Romans 6:8-14

Thursday Evening Bible Study

July 24, 2008


Paul has made his case that we are not saved by the keeping of the Law, but we are saved by coming to trust in what God has done for us.  We have been saved by grace.  We have been saved because God has made a way for us to be forgiven, completely free of charge.

The problem with grace is that some people think this means that we can get away with anything.  They can even get to the point of thinking that the worse they sin, the more God will be seen as loving and gracious.

Paul’s point at the beginning of the chapter was that real grace doesn’t work that way.

Real grace changes a person.  Real grace connects you to the death of Christ for you.  Real grace helps you to learn to act towards sin like a dead person does.

This week we were reading in Ezra 9-10 – the people have been brought back into the land of Israel after the Babylonian captivity.  And the people start doing some of the things that brought them into captivity in the first place, like marrying pagan unbelievers.

Ezra is horrified.  He is amazed that the people still haven’t “gotten it”.
Here in Romans, Paul is amazed that people don’t “get it”, that real grace changes lives.  It doesn’t give an excuse for more sin.

Last week we ended with:

(Rom 6:6-7 NKJV)  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. {7} For he who has died has been freed from sin.
The principle is that if a person is dead, they are no longer affected by sin.  At the Disneyland ride “Pirates of the Caribbean”, there’s a part of the ride where you’re riding through a dark cavern and you hear the echoing words, “Dead men tell no tales”.  There’s a lot of truth to that.  In fact, dead men don’t just “tell no tales”, but they also don’t sin either.

:8  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

live withsuzao – to live together with one; to live a new life in union with Christ, i.e. dedicated to God

Paul has been talking about “baptism”, the picture of being immersed in Christ.  Water baptism has two pictures, of being buried (immersed) with death, but also being raised – coming back out of the water.

Back in verse 6 Paul said we were “crucified with” Christ.  Here he clarifies that we’ve also been “raised”, that we “live with” Christ.

As we mentioned in verse 6, in the Greek, there is a single word that translates “crucified with”.  Paul could have used separate words for “crucify” and “with”, but instead he chose to use a single word.  If he had used separate words, there is a greater emphasis simply on the idea of crucifixion, that we’re “crucified with Christ”.  But because he used a single, compound word, the greater emphasis is being placed on the fact that we’re “crucified with Christ”.  When He died, we died.  We were with Him, somehow, mystically, as He hung on the cross.

Now in this verse, Paul does something similar in that He uses a single, compound word for “live with”.

The idea is that we were not only with Him in the crucifixion, but we were also with Him in His resurrection.


The proprietor of a drycleaning and dyeing business hung this quaint sign in his window: "We dye to live, we live to dye; the more we dye, the more we live; and the more we live, the more we dye." 

For the child of God, it is also true that the more he dies, the more he lives!

:9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.

knowingeido – to see; to know; to see with the mind’s eye, signifies a clear and purely mental perception; This is not knowledge gained from personal experience, but simply knowledge that comes from thinking it through.

dies no more – Jesus died once.  Because He has been raised from the dead, He doesn’t die any more.

Here is one of the problems with Roman Catholic teaching.

During the mass, when the priest says the special words over the bread and the wine, they are supposed to literally turn into the body and blood of Jesus, and Jesus once again dies for our sins.
But Paul says here that Jesus “dies no more”.

The writer to the Hebrews also writes:

(Heb 10:12 NKJV)  But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,

dominionkurieuo – to be lord of, to rule, have dominion over; of things and forces; to exercise influence upon, to have power over

:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

once for allephapax – once, at once; all at once; once for all; this isn’t talking about the fact that Jesus died for all of us (which is also true), here it means that when He died, He died once and is now done with death.

Jesus died once and is now done with death.  Now Jesus is alive again and the life that He has is lived to God, for God’s sake.

(Rom 6:10 NLT)  He died once to defeat sin, and now he lives for the glory of God.

