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Romans chapter 6

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1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4Therefore 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. 5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13Neither 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. 14For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16Know 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? 17But 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. 18Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19I 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. 20For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

What does Romans chapter 6 mean?

In Romans 6, Paul tackles the question of why Christians should not continue to sin once we have been declared righteous by God because of our faith in Christ. It's a good question. After all, Paul's recent teaching declared that we are no longer under the law of Moses, and God's grace will always increase to cover our sinfulness. Knowing nothing but that, it's reasonable to ask why Christians shouldn't indulge in our desire to sin.

Paul's first answer is that we don't have to do what sin tells us to do any longer, so why would we keep doing it? He then reveals more information about what happens when a person comes to faith in Christ on a spiritual level. We experience a spiritual death—to sin, rather than to God—and rebirth that parallels Jesus' own physical death and resurrection. We are raised to a new spiritual life. In fact, by faith in Christ, we become so closely connected to Him that this particular spiritual death is a death to sin itself. The reason we are not slaves to sin any longer is because our old self was crucified. Dead men are freed from their old masters. Sin can't tell us what to do any more. We are literally dead to sin in Christ (Romans 6:1–11).

Paul seems to say that we still have a daily choice to make, however. We have been freed from the penalty of sin. We are forgiven. We have also been freed from the authority and power of sin. What we haven't fully lost is our desire to sin. Sin still attracts us. The old habits and ways of thinking still come naturally to us. That's why Paul tells us to stop giving our bodies over to be used by sin and to give them over, instead, to be used by God for righteousness. We're alive now. Why live like sin still owns us (Romans 6:12–14)?

Paul gives another reason we should not continue freely sinning once we are in Christ. That leads to a lifestyle of volunteer slavery. Instead, we should live as if we were slaves to righteousness, because in a sense, we are. Serving righteousness is who we are now. We used to be free from slavery to righteousness, but where did that get us, Paul asks. Sin always leads to sin and death, remember? Let it go and serve righteousness. The result of righteousness, given freely to us in Jesus Christ, is to become like Christ and experience eternal life. Live for that, Paul urges us, instead of for the things of death that sin brings (Romans 6:15–23).
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