I. Romans 6:1-10 – The Doctrine of Sanctification – Positional Truth Positional Truth Positional Truth
A. Romans 6:1-2 – Why not sin? Without this understanding, our growth will remain stunted. Without this understanding, our growth will remain stunted.
1. Romans 6:1a – What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin…? Sanctification begins with an understanding of our new relationship to sin. Without this understanding, our growth will remain stunted.
a. Sanctification is the process by which believers grow to become more Christ-like. It involves being saved from the power of sin in our daily lives. Romans 8:29
b. Our sanctification is built upon the foundation of our position in Christ as the result of our justification. 1 Corinthians 3:11
2. Romans 6:1b – What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin…? The question is if we should continue in sin (a noun), not if we should continue to sin (a verb).
a. The verb form of the word sin (HAMARTANO) appears 7 times in Romans. Of the 7 uses of sin as a verb, 4 are found in the sanctification chapters. The verb form of sin refers to the act of sinning, not particularly the source of sins, which is the sin nature.
b. It is significant to note that the noun form of the word sin (HAMARTIA) appears more than 40 times in the passages that address sanctification (Rom. 5:12-8:17). This is important, because when sin is used as a noun, it refers particularly to the source of sin, rather than pointing to the act or action of sinning.
1) In chapter 5:12-21, sin as a noun appears 7 times.
2) In chapter 6, sin as a noun appears 16 times.
3) In chapter 7, sin as a noun appears 16 times.
4) In chapter 8:1-10, sin as a noun appears 5 times.
5) Remarkably, in the first four chapters of Romans that deal with unbelievers, sin as a noun appears only 4 times.
6) In the section that deals with Christian life issues, Romans 8:11 to 16:27, the word sin appears only 2 times.
7) The plural form of sin (sins) appears only 3 times in the entire book of Romans and only once in the chapters dealing with sanctification. The importance of this fact will become clearer as we proceed. Romans 4:7, 7:5, 11:27
c. The great number of uses of the word sin in the sanctification chapters shows how concerned God is about sin in the believer’s life.
d. In Romans 5-8, the noun form of the word sin in Greek is usually in the singular and paired with the definite article the, making it “the sin.” In Romans 7:17-18, we see that “the sin” refers to the indwelling sin nature.
1) When Paul referred to sin in the believer’s life, he purposely used the term “the sin.” The sin indicates the source of sin, in other words, the sin nature, and not the fruit produced by the sin nature, which would be sins plural.
2) In teaching on sanctification, Paul focused on the root of sin.
3) Paul understood that the only way to control individual sins in a believer’s life is to go to the root.
e. The devil and the world are curiously absent in this passage that deals with sin in the believer’s life. Too many Christians blame Satan or the world for all their problems, and therefore they never deal with the root problem, their own sin nature. Romans 6-8 deals directly with the sin nature. James 1:14
3. Romans 6:1c – What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? This is a natural follow-up to Paul’s sweeping statement at the end of chapter five, “But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”
a. God’s grace is always greater for forgiveness than sin’s ability to condemn.
b. Because of the super-abounding nature of grace, some believers might become tempted to abuse God’s grace and go on sinning.
4. Romans 6:2a – What was Paul’s response to his own question, “Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?”
a. “May it never be!” We should definitely not continue to sin. But why?
b. What do you think is the most important reason for not sinning? Check your top choice or write in a better answer below.
1) _________ Don’t sin because sin hurts you.
2) _________ Don’t sin because sin hurts those you love.
3) _________ Don’t sin because sin offends God.
4) _________ Don’t sin because sin causes you to lose joy or rewards.
5) _________ Don’t sin because sin is submission to the devil and the world.
6) _________ Don’t sin because sin will bring God’s discipline.
7) _________ Don’t sin because sin breaks the law.
8) Don’t sin, because ______________________________________________.
5. Romans 6:2b – How shall we… Note that the pronoun we refers exclusively to believers.
6. Romans 6:2c – How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Paul’s unique reason for why Christians should not sin had to do with understanding that through our position in Christ we are dead to sin.
a. “We …died to sin” describes the believer’s position in Christ, whereas “still live in it” describes the believer’s daily conduct. Knowledge of our position should affect our conduct.
b. The statement we died to sin does not mean the following:
1) We died to sin does not mean the sin nature is dead in us. Some teach a doctrine of eradication, meaning we no longer have a sin nature. This is not found in the statement we died to sin.
2) We died to sin does not mean you must kill or crucify the sin nature. The verb died is in the Greek aorist tense, meaning it happened at a specific point in time in the past. We died to sin is a statement of fact, not a command to obey. It is not something we must do ourselves.