:11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

likewisehouto – in this manner, thus, so

The truth of the last verse is going to be our pattern, something we’re going to copy.  Jesus died to sin once and for all and lives to God.  This is what we’re supposed to learn.

reckonlogizomai – to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over

This word deals with reality. If I “logizomai” or reckon that my bank book has $25 in it, it has $25 in it. Otherwise I am deceiving myself. This word refers to facts not suppositions.

This is not some sort of self-hypnosis or some sort of escape from reality.
For example, the “word-faith” teachers tell you that you cause things to come into reality by speaking them.  If you have a cold, then you “confess” your healing, you proclaim your healing, and then healing is supposed to come.  Even after you are still sniffling, you are supposed to go on and “confess” that you’ve been healed.
That’s not reality.  Paul is talking about reality.
We might say, “do the math”, or “figure it out”, and when you do, you will find that you have died to sin as well.
When you “do the math” and add two plus two, you get four.  That’s reality.  You don’t add two plus two and get five.
Wiersbe:  Reckoning is not claiming a promise, but acting on a fact. God does not command us to become dead to sin. He tells us that we are dead to sin and alive unto God, and then commands us to act on it. Even if we do not act on it, the facts are still true.

Where we struggle is with the “reality” of Paul’s statement.

I’m not so sure that Paul himself at times didn’t struggle with the truth of this statement.
(Rom 7:18-19 NLT)  I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can't make myself do right. I want to, but I can't. {19} When I want to do good, I don't. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway.
In reality, this has to become an act of faith on our part, especially when our flesh feels very much alive.
(Heb 11:1 NLT)  What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.
Even though the evidence around me indicates that my flesh is alive to sin, my acting in faith requires that I act as though it’s dead.
We can do incredible things if we learn to act even when we don’t see the physical evidence of something (having faith).


Dead reckoning

Some people might be tempted to read what Paul has written so far and come to the conclusion that all you need is to be baptized to receive this benefit of the death of Christ for us.
But here Paul makes it clear that we have a responsibility – we must exercise our will
When I think of Jesus dying on the cross, I often think about how He was paying for my sins.  There is a picture of my sins being “heaped” upon the Son of God as He hung on the cross at Calvary.  But I need to realize that He wasn’t just paying for them, they were on Him at the cross.  When Jesus died, my sins died with Him.
A point of victory over sin comes when I realized that my sin nature was crucified, that I was “crucified with Christ”.
Robertson:  Self-indulgence is inconsistent with trust in the vicarious atonement.
If I believe that Jesus died on the cross in my place, to pay for my sins, then I need to stop indulging my “self”.
Forgiveness in Christ doesn’t give me a free ticket to continue to sin without any worries.  Forgiveness in Christ means everything changes.


Practical Living

Learning to trust the “logic” of death is only part.  We don’t walk around like a bunch of dead people.
The other part is learning to live with the “logic” of life in Jesus Christ.
Last week we talked about “practical death” in learning to starve the flesh. 
Remember the old Eskimo adage:  There are two dogs fighting inside of you, the one you feed is the one who wins.
Victory is not just about starving the flesh, but also feeding the Spirit.

Doing things like worshipping God, reading our Bibles, praying, spending time with other Christians in fellowship, witnessing, letting God use you to minister to others.

Doing the things that are right have a way of giving us greater and greater victory.
In Deuteronomy we see the principle of God’s blessings of victory on His people as they learn to simply obey the things He had for them:

(Deu 28:7 NKJV)  "The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.

:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.

reignbasileuo – to be king, to exercise kingly power, to reign; metaph. to exercise the highest influence, to control; Present tense – “do not let sin continue to reign”

Who is “king” in your life?  Who is on the “throne” of your life? Is it your “self” or “sin”?  When Christ is on the throne of your life, things change.  Who is on the throne?

mortalthnetos – liable to death, mortal; We are stuck with these “mortal” bodies until we die physically.  Our sin nature is attached to our physical body.

obeyhupakouo (“upon” + “to listen”) – to listen, to harken; of one who on the knock at the door comes to listen who it is, (the duty of a porter); to harken to a command; to obey, be obedient to, submit to

lustsepithumia – desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust; It denotes any natural desire or appetite, usually with the implication that it is a depraved desire.

