Romans 6:1-7

Thursday Evening Bible Study

July 17, 2008


We have seen Paul present the case that man is not made right before God through his own deeds or the keeping of the law, but simply through faith.  Our salvation is not a matter of something we’ve earned, it is a “grace”, a free, undeserved, gift from God.  All we do is trust Him to receive it.

We ended last week with Paul writing …

(Rom 5:20-21 NKJV)  Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, {21} so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We talked about how sin was very present in the world before the Law of Moses was given.  But when the Law was given, it was like shining a spotlight on sin, making sin much more obvious – causing sin to “abound”.  Sin itself didn’t increase but the understanding of sin increased.
When sin became more obvious, so did God’s grace.
As deep as our sins are, God’s grace is always much, much bigger.

:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?

shall we say – future tense

shall we continueepimeno (“upon” + “to remain”) – to stay at or with, to tarry still, still to abide, to continue, remain; future tense

may aboundpleonazo – to superabound; to increase; be augmented; this is the same word used in 5:20 to talk about sin “abounding”:

(Rom 5:20 NKJV)  Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,

Though back in 5:20, Paul did use a different word for grace abounding:
abounded much morehuperperisseuo – to abound beyond measure, abound exceedingly

Apparently this is one of the things that Paul had been accused of teaching.

When people misunderstand his teaching back in 5:20-21, they might come to the conclusion that sin “abounding” was a good thing because it made God’s grace “abound”.  Wouldn’t it make sense then to just sin a whole lot more so God’s grace could continue to overflow???  Sin is good.  Right???

There are two types of people that will ask this question.

1)  The one who wants to sin, and looks for this to be a good excuse to sin.

For them, the idea is that “hey, my sin is making God look good!”

2)  The legalist who is afraid of “grace”, what it might do to people, perhaps letting them go wild.

They are afraid that the person who trusts too much in God’s grace, and not enough in their own good works, end up saying stuff like #1 above.
The problem is that the person who thinks this way hasn’t looked at what is supposed to really happen when a person has been born again.
They don’t really understand what grace is all about. 
They haven’t learned that grace changes things.
It’s a scary thing to trust in God’s grace.

What if it doesn’t work?  What if they don’t change?

:2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

certainly not – the Greek is, “may it not be”

diedapothnesko – to die; aorist tense – happened in the past at a point in time.

livezao – to live, breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead); future tense

If we have died to sin at a point in the past, how are we going to live in the future in sin?

Perhaps we’ve seen too many “zombie” movies.  We may think that dead people can still walk around…
The truth is, dead people are dead.  They don’t walk around.  They don’t sin.

This is going to be the theme of the next few verses, what it means to be “dead” to sin.

He’s going to make the point that we are “dead to sin”, and so the person who has been truly born again shouldn’t be making sin their constant practice, their constant way of life.

:3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

do you not knowagnoeo (“not” + “know”) – to be ignorant, not to know; not to understand; present tense

To me, the implication is that this is a truth that needs to be taught, to be understood. 

This is not something that just magically happens to you when you become a Christian and you just wake up one day with absolutely no inclination to sin.
There is going to be a truth here that will need to be developed, a lifestyle that needs to be practiced.

baptizedbaptizo – to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk); to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one’s self, bathe; to overwhelm

Not to be confused with bapto. The clearest example that shows the meaning of baptizo is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B.C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words.  Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be ‘dipped’ (bapto) into boiling water and then ‘baptized’ (baptizo) in the vinegar solution. Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the first is temporary. The second, the act of baptizing the vegetable, produces a permanent change.

When used in the New Testament, this word more often refers to our union and identification with Christ than to our water baptism. e.g. #Mr 16:16. ‘He that believes and is baptized shall be saved’. Christ is saying that mere intellectual assent is not enough.  There must be a union with him, a real change, like the vegetable to the pickle! (Bible Study Magazine, James Montgomery Boice, May 1989).

Is this talking about water baptism, or a spiritual kind of baptism into Jesus?  The answer is yes.  Yes to both.

