by introducing the reason for the book, which Paul began by telling us that he was “a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord...” (Paul's intro to Romans goes on even more in verses 1-17 of chapter 1, as he wrote to the saints in Rome). So we see that this book is really written about Christ. It is concerning the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord. Paul's mission and purpose was to serve Christ by preaching this gospel to everyone, including the people in Rome through his letter.

Do you remember what else we learned from chapters 1-5? What were some important things and words we read about?
We learned that God's wrath is being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress His truth by their unrighteousness (Rom 1:18). We also learned that it is hypocrisy to think one is safe from God's wrath because he is religious or prays, or trusts the Bible when in fact he is disobeying it in his heart. Rather, God's kindness is meant to lead us to repentance, and we cannot harden our hearts to our sin and God's justice thinking we will be forgiven because of our good works. No, as we learned in chapter 3, “there is none good not even one.” We also learned that the law was given to show us our sin so we would seek to be justified by faith in Jesus Christ alone. And we learned that God showed His justice in giving His Son to be the propitiation for believers. Then we learned in chapter four how we are justified by faith alone, just like Abraham was, and we are counted righteous by faith because of what Jesus Christ did when He died and rose again. This has nothing to do with our works or deeds or obedience. Rather, it is all about one thing – faith.

Do you remember what faith is about?
Faith is trust in God that He will save you by the finished work of Christ. It is entrusting all to Him and turning away from every other trust. Faith is to trust in Jesus Christ alone and not in any works of our own.

Now, you tell me, what was chapter 5 about?

Study notes:

Verse 1
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?

This is a question that people often bring up after hearing about all the grace spoken of in chapter 5. People still ask this question today when they are told about grace. There are two types of people who ask this: 1. the religious people, who think that grace makes it too easy to be saved. They respond in distrust, denying salvation by grace alone through faith, because they think people will sin even more. 2. The other group are what we call antinomians. That means they live without any law. They think grace is wonderful because it gives them an excuse to keep on sinning even more. The argument is that the more you sin, the more grace abounds, so why not?

So what do you think? What is the answer to this question?

Verse 2
By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

So what's the answer?
The answer to the question in verse 1 is a strong, resounding NO! No way! May it never be!!

Why does he give this answer? What does Paul ask in response to this question (what is the question in verse 2 that Paul gives)? Paul answers the question with another question: How can we be dead and still be alive at the same time? In other words, we died to sin, so how can we be alive to it anymore?

Is it possible for someone to be dead and be alive at the same time? What does it mean to be dead?
Those who are dead are no longer living, and those who have died to sin can no longer live in it anymore. It is an impossibility, a contradiction for a Christian to continue to live a sinful life, because he has died to sin.
A Death Poem:
What happens when someone dies?
First, they lose their ability to do anything. No more breathing, heart-beating, feeling, tasting, hearing, smelling, seeing. No more thinking, speaking, reading, writing, praying, being. No more learning, loving, laughing, smiling, teaching, giving, getting, keeping, growing. No more moving. Death takes everything away. No more wearing, buying, selling, enjoying. No more money, friends, family, health, house, city, town, pets, spouse, children, country. All gain is lost. All hopes quenched. All plans ended. The past is gone, the future lost, the present restricted. Death ends it all.

Verse 3
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

Again, Paul asked another question. And this time it begins with, “Do you not know...?” Don't you know this?

What were the Christians supposed to know? What were they baptized into?
In other words, these Christians had learned these things before, and they had also learned about baptism. What is baptism? Baptism is the Greek word for “immersion” - to be immersed into, to be submerged, to go under water. That is the meaning of the word “baptize.”

However, Paul didn't speak about water at all in this verse. What kind of baptism was he talking about? This question about baptism is to show why a Christian can no longer continue in sin. Paul says that all of us who were baptized (i.e. immersed, submerged) into Christ Jesus, were immersed into his death. The Christian has been put into Christ and has been immersed into the death of Christ when He died on the cross.

Paul explains this in more detail with the following verses.

Verse 4
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

What does it say happened to the believers when they were baptized into Christ? What happened to Christ after He died? How was He raised? How does this affect us who believe? The reason is explained that, we were therefore buried with Christ through immersion into death (that is the death of Christ on the cross, Rom. 6:3). We were buried with Christ by being immersed into His death. This was so that, as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so in this way, we walk in a completely new life. The old life is dead and buried with our Lord Jesus Christ (who is our representative Head, Rom. 5:14), now, through His resurrection we walk in a brand new life. Just as Christ died and lives completely new in His resurrected life, so also we live completely new in our new Christian life. All this was accomplished for us by Christ when He died, was buried and was raised on the third day. This displays the glory of the Father who gives life to the dead, making a completely new life through Christ's resurrection.