When sin comes knocking at your door with “lusts”, don’t listen to it, don’t answer the door.

Better yet, let Jesus answer the door.

(Rom 13:14 NKJV)  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.


Just say no

This is an issue of your “will”.  What are you going to do?
Big John Doesn’t Pay!
One fine day, a bus driver went to the bus garage, started his bus, and drove off along the route. No problems for the first few stops-a few people got on, a few got off, and things went generally well.  At the next stop, however, a big hulk of a guy got on. Six feet eight, built like a wrestler, arms hanging down to the ground. He glared at the driver and said, “Big John doesn’t pay!” and sat down at the back.  Did I mention that the driver was five feet three, thin, and basically meek? Well, he was. Naturally, he didn’t argue with Big John, but he wasn’t happy about it.  The next day the same thing happened-Big John got on again, made a show of refusing to pay, and sat down. And the next day, and the one after that, and so forth. This grated on the bus driver, who started losing sleep over the way Big John was taking advantage of him.  Finally he could stand it no longer. He signed up for body building courses, karate, judo, and all that good stuff. By the end of the summer, he had become quite strong; what’s more, he felt really good about himself.  So on the next Monday, when Big John once again got on the bus and said, “Big John doesn’t pay!,” the driver stood up, glared back at the passenger, and screamed, “And why not?” With a surprised look on his face, Big John replied, “Big John has bus pass.”
Don’t let your lusts bully you around!
There is an element of “victory” that lies simply in our “will”.  We have a choice. Just say “no”.

:13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

membersmelos – a member, limb: a member of the human body

presentparistemi – to place beside or near; to set at hand; to present; to place a person or thing at one’s disposal; to bring to, bring near; KJV says “yield”

One thing that comes to mind is the idea of feeding birds.  You put the food out and the birds come and eat it.  Ron West told me he has a hummingbird feeder that can feed a dozen birds, and at times he’s seen every perch filled with birds coming to eat.

Are we putting our own body parts out there for sin to take advantage of?  Are we putting ourselves out there for God to use?

We might think of a person “presenting” a gift to the queen.

Here the idea is that we are either presenting to our bodies a “gift” of sin, which is not usually a very “royal” affair, or we can present our bodies to God, which is quite royal in nature.

The first time the word is used is a “present imperative”, “do not keep continually presenting your members to sin”

The second time the word is an “aorist imperative”, “present yourselves once and for all to God…”

The same word (in aorist tense) is found in:

(Rom 12:1 NKJV)  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
In actual practice, we will find ourselves needing to present our bodies back to God.  But the idea is making a decision, handing yourself over to God, and not getting stuck like a broken record offering ourselves over and over and over like a Hindu chanting his mantra.

Present yourself to God and then go serve Him.

instrumentshoplon – any tool or implement for preparing a thing; arms used in warfare, weapons; an instrument; a “shop” tool.

It’s interesting that the word is found in five verses in the New Testament, this is the only one that’s not translated as “weapon” or “armor”.

Joh 18:3 Then Judas, having received a detachment [of troops], and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Ro 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
2Co 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

How are the members of your body being used?

Are they weapons used by the enemy in our lives or tools used to serve God?


The Bible tells of people who permitted God to take and use their bodies for the fulfilling of His purposes. God used the rod in Moses’ hand and conquered Egypt. He used the sling in David’s hand to defeat the Philistines. He used the mouths and tongues of the prophets. Paul’s dedicated feet carried him from city to city as he proclaimed the Gospel. The Apostle John’s eyes saw visions of the future, his ears heard God’s message, and his fingers wrote it all down in a book that we can read.