I believe this is primarily talking about what happens when we become born again, the union we have with Jesus, and the picture of which we see in the ritual of baptism.

Water baptism is a picture of this process at work.  As you are immersed in the water, you are identifying yourself with the death of Jesus.

You can be baptized in water and not have this happen.  You may have this happen to you and not yet have been baptized in water.  You may (and hopefully so) have both.

: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.

we were buried withsunthapto (“with” + “to bury, to inter”) – to bury together with

Aorist tense – happened at a point in time in the past.

Instead of one casket being lowered into the ground, there are two caskets.  Not only was Jesus buried, but so were we.

Somehow, as Christ died and was buried, there is a kind of reality that says that we were buried with Him.

The act of baptism is a way of identifying with Jesus’ burial.  As you are put under the water, you are being buried.

through baptism into death – this is how we were buried with Christ.  Baptism connected us with Jesus’ death as if we were buried with Him.

was raisedegeiro – to arouse, cause to rise; aorist tense

by the glory of the Father – the means by which Jesus was raised from the dead, could also be translated “through the glory of the Father

The glory, the power of the Father was involved in raising Jesus from the dead.

We see the pairing of “glory” and “power” in:

(Col 1:11 NKJV)  strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;

Is there a connection between our walking victoriously and the “glory of the Father”?

Paul uses the phrase “just as” – in other words the same thing that was involved in raising Jesus from the dead should be involved in us walking in newness of life.


God’s glory is my strength

Perhaps if we would learn to live more for the glory of God instead of for our own selfish desires, we would see more victory in our lives.
It’s too easy in life to make “us” the reason we do anything.

We have to be talked into why it’s good for “us” in order to do something.

When a person decides it’s time to quit smoking or drinking, it’s usually because they decide it’s bad for “them”.

I decided it was time to lose weight mostly because I was embarrassed looking at pictures of myself, and some because I was concerned about living a little bit longer for the sake of my family.

But I really wasn’t thinking about the issue of bringing glory to God through my choices.

Jesus said,
(Mat 5:16 NKJV)  "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

I was kind of challenged a few weeks ago when I shared this story…

J. Vernon McGee writes: “I have had very few real compliments since I have been a minister, but one I remember well. When I was a pastor as a student in Georgia, I used to preach in a church on the side of a red clay hill. One morning after the message everyone left but a country boy. He wore high yellow shoes that buttoned all the way, and he waited around, as timid as could be. Finally he came up to me with tears in his eyes. He took hold of my hand and said, “My, I did not know Jesus was so wonderful.” He wanted to say something else but he was too choked with emotion; so he turned and walked out of the little church. That church today is in the middle of a city, but in those days it was in the middle of a cotton patch. I watched that country boy walk across the cotton patch, and said to myself, “Oh God, let me so preach that people will know that Jesus is wonderful.” That was a compliment and I have not had many like it.”

How often am I doing “good works” solely for the purpose of people giving glory to God?

newnesskainotes – newness; apparently this is a stronger word than just saying “new life”, there’s a greater emphasis on “newness”.

lifezoe – life

should walkperipateo (“around” + “to tread”) – to walk; to make one’s way, progress; literally it means to “walk around”; aorist subjunctive (more about this later)

A person who is alive, is a person who walks around.  A dead person just lies there.  A person who has been raised from the dead is one who gets up and walks around.

When we are to be walking around, it is to be with a new life.  A completely new life.


A raw countryman brought his gun to the gunsmith for repairs. The gunsmith examined it and found it almost too far gone for repairing. He said, “Your gun is in a very worn out, ruinous, good-for-nothing condition, what sort of repairing do you want for it?”  “Well,” said the countryman, “I don’t see as I can do with anything short of a new stock, lock, and barrel. That ought to set it up again.”  “Why,” said the smith, “you might just as well have a new gun altogether.”  “Ah!” was the reply. “I never thought of that, and it strikes that’s just what I do want. A new lock, stock, and barrel. That’s about equal to a new gun, and that’s what I’ll have.”  Man’s nature requires just this sort of repairing. The old nature cast aside as a complete wreck and good for nothing, and a new one imparted.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon,

: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,

we have beenginomai – to become, begin to be; perfect tense – something accomplished in the past but its effects continue on into the present.

united togethersumphutos (“with” + “to be born”) – born together with, of joint origin; congenital, implanted by birth or nature; grown together

the likenesshomoioma – that which has been made after the likeness of something; a figure, image, likeness, representation

The point is that if we have been united with Jesus in His death, then we will also be united with Him in His resurrection.

You don’t get one without the other.  We want to experience the resurrection power of Jesus Christ.  But we first have to get a hold of what it means to be united with Him in His death.

: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.

knowingginosko – to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel; a knowledge grounded on personal experience; present tense

oldpalaios – old, ancient; no longer new, worn by use, the worse for wear; that which is old and so worn out, having suffered more or less from the injuries and ravages of time.

The “old man” is not referring to your grandfather or your husband.  It refers to your sin nature.  It’s often called your “flesh”.  It’s that invisible part inside of you that just loves to sin and rebel against God.

Our sin nature isn’t called “old” because it’s wise and mature.  It’s called “old” because it’s worn out and ready to die

We need the “newness” of life.  Our sin nature is “old” and “worn out”.

crucified withsustauroo (“with” + “to crucify”) – to crucify with; the word is found five times in the New Testament:

It’s used in the gospels to describe the two thieves who died with Jesus:

Mt 27:44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.
Mr 15:32 "Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.
Joh 19:32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him.

Then Paul uses it here and in:

(Gal 2:20 NKJV)  "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
When we think of Jesus hanging on the cross between two thieves – somehow we need to learn that we were up there with Him.


To be crucified means, first, the man on the cross is facing only one direction (death); second, he is not going back; and third, he has no further plan of his own.
-- A.W. Tozer


Learn death

We need to learn about this.  We need to “know” this.  Our knowledge isn’t merely head knowledge, but knowledge by experience.  More about this later.

might be done away withkatargeo (“according to” + “inactive”) – to render idle, unemployed, inoperative; to cause to cease

The word is in a “subjunctive” mood – talks about possibility, potentiality, something that may or may not occur.

In other words, it’s “possible” that our sin nature can become inactive.

The old King James has “destroyed” here.  I think that some of us have taken this to mean that we are not supposed to have any more sin nature, but then we are surprised to find that it still causes us trouble.

It’s not that the sin nature is completely obliterated, but on the cross it was rendered inoperable, or, it “might” be…


When we moved into the Ice House years back, we were under the impression that it had a working alarm system.  And it did, kind of.  It was a leased system, and it still belonged to the alarm company.  When the old tenant left, the alarm company came in and disabled it, and it wouldn’t work until they came in and put the right codes in.  But it was still in place.  It was ready to be used.  But it didn’t really work.
When Christ died on the cross, and we died with Him, He disabled our sin nature.  It has the potential of remaining disabled.  The problem is that we often go in and reactivate it.

that we should – this is a “purpose” clause – understanding that our old nature was crucified with Christ has a purpose, the purpose that we would not be enslaved to sin.

be slavesdouleuo – to be a slave, serve, do service; to obey, submit to

What determines whether or not I’m a slave to sin?

(Rom 6:16 NKJV)  Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
The issue is who I am obeying?  Am I obeying sin or God?

Before Jesus came into our lives, we were slaves to sin.

Death is the most sure way for a slave to be set free from its owner.  You can run away from your master, but you might be caught and sent back.  But when you’re dead, your master no longer holds power over you.

:7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.

has been freeddikaioo – to render righteous or such he ought to be; this is the word we’ve seen throughout the last couple of chapters – the requirement of heaven, to be declared “righteous”.  The word is found 40 times in the New Testament, all but two times it’s translated “justified” or some related word.  This is the only place it’s translated “freed”.

“As a man that is dead is acquitted and released from bondage among men, so a man that has died to sin is acquitted from the guilt of sin and released from its bondage” (Alford).


