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About-Him.Com Devotional 11-24-2012

Thoughts on Romans 6

Text: Romans 6:1 ¶ What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Up to this point in his letter to the Romans, Paul has firmly established that all men were sinners, separated from God and doomed to die. It’s good to have good works, but we can’t boast about them. They will earn us no bonus points in the sight of God. We are saved by grace and grace alone. Jesus demonstrated the love and grace of God, by dying in our place on the cross of Calvary, while we were still mired in sin.

I suspect that when Paul came to this point in his epistle, he perhaps thought that since he had talked so much about grace, a future reader might get the idea that he could do anything he wanted and the grace of God would excuse it. Paul’s answer was, "God forbid!"

Text: Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

It’s logical to think that a new convert in the roman church might ask such a question and be excused for his ignorance. The problem is that many in the modern church are not only asking the same question, but concluding that they can do anything they want and still be covered by God’s grace. God forbid applies just as much to our modern times as it did to the roman church.

Adam Clark states that God forbid would be more accurately translated as, "Let it not be; by no means; far from it; let not such a thing be mentioned."

Paul then asks us to consider our water baptism. Did we submit to water baptism in the Lord’s name, just because it was the thing to do? Or because we were swayed by the emotion of the moment? No, I believe it was because were had believed the gospel and desired to be obedient to the Lord’s commands of Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:16 which were put into effect by Peter on the day of Pentecost (Ac. 2:38).

The risen Christ had spent forty days giving commandments pertaining to the kingdom of God to His apostles (Ac. 1:3). On the day of Pentecost Peter stood with the other eleven apostles and preached the death burial and resurrection of Jesus to a mocking crowd. When they were pricked in their hearts, they asked what it was necessary for them to do for salvation? Peter commanded repentance, water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins with the promise of the infilling of the Holy Ghost to all who had obeyed and even unto us who were afar off. As the infant church grew, they continued in the apostle’s doctrine (Ac. 2:42). Water baptism was administered by Phillip to the Ethiopian eunuch (Ac. 8:38), Peter baptized the household of Cornelius in the name of the Lord (Ac. 10:48) and Paul baptized the twelve Ephesian believers in the name of the Lord Jesus (Ac. 19:5).

Text: Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
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.

We desired to identify with the Lord’s death by being buried in the likeness of His death, that we might be raised up from sin by the same glory of the Father that raised Jesus from the grave.

Text: Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Reading the verse above at face value, I can hardly consider water baptism to be optional.

Text: Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

In 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 Paul reminds us that Jesus, the Lord from heaven, was made a quickening, or life giving spirit, by His resurrection from the dead. Just as we have borne the image of the earthly Adam, we will bear the image of the heavenly Adam who is the Lord from heaven. We were changed into His image by our resurrection of the grave of sin and will be totally changed into incomprehensible glory when He returns for His saints. So why should we ever entertain the thought of sinning against Him?

Paraphrasing Romans 6:9-15:

Don’t we know that Jesus gained victory over death by His resurrection? Death no longer has dominion over Him, or over us. Jesus died once and now He lives unto God. We should consider that we also are dead to sin, but alive to God.

We are instructed to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies, so that we don’t obey its sinful lust. James had something to say about this in James 1:15. We can’t stop temptation from appearing but we don’t have to obey it. Jesus is our example. Because he suffered temptation, He is able to succour us (def. To give assistance, especially in time of difficulty), when we are tempted (He. 2:18). He was tempted in all the same points as we are, yet He was without sin (He. 4:15).

Text: Romans 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

In Romans 6:15 Paul repeats his question from verse 1. "Are we going to sin because we are under grace rather than the law? Once again the answer is a resounding , "God forbid!"

Text: Romans 6:16 Know 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?

We may not like it but we only have two choices. We can yield to sin which brings death or we can obey which leads to righteousness. There are two spiritual rulers, either God or the devil. We can’t stay neutral, we have to obey one or the other. Likewise there are only two places to spend eternity.

Text: Romans 6:17 But 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.

Paul commended the Romans for obeying a certain form of doctrine. Evidently doctrine is important. What form of doctrine had the Romans obeyed? It was the same apostle’s doctrine which they learned at the feet of Jesus.

Paraphrasing Romans 6:17-21:

When we were freed from sin we became servants of righteousness, simply doing the right things that God requires. Because of the frailty of our flesh, we need to remember how easily we yielded ourselves to do abominable things when we were under the bondage of sin. Those things only yielded the fruit of death. Now that we have a new Master, we need to follow His example and yield ourselves to the rule of holiness.

Romans 6:22-23 below hardly needs any further comment.

Text: Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Somebody Has Said
Water baptism is faith in action - Watchmen Nee

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Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries

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