All this has nothing to do with our works. We do nothing to be saved from God's wrath. Rather, it was Christ Jesus who the Father gave to die in our place. Jesus died, and so everyone who believes the gospel is counted to be dead through faith in Him. Faith unites us to Christ, and when we are united to Christ, we are united to His death (as we will see more next week in Romans 6:5). And just as Christ was raised from the dead, Christians are also given a completely new life through His resurrection. 1 Peter 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...” God causes believers to be born into a new life through the resurrection of Christ. This is why a Christian cannot live any longer in his old ways. If you are saved, you are a new person completely. If you think you are saved, but you still live as you did before, without any change in your heart's desires, and without any change in how you live your life, and what you do with your time, then you are deceived, because you are not a Christian. And many people today live this way, thinking they are saved when they have never been given a new life in Christ. I was the worst of them all, and it was after reading this chapter that my eyes were opened to see how I could not go back to my sin anymore, but Christ gave me a new life.


Romans 5, part 3

Romans 5:11-21

Verse 11

More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

We didn't get to finish talking about reconciliation last time, so I want to go over this once more. First, what does the word 'Reconciliation' mean? To reconcile means to bring back together again after being separated. To make peace between two people who were formally enemies. Remember verse 10? It said that while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son.

Lets look at a few more NT verses that help us understand this:

2 Corinthians 5:17-6:2 (We are implored to be reconciled to God and not take His grace in vain, because now is the time He will accept us through faith in Christ.)

Colossians 1:21-23 (Christ reconciled us through His death on the cross, so that we would be accepted as holy and blameless before God in Him, if we continue steadfastly in the faith.)

1 Peter 3:18 (Jesus suffered once, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God.)

This verse really describes it well:

Colossians 1:19-23 says about Jesus Christ,

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.”

From those verses, we learn that Jesus made peace by the blood of His cross in order to reconcile all things back to God. And it tells us what we are like before we are reconciled and what we are like after. It says that we were once alienated (foreign to God, separated) and hostile in mind (enemies, unyielding, rebellious), that we were doing evil deeds (doing things we know are sinful and wrong, and continuing to practice them anyway). That is what every Christian is like before they are reconciled back to God. Now (for us who are born of the Spirit) it says, Christ has now reconciled us in his human body by dying in our place, in order to present us as holy and without any blame (with no fault) and above reproach before Him. This is all really, really good news, and there is one condition though. That is, that this is true for us only if we continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting not turning from the hope of the good news (the gospel, which I've been teaching you every Sunday) which you heard.

Verse 11
More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

What does this mean? More than what? More than being reconciled to God while we were His enemies?! Yes... more than that, we also rejoice! Rejoice in what? We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ!

Do you rejoice in God through Jesus Christ our Lord? Have you received the reconciliation through His death and life? Are you justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:24)?

In this verse, we are told that those who are justified, have peace with God and are reconciled to Him by the death of Christ, rejoice more in God than anything else. Rejoice means to boast, or glory in. We boast, we speak joyfully about God now, because He has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ. That is something to be happy about! Do you rejoice in God more than you do in anything else?

Psalm 63:3 says, “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” Can you say in your heart, that God's continuous love is better to you than life? That is what we mean when we rejoice in God through Christ, we enjoy Him more than we enjoy anything else in this life.

Verses 12-14

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned – for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

This is where reading Genesis 1-3 really helps us understand the gospel. What came into the world? Who did it come through? What came through sin? What did death do after it came into the world? Now, we know from 1 John 3:4 that sin is breaking the law, because it says, “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.”

But here, Paul says, even before the law was given by God, sin was already in the world. So there was no law given show people what sin is. There were no commandments to say, “This is sin and that is sin.” But nevertheless, sin was there anyway, only the law was not. So Paul says, sin is not counted where there is no law. That leaves us with the question, then why were people dying if there was no law for sin? And that is the exact issue Paul mentioned next when he said, “Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam...”

Death was still reigning during the time when the law was not yet given. Do you know what that time period was from these verses? The sin that people committed during the time between Adam and Moses was not like Adam's transgression, yet they all died. So why then did they die? First, we can look back at verse 12, and see that death spread to everyone because everyone sinned, but their sin was counted to them when Adam sinned, because Adam was the only one who had a commandment (a law) given by God that he transgressed. The rest of the people were counted in Adam when he sinned, and so death came upon all people, and all people come into this world as sinners. To understand that better, we find that Paul gives us more answers to that question in the following verses.

Lastly in v14, we learn that Adam was a type of the one who was to come. Do you know who that is talking about? Who was Adam a type of? The Christ, the Anointed One. Do you know what a “type” is? It is like an example, or a figure of something else to come in the future that is the fulfillment of that “type.” We will learn more about how Jesus is like Adam, but first we are told how Jesus and Adam are different.

Verse 15

But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.

Okay, do you remember what we learned about Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden? What was the trespass that Adam committed? Why was it so wrong? What happened to them after they sinned?

Here in v15, we learn that what is not like the trespass? The “free gift.” The free gift of God is not like the sin of Adam. This is the first way we learn that Jesus and Adam are different.

