Lesson 76: "Our Old Man is Crucified. . .the Body of Sin. . .Destroyed" (Romans 6:6)
This is lesson # 76. Welcome to Rom. Ch. 6. As you turn to that, let your mind sweep back across the first five chapters. Paul has discussed "the just shall live by faith." He has pushed the point that we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ. It is imperative that we understand righteousness does not and cannot come by human merit. Righteousness comes (and comes only) by faith in Jesus Christ. But, it must have occurred to you that there is danger someone may interpret Paul's discussion of the free gift, i.e. the grace of God, to be saying that this freedom, this gift, eliminates any effort or restraint on our part. Paul has emphasized that
"By the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." (5:18)
And the bible emphasizes, over and over, that this remedy for sin is available to all nations, all races and indeed every person. Near the end of the book of Revelation, God said: "I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things..."
Thus the gift of life, i.e. eternal life, is free; but, even in that context, He spoke of a condition: "he that overcometh." Just as Paul emphasized the free gift and the atonement for sins that Christ gave in his blood; other places in the N.T. (I trust you know) the emphasis is just as strongly upon: "save your selves from this untoward generation" As Peter said it on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:40). So, it seems only natural to me that Paul would swing the pendulum of his discussion back in the other direction far enough to emphasize this free gift is not simply life eternal thrust upon a sinner. Beyond that, as Paul had no doubt taught this same lesson over the empire, and especially among the Judiazers who were groping for straws to find something wrong with Paul's doctrine that they could take issue with; you, would expect some one would hop on this point. Paul mentioned some back in 3:8 who had slanderously reported that Paul taught: "Let us do evil, that good may come." In statements similar to what Paul made in 5:20: "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound," Emphasizing how much greater was the grace of God than the negative effects of Adam's sin. It would seem, some concluded from Paul's teaching (possibly again in slander, we don't know), that the more one sins, the more grace will be given. Thus, some may have reported that Paul was encouraging sin, you see. Therefore, Paul in Ch. 6 discusses the necessity of having sins remitted and the necessity of refraining from sin after our alien sins are forgiven. Let's read Ch. 6. Let's read the first 14 verses and then we'll try to finish the chapter. Here we go, beginning in Rom. 6:1.
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more: death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace."
Alright, the two questions that make up v.l, is Paul's way of stating and calling attention to the conclusion some had undoubtedly slanderously reported Paul to be teaching. Paul's comment: "God forbid," at the beginning of v. 2, is Paul's way of saying that was the wrong conclusion, a false conclusion, and BY NO MEANS should one come to that conclusion or follow that course. Then in the rest of v. 2 and in v. 3, Paul asked a couple questions to refute such a conclusion. First, "How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"
Paul spoke in past tense, i.e. notice, Paul and the Christians at Rome were dead to sin. Then naturally the question comes to mind: how did they die to sin? That answer is given through the next question:
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" In other words, why were you baptized? Of course the Roman Christians knew the answer very well. They were (# 1) baptized INTO Christ. That's the way they had entered into that spiritual relationship that made them Christians, born of the water and born of the spirit (John Ch. 3), to become citizens of Christ's kingdom. (#2) Through that same act of baptism they died to sin, i.e. their sins were thereby remitted, that's another way of saying: that the body of sin might be destroyed (v. 6). For those of my religious friends and neighbors in the denominational world who teach baptism is NOT for remission of sins; I beg your indulgence in Paul's questions and comments. Paul said: Don't you know this? (v. 3). Know what Paul? Don't you know that if you were immersed into Jesus Christ in baptism; you were immersed into Christ's death. Notice now, we are baptized INTO Christ, that's I-N-T-O, look at it close. What does INTO mean? You go through the door, cross the threshold and you are inside of; when you are INTO. Thus, to be baptized INTO Christ is to pass through the door or entrance and into the church or the kingdom. Now, we're not talking about a church building. Get it straight, the church is a body of baptized believers; very much like the United States Senate is a body of duly elected senators. Luke, in commenting on the Jerusalem church following the day of Pentecost and the 3,000 that were baptized that day, said: "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
When we obey the gospel, the good news preached by Jesus and the apostles; when we have the faith to do it, when we repent, and when we are baptized INTO Christ, THEN the Lord adds the saved to the church. (Acts 2:47). To the Galatians, Paul had said:
"as many of you as have been baptized INTO Christ have put on Christ" (Gal. 3:27)
Do you think Paul knew what he was talking about? My Baptist friends teach one is baptized because he is already in Christ. They teach: faith makes them a Baptist, not baptism. They do baptize, but not for the remission of sin. Others of my denominational friends don't even teach baptism, period. Now, I'm not trying to be nasty! I'm just telling it like it is. Check me out! Please take the time to check it out. Then in v. 4 - 6, Paul repeated this in a conclusive way. "Therefore we are buried with him into death..." Buried with who? Buried with Christ in a symbolic way. Just like Jesus was put into the tomb for three days; we were buried in water for about a minute. What does "buried" mean? Does that mean to sprinkle? sprinkle a little water on? What if you ask one of your children to bury a dead cat in the back yard and they stood there and sprinkled a little dirt on it. Is that a burial? Baptism is a burial! Paul said so! Our past sins are buried there. Just in case some one cannot understand that; Paul used the illustration of planting in v. 5. "If we have been planted together in the likeness of his death..." What if you instructed one of your children to plant a row of potatoes in the garden and what if they just stood there and sprinkled a little water or a little soil on the potatoes? Would
the potatoes be planted? I wonder why Paul used that
illustration? Buried, planted, baptized, there is a similarity you
"like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of
the Father [v. 4], even so we also should walk in newness of
What does "even so" mean? Just as Jesus arose with a new body
in a glorious way; when we are raised from the watery grave of
baptism we are to be a new person. The old body of sin is to be
destroyed (v. 6). Paul was baptized in Damascus by a preacher
named Ananias; you will remember. Paul's past sins, his sin of
breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of
the Lord (Acts. 9:1) and his sin of consenting unto the death of
Stephen and his sin of making havoc of the church and
arresting Christians and dragging innocent disciples to prison;
all of Paul's past sins were buried at Damascus when Paul was
baptized into Christ by Ananias. Paul arose from that watery
grave a new person; a Christian, a disciple of Jesus Christ; his
past sins remitted or forgiven. His old man (v. 6) was crucified
with him, i.e. with Jesus. Paul's figurative body of sin was
destroyed, there in the waters of Damascus. Now, could Paul
sin again? after baptism? Of course, he could! His past sins
were forgiven; every sin. He was freed from sin in the waters of
Damascus; he arose from the water a clean, sinless person. But,
from there on it took effort and restraint on the part of Paul to
avoid sin and to serve righteousness. Look at the end of v. 6,
"that henceforth we should not serve Sin."