3) All efforts to eradicate your sin nature in your own strength will lead to pure frustration. You cannot restrain or crucify your sin nature.
c. What does the statement we died to sin actually mean?
1) We died to sin could be translated we died to [the] sin. As believers, we are dead to our sin nature, because at salvation, God supernaturally united us with Christ in His death. This is a work God did. Galatians 2:20
2) We died to sin means that in Christ’s death we were identified with Him and consequently died to the whole realm of sin, including individual sins, Satan, the world, and even our sin nature. Romans 6:10
3) We died to sin means that in God’s estimation, every believer has died, having been crucified with Christ. In that position, we possess Christ’s victory over sin. Colossians 2:20, 3:1-3
4) Together with Christ, we have been supernaturally liberated from the sin nature’s absolute right to rule over our lives. Romans 6:6
5) In conclusion, Paul’s unique reason for us to not continue in sin was simply because we died to sin.
B. Romans 6:3-5 – Knowing the history of your death to sin with Christ
1. Romans 6:3a – Or do you not know…? Knowing you are dead to sin and understanding how that came to be your reality can dramatically change your entire way of living.
a. Knowing you are dead to sin will stop you from trying to defeat, eradicate or outsmart sin through your own human effort.
b. Human effort in dealing with sin leads only to frustrating and failed man-made strategies such as legalism, mysticism, or even harmful mistreatment of one’s body. Colossians 2:20-23
c. Knowing you are dead to sin allows you to rest in your position of victory over sin based on the powerful significance of your new identity in Christ.
2. Romans 6:3b – …that all of us… This truth is true of all believers. If you are a child of God, these truths belong to you.
3. Romans 6:3c – You need to know that …all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death.
a. The word baptize (BAPTIZO) means to be identified with or placed into. At the point of your salvation, the Holy Spirit placed you into Christ.
1) 1 Corinthians 12:13 – For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…
2) Galatians 3:27 – …for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
b. This passage does not refer to a baptism in water. It explains spiritual baptism, in which you were placed into, or identified with, Christ.
c. As a part of your new birth, you were taken out of Adam and placed into Christ. Christ, not Adam, is now your national head, and whatever is true of Christ, is true of you.
d. Whether you believe it or not, this is who you are. This is your reality before God. Now it is up to you to live in the reality of what God says is true of you in Christ.
4. Romans 6:3d – …all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death. When the Holy Spirit placed you into Christ, you were identified with Christ in His death. In Christ you died. His death became your death.
5. Romans 6:4a – Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. God now sees you as a person who died, was buried, and then raised to newness of life.
a. Not only did you die with Christ; you were also raised with Him. Ephesians 2:4-6
b. The fact that you were raised with Christ makes it possible for you to walk in newness of life. Colossians 3:1-4
c. You do not have to live in failure and defeat. Now you can live in Christ’s victory and experience the newness of abundant living Christ promises. John 10:10, 2 Corinthians 5:17
6. Romans 6:5 – For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection. God sees you as being united with Christ in both His death and His resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:20-26
a. Your future bodily resurrection is based on the fact that in God’s assessment you are united with Christ.
b. If God counts this fact to be true of you, can’t you do the same today? If you fail to recognize and embrace the truth that you are united with Christ in His death and resurrection, your growth as a Christian will be inhibited.
C. Romans 6:6-10 – Knowing the significance of your death to sin with Christ
1. Romans 6:6a – Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him.
a. The phrase old self (KJV-old man) refers to your old identity in Adam. Your old self is all that you were in Adam before salvation.
1) Because your old self was crucified with Christ on the cross, you are no longer related to Adam. Your old identity in Adam is gone; it is past history.
2) In salvation, you assumed a new identity. You were born again and became a new creation in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17
3) The old self is not synonymous with your old nature, also called the flesh or the sin nature. The old self is crucified and gone, whereas the old nature remains with us as long as we are still in these fleshly bodies received from Adam. 1 Corinthians 15:45
b. The word crucified implies being put to death by law. Your old self, that person you were in Adam, was legally put to death; it was crucified.
c. What else did God achieve through this crucifixion?