Why is the free gift different from the trespass? Because just as Adam's sin brought death to many people, God's free gift through Christ brings not sin and death, but grace to many, many people. So everyone who receives a nature like Adam's dies. That is how we are all born into this world, with Adam's human nature passed on to all of us who are actually his great great great great... grandchildren. Which is why we all have death passed unto us, and we are convicted by God's law as totally guilty of sin as soon as we come into existence. It is the sin of one man that has ruined us all forever.

But, on the other hand, it is the grace of one man that is much more freely given to many!

Let's continue to explore this deep truth:

Verse 16

And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.

Again, we learn that the free gift is not like the sin of one man. How is it this time that the free gift is not like the result of Adam's sin? What was the result of Adam's sin? Just one sin resulted in God's judgment and brought condemnation. But what does the free gift follow? Many, many, many, many trespasses. The free gift of God comes after people have been sinning and sinning, and breaking His laws everyday all the time. Then God's free gift comes following all that sin, and what does it bring? Does it bring judgment and condemnation? No, it brings justification!

Verse 17

If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

What reigned through that one man's trespass? Death. What does it mean for death to reign? The word has to do with the reign that a king would have. Death rules over all people. Everybody is under death's reign, and so nobody ever escapes it. Hebrews 9:27 says that it is appointed for us all to die once, and then after that comes the judgment. So death kills everybody, then everybody is judged for their sins. And hell is the eternal place of judgment for everyone who transgresses the Holy Law of God.

But the free gift is different! How is it different than the reign of death? Those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness will much more reign, not in death, but in life through just one man – Jesus Christ our Lord. So death rules through Adam, but life has much more rule through Jesus Christ. In fact, everyone who receives grace and the free gift of righteousness through Christ cannot ever die. They can never be condemned. Death can never have any power over them, not ever. Not ever. Why not? The answer is because Jesus took our sin, died and rose again to take away our death forever. Through Him we are counted righteous, so we have no sin to be condemned for if we have received grace and righteousness through faith in Christ alone.

Verse 18

Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

This is one way that Adam and Jesus are very much alike. What did one sin lead to for everybody? What did one act of righteousness lead to for everybody who receives the gift? In Adam, everyone gets condemned because of just one trespass (one step over the line – sin). In Christ, everyone who receives His grace gets justified (counted perfectly righteous, and without sin) and receives life instead of death – and that is the result of just one act of obedience. Do you know what that one obedient act was? This is why we are saved by grace and not by our works. It is because God's grace is given freely to believers because Jesus obeyed God for us. Jesus fulfilled the law for everyone who believes. He has become our righteousness by obeying God, and then we are counted righteous by standing in His abundant grace.

Some people read this verse, and because it says, “one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men” they believe that means everyone in the world is going to be saved because of what Jesus did on the cross, and that no one will be condemned. But that is not what it means, it is talking about people who are in Adam, and people who are in Christ. Nobody who receives the grace of God in Christ will ever be condemned. But everyone who does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:16).

Verse 19

For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.

What happened by the disobedience of just one man, Adam? “The many were made sinners.” What happened by the obedience of just one perfect man, Christ? “The many will be made righteous.” Again, this is why we are saved not by works we perform of any kind, not by our obedience, not by anything we do. It is not our obedience that makes us righteous, but who's obedience is it? Christ Jesus is God. He is the Creator of the world. He has always existed from all eternity. But He (God the Son) became a man, with flesh and blood, in order to obey God the Father through the Holy Spirit who Anointed Him. He did it for, and in place of all God's elect, His chosen people. He kept every commandment, loved the Father with all His heart and soul and mind and strength. He never disobeyed even once. He was tempted with sin in every way that we are tempted, but He never once gave in to the temptation. He never sinned. And He did it all, not for Himself, but for the Father, so that through Him, we can be counted righteous by the obedience of the one man, Jesus Christ our Lord. This is only for believers, we are justified by faith in Christ alone (Romans 5:1).

We will have to finish this chapter later, it has a great ending, and it leads to more great news. This is not bad news at all, but good news, and it is my hearts desire that you all begin to see it as good news. Please consider these things often on your own, because nothing brings more joy to my heart, than knowing what Jesus did for me.

Let's ask these questions of ourselves:

  1. Have we been reconciled to God so that we are no longer living opposed to His will?

  2. Have we received the free gift of grace and righteousness that comes through faith alone in Christ?

  3. Have we found our righteousness in Christ's obedience? That would mean that we are no longer looking to our works, or to our own righteousness for life, since we have none of our own. Christ has to be it for us. Is this true for us? Do we consider Christ to be all our goodness?

  4. Are we rejoicing in what Christ Jesus has come to do for us? If so, then this will cause us to want to know Him and His Word in the Bible much better. Is this true of you?

Grace be with you all who are resting in the obedience of Jesus Christ alone as your righteousness!