But you can also read in the Bible accounts of the members of the body being used for sinful purposes. David’s eyes looked on his neighbor’s wife; his mind plotted a wicked scheme; his hand signed a cowardly order for the woman’s husband to be killed. As you read Psalm 51, you see that his whole body was affected by sin: his eyes (Ps. 51:3), mind (Ps. 51:6), ears (Ps. 51:8), heart (Ps. 51:10), and lips and mouth (Ps. 51:14–15). No wonder he prayed for a thorough cleansing! (Ps. 51:2)


Presenting arms

You might think of this phrase in a military sense.
“Present arms” is a command used by many militaries in the world as a sign of respect. If you are armed with a firearm, you present the underside of the firearm towards the one receiving the honor.
We are to present our bodies to the Lord.
A little girl fell out of bed one night and began to cry. Her mother rushed in to her bedroom, picked her up, put her back in bed, and asked her, “Honey, why did you fall out of bed?” And she said, “I think I stayed too close to the place where I got in.”
That’s our problem.  Too often we are staying too close to the “edge”, continuing to “present” ourselves to the bad stuff.
There was once  man on a diet who prayed, "Lord, if you don't want me to go get donuts, then let there not be any parking spots at the donut shop."  But he had to give in to the donuts because sure enough, when he got there, there was a parking spot right in front of the door … after his twentieth time around the block .
Are you going to hang out in the place that will lead you towards sin?  Or are you going to hang out in the place that’s going to lead you towards the Lord?
We are to present our “members”, our body parts to the Lord.
J.Vernon McGee writes,

What is your real problem, friend? I know what mine is. What about yours? Whatever that specific thing is, yield it to God. A bad temper? Well, take that to Him and talk to Him about it. What about a gossipy tongue? A dear lady who attended a “tongues meeting” was asked if she wanted to speak in tongues. She exclaimed, “Oh, my no. I’d like to lose about forty feet off the one I have now!” If your tongue is your problem, yield it to God.

:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

This is one of the reasons we are to “present” or “yield” ourselves to God.

Paul has already demonstrated that we are not saved by the keeping of the Law, but through grace.

Grace is not an excuse to sin.  Grace is a reason NOT to sin.

have dominionkurieuo – to be lord of, to rule, have dominion over; of things and forces; to exercise influence upon, to have power over; future tense

Same word used in verse 9: 

(Rom 6:9 NKJV)  …Death no longer has dominion over Him.
Just as death has no “lordship” over Jesus any longer, so sin no longer has “lordship” over us.

Under the Law of Moses I think I have to perform to be accepted by God. 

But I am under grace – where my sins were paid for at the cross when Jesus died with and for them.

Jesus’ death on the cross has snipped the cord between me and sin.  Sin no longer has to dominate me because of my dying with Christ.

How does this work?

Part of the function of the law is to make sin “abound” or become more clear:

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

It would seem that the clearer, more obvious sin becomes, the stronger sin becomes.

(1 Cor 15:56 NLT)  For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.

One commentator wrote, “Law inflames, grace kills the love of sin.”

In other words, when you live your life completely by having a huge list of things you’re not supposed to do, and every day you continually review the list telling yourself what you’re not supposed to do, it ends up provoking you into doing the very thing you’re not supposed to do.


Close your eyes and try to follow what I’m telling you.  Whatever you do, be sure that you don’t think of a great big bowl of vanilla ice cream.  And certainly don’t think of putting hot, thick, gooey chocolate fudge on it.  And whatever you do, don’t think about the huge mound of whipped cream on it, especially all those chopped nuts and a nice big, red cherry on top.  Now, what are you thinking about?

When we have chosen to try and live our lives to please God by the keeping of the Law, or by keeping a list of do’s and don’ts, the list itself will help push us into breaking it.  But when we choose to live under God’s grace, understanding that He’s done it all for me, and I just learn to open myself up to the working of the Holy Spirit, then I don’t have to worry about what I’m doing because the Holy Spirit will guide me to do what is pleasing to God (we’ll see this when we get to Romans 8).