2. Romans 6:6b – God crucified us together with Christ in orderthat our body of sin might be done away with. The term body of sin does not refer to the human body. Romans 7:17-19
a. Although the human body is under God’s curse and not yet glorified, it is not evil by nature. The body is not the root source of sin in a believer’s life. Romans 8:22
b. Your human body is presently the temple of the Holy Spirit. If your body were naturally evil, God would not live there. 1 Corinthians 6:13-20
c. God also tells us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. In the Old Testament, the lambs sacrificed by the Israelites had to be acceptable. God would not accept your body as a sacrifice if it were innately evil. Romans 12:1-2
d. We conclude then that the term body of sin refers to the sin nature. The sin nature is innately and incurably evil. Your human body only becomes an instrument of sin when it is dominated by the sin nature. Romans 6:12
3. Romans 6:6c – …might be done away with… The phrase done away with (KATARGEO) means to be stripped of power or put out of business. It does not mean annihilation. The sin nature was not annihilated at salvation, but God destroyed its authority over us. In order to free us for service, God stripped the sin nature of power.
a. Those who teach that the sin nature was eradicated at salvation claim that we sin because of deep ruts in the brain formed by bad habits. They believe the way to stop sinning is to retrain the brain by forming new habits. However, this only results in wasted self-effort.
b. These teachers falsely assume that holiness comes by controlling the human body. They erroneously teach legalism, mysticism, harsh self-restraint or other human philosophies as ways of combatting sin in the believer’s life. Colossians 2
c. However, God’s provision for godly living does not depend on human effort but rather on walking in the light of our identity in Christ.
4. Romans 6:6d – …that we should no longer be slaves to sin… Compulsory slavery to the sin nature ended when the old self, the person we were in Adam, was crucified with Christ. Galatians 2:20
a. Note that Paul did not say we should no longer be slaves to the human body; he said we should no longer be slaves to sin.
b. The word sin here is actually “the sin” in Greek. It refers to the sin nature not to individual sins. As believers, identified with Christ, we are no longer to be slaves to the sin nature.
5. Romans 6:7 – …for he who has died is freed from sin. Your freedom from the sin nature’s power is based on your new identity. As believers, we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death. Romans 6:5
a. …for he who has died… It is important to remember once again that in the identification work of God, we died (Rom. 6:2, 7) to the sin nature. The sin nature did not die.
b. Due to our identification with Christ in His death, we have been freed from sin. Although the sin nature is not eradicated, it no longer has any authority to dominate our lives. Romans 8:3-4
6. Romans 6:8 – Now if we have died with Christ, [then] we believe that we shall also live with Him. God considers this truth concerning our identification with Christ to be 100% reality and so should we.
a. Romans 6:8a – Now if (if is a Greek first class condition, meaning the speaker assumes a reality) we died with Christ (and we did), then we believe we shall also live with Him (and we will).
1) Since in God’s estimation, Christ’s death already counts for your death, you are not to try to die to yourself.
2) As a believer you have already died with Christ. It is a historical fact not a future action for you to initiate.
b. Romans 6:8b – We believe that we shall also live with Him. As a believer, your death with Christ is so valid to God that even though it is appointed unto man once to die (Heb. 9:27), if the rapture happened today, you would go straight to heaven without your body experiencing a physical death.
7. Romans 6:9 – …knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. Christ conquered death, and because you are identified with Christ, you also conquered death through Him.
a. We need to know that Christ died once and was raised from the dead once, and in these actions, He conquered death once for all.
b. Christ allowed death to master Him once, but it will never do so again. Christ now masters death. He holds the keys to death and hell. Hebrews 2:14-15, Revelation 1:18
8. Romans 6:10a – For the death that He died, He died to sin… What is the significance of Christ’s death in this verse?
a. We know that Christ died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3, 1 Pet. 3:18), but here Paul included another aspect of Christ’s death. Christ also died to sin on our behalf. Romans 8:3, 1 Peter 2:24
b. Sin here is a singular noun referring to the sin nature. Romans 7:17-18
c. Since Christ died to sin on our behalf, in Him we are dead to the sin nature. This is our reality before God and there is nothing we can do to make it any truer than it already is. We simply need to believe what is already true of us. 1 Peter 2:24
9. Romans 6:10b– He died to sin,once… Christ doesn’t need to re-die. He died once; therefore, in Him you also died once to the whole realm of sin. Hebrews 7:27, 9:28
10. Romans 6:10c – He died to sin, once forall. His one death was for all of humanity, even though only those who believe in Him benefit. His one death was enough to liberate us from all forms of evil, including Satan, the world, sins plural, and specifically in this context, the sin nature. Hebrews 2:9, 10:10
11. Romans 6:10d – …but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
a. The life that Christ lives (present tense), He lives to God and to God alone.
b. Christ’s resurrection life is the basis of your power to live your life to God as well. Ephesians 1:19-20; Colossians 1:27b, 3:4
c. Because God now identifies you with the living Christ, in Christ you are not only dead to sin but also marvelously alive unto God. 2 Timothy 2:11