1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Romans chapter 6

English Standard Version

New International Version

New American Standard Bible

Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

King James Version

New King James Version

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).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: