Romans 6:1-7

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

January 6, 1999


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 KJV) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: {21} That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

continueepimeno – to stay at or with, to tarry still, still to abide, to continue; to persevere, continue. It is a present tense verb, meaning that it is a continuous continuing, a practice of sin.

aboundpleonazo – to superabound; to make to increase

In other words, "shouldn’t we just keep on sinning then so that God’s grace can be more heavy on my life?"

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 what "grace" might do to people, perhaps letting them go wild.

They are afraid that people who trust 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.

:2 God forbid.

or, "may it never be"

:2 How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

are dead – or better, "have died", aorist tense – something done at a specific point in time.

live – future tense, "continue to live in the future"

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 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

were baptized – (aorist tense both places, something done in the past at a particular point in time) – baptizo – to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk)

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 baptised 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.

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 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.

buried withsunthapto – to bury together with.

Somehow, as Christ died and was buried, 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.

walkperipateo – to walk; Hebrew for, to live; literally it means to "walk around"

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 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 planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

planted together – an unfortunate translation – sumphutos – born together with, of joint origin; grown together, united with

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.

:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed,

old man – this 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.

crucified withsustauroo – to crucify alone with. It’s one word in the Greek, the idea being that when Christ was crucified, somehow I was right there hanging on the cross with Him. It’s also a past tense (aorist), something that happened at a point of time in the past.

(Gal 2:20 KJV) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.


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

-- A.W. Tozer

body of sin – again, another reference to our sin nature.

destroyed – an unfortunate translation – katargeo – to render idle, unemployed, inactivate, inoperative

I think that some of us have taken the King James 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.


When we moved into our new building, we were under the impression that it had a working alarm system. And it does, kind of. It was a leased system, and it still belongs to the alarm company. When the old tenant left, the alarm company came in and disabled it, and it won’t work until they come in and put the right codes in. It is still in place. It is ready to be used. But it doesn’t really work.

When Christ died on the cross, and we died with Him, He disabled our sin nature. The problem is that we often go in and reactivate it.

:6 that henceforth we should not serve sin.

servedouleuo – to be a slave, serve, do service

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 that is dead is freed from sin.

freeddikaioo – to render righteous; to justify, i.e., sin has no legal right to be the master over us. "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."


Die 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 Kung Fu episodes, 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. I am learning more and more to not only live my life by what the Bible says, but to learn to do it in a way that really works.

Practical dying

I’m now at a place where I think there is still a truth here, but it’s not quite as pleasant as crossing my legs and meditating.

1) Starvation

(Gal 6:7-8 KJV) Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. {8} For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

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.


A.C. Green of the Dallas Mavericks set a remarkable record last season, playing in his 907th consecutive game, an NBA record. A.C. is proud of that mark. But he's even prouder of this: He's 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. During his rookie year with the Los Angeles Lakers, A.C.'s teammates said he'd never be able to keep his vow to save sex for marriage. "We're going to give you six weeks," they told A.C., according to a Sports Illustrated article. "You'll see this girl come into the Forum. You'll start getting your paychecks." A.C. has seen plenty of girls and paychecks--and remained abstinent all along. "Abstinence before marriage is something I very much believe in," A.C. says. "Responsibility is the main issue, being responsible for the decisions that you make, realizing that every decision has a consequence." The abstinence streak? It's up to 12,702 days today, and counting.

-- Men of Integrity, Vol. 1, no. 1.

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


The Five Chapter Book:

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.

(Heard on Focus on the Family)