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.

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