You see, it is an attitude or a disposition not to serve sin; i.e. to
refrain from sin and to do that which is good and that which is
commanded of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Tie on to
"Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto
sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Then v. 12,
"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body..."
You control it, you see. One either obeys sin, end of v. 12; or
one obeys God. Which will it be? And, while we're at this
point; I want to ask you: is baptism a work? Some classify
baptism as a work. Baptism is not a work. To be baptized is to
submit to God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit; it is not a work.
Is physical death a work? Is it accomplished through one's own
efforts and one's own industry? Certainly not! Unless you are
talking about suicide. Death in the usual sense is a submission.
Baptism is a submission, a matter of faith, not a matter of
Then, v. 7, when one dies, he ceases to sin. Then v. 8,
"Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also
live with him: knowing [or understanding] that Christ being
raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more
dominion over him."
After we are baptized and die to sin; we must still face physical
death, yes. But, when we die to sin in baptism and raise to walk
in newness of life and live in the Spirit; then spiritual death,
(the death of the soul), i.e. the second death as it's called in
Revelation, has no more dominion over us. We can know that!
Look at the first verse in Ch. 8. Christ is our example!
"Likewise reckon ye also yourselves..."
What does it mean to reckon your self? Don't let sin reign in
your mortal body, (v. 12). Don't use the members of your body
as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, (v. 13). You are in
charge! You can serve sin or you can refrain from sin. Then in
contrast to that (middle of v. 13),
"yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the
Use your members
"as instruments of righteousness unto God."
(end v.l 3). Then, finally, v. 14, we are under a system of grace;
not under the law. We are not to let sin reign in our bodies.
Get rid of it! Past sins, or alien sins, are removed in scriptural
baptism. Sins from day to day after baptism are forgiven when we repent; if we ask and pray to God for forgiveness (I John 1:9). Thus, sin does not have dominion over us (v. 14). Sin does not reign over us; we reign and triumph over sin.
Let's read v. 15-23. Put your eyes on it! Here we go, beginning withv. 15:
"What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now shamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants of God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Alright, in v. 15, Paul came back to the thought in v. 1 & 2. Some, insisted on keeping the law of Moses, it's evident. Paul was trying to correct this misunderstanding. Grace is a much better system. Sins are forgiven in baptism. Sins can be forgiven day by day, if we repent and ask. Eternal life can be attained through Jesus Christ. It's a gift of God. If you read v. 15-23 real slow and absorb it word for word, word by word, there's nothing I can add that will help you. It's plain! It's clear! We can obey sin; or, we can obey Christ. There's a choice! Thank God for grace! (v. 17). One can change from a life of sin, or serving sin: we can change to a life of obedience, in which
"ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you."
What doctrine? The doctrine of God! The gospel of Jesus Christ!
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Markl6:16.
That doctrine had come to the Romans. "God be thanked." (v.17)
It's possible to change from a life of sin to a life of righteousness? Look at v. 18! Those disciples at Rome had once served sin. But, Paul said they were then made free from sin and had become the servants of righteousness (v. 19). Paul personified sin, "those things whereof ye are now ashamed" (v. 21) As a slave-master, a task master, i.e. slavery is depicted. You have a choice! You can serve the task master of sin; or you can serve righteousness, holiness, and the Lord of Glory. If you serve sin, you'll get paid. The wages of sin is death; spiritual death, the second death, separation from God eternally. Or if you serve God He will give you a gift; the gift of eternal life, i.e. an endless life in heaven, a life of bliss. We can be saved from the wrath of God by the blood of Jesus (5:9). We can be saved from sin; by baptism into, Jesus Christ (Ch. 6). We can be made FREE from sin (6:18). This is what Paul taught the Romans. I'll see you in Ch. 7, until then may I wish you a good day.