Dwight L. Moody told of the young man who did not want to serve in Napoleon Bonaparte’s army.  When he was drafted, a friend volunteered to go in his place.  The substitution was made, and some time later the surrogate was killed in battle.  The same young man was, through a clerical error, drafted again. “You can’t take me” he told the startled officers.  “I’m dead.  I died on the battlefield.”  They argued that they could see him standing right in front of them, but he insisted they look on the roll to find the record of his death.  Sure enough, there on the roll was the man’s name, with another name written beside it.  The case finally went to the emperor himself.  After examining the evidence, Napoleon said, “Through a surrogate, this man has not only fought, but has died in his country’s service.  No man can die more than once, therefore the law has no claim on him.”


Dead to sin.

I’ve looked at this in various ways over the years.
I know there was a time when I took a rather mystical view of this, probably from watching too many episodes of Kung Fu, or watching the Star Wars movies too much.  I kind of had the feeling that if you maybe closed your eyes, “look deep within grasshopper”, “feel the force”, and junk like that, hoping to somehow get “connected” with the death of Jesus.
The problem was that this never seemed to work for me.
Thinking about dying is important, but there are also very practical things that I need to be doing to see results.
Practical death
1)  Starvation

(Gal 6:7-8 NLT)  Don't be misled. Remember that you can't ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! {8} Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

You can feed the flesh or starve it to death.

There is an old Eskimo proverb that says there are two dogs fighting inside of you.  The one you feed is the one that wins.  You can choose to feed the flesh, or choose to feed the Spirit.

2)  Just say no.

Death and crucifixion are things that are inherently unpleasant.

One of the most unpleasant things I can do to my flesh is to just say “no”.

If you don’t agree that saying no is unpleasant, then that’s only because you aren’t facing a very tantalizing temptation right now.


Ten years ago A.C. Green of the Dallas Mavericks set a remarkable record, playing in his 907th consecutive game, an NBA record. A.C. was proud of that mark. But he was even prouder of this: He was almost 35 years old, and still a virgin. In the fast and loose world of the NBA, where gorgeous young women are a constant temptation, that's a remarkable record.

A.C. Green wrote an article in Ebony magazine back in 1998,

“An attractive Black woman recently asked me about my sex life. “A.C.,” she said, “why are you a virgin at age 34? You’re a handsome man, you’re an athlete, and I know women are all over you all the time. Why are you still a virgin?”

“It was not the first time I’ve been asked that question. It came up in high school, and it came up when I attended Oregon State. But in recent years the question has taken on more significance. In today’s society in which sex is portrayed as the alpha and omega, the way and means for all and everything, the fact that I am a virgin seems to present a perplexing oddity. But being different, being unusual, being odd is not a problem for me. I am who and what I am, and I’m quite comfortable with that.

“I’m a virgin because, first of all, that’s what God has designated for me at this time, being a single man. I have committed my life to let Him make the decisions, not me. I’m following His rules, so that’s the first thing. Secondly, I choose to be abstinent because of the self-respect and high regard I have for my body. It’s a choice I’m proud of. There are tests, there are trials, but to me it’s not as hard as most people would imagine. You only really get tested when you put yourself in a tempestuous situation, or spend your time around tempting women. Maybe you’ll find out exactly what you’re made of, but I wouldn’t trust myself to a stupid test like that. Therefore, it’s best for me to keep away from possibly compromising situations.”

Crucifixion means taking the unpleasant road.  It means taking another road than the one that leads to temptation.


The Five Chapter Book:

(Heard on Focus on the Family)

Chapter One:  A man was walking down the street.  He fell into a hole.  He groped his way in the darkness.  After a long time, he made his way out of the hole.

Chapter Two:  A man was walking down the same street.  He pretended not to see the hole.  He fell in.  After a long time, he made his way out of the hole.

Chapter Three:  A man was walking down the same street.  He sees the hole.  He falls in.  He says it's not his fault.  After a long time, he made his way out of the hole.

Chapter Four:  A man walks down the same street.  He sees the hole.  He knows it's there.  He tries to walk around it.  He falls in.  He knows it's his fault.  He quickly gets out.

Chapter Five:  A man takes another street.