Our promise for a new life in Christ is this: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
If you haven’t already, read Romans 6.
Or, if you want catch up on our previous Romans Bible Studies, check out our Bible Studies page!
Dead to Sin
In Chapter 5, Paul professed that we can be given eternal life through one man, Jesus Christ, just as we can be given eternal death by sinning, as precedented by one man, Adam. This new life in Christ is further elaborated in Chapter 6, but not before first explaining with humbleness that just as we can be risen to new life with Christ, we have to first be crucified with Him into His death.
Just because we have been promised new life in Christ, does not mean that we should just go on sinning as though we have a free excuse. And, as Paul wrote in an earlier chapter, the Holy Spirit will convict us of what is right or wrong, what is sinful and Godly, because the very nature of God has been made plain to us through His creation. So if we sin, we are without excuse! But by accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior, we accept His perfect sacrifice for our sins, and are therefore accepting His death in place of our own. As Paul writes:
What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
Romans 6:1-3 (HCSB)
A New Life in Christ
But the best part comes next, because in being baptized into Christ’s death, we are also baptized and included in the resurrection, into His life. And this new life requires something more of us than how we are living.
Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life. For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in light of the fact that He lives, He lives to God. So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:4-11 (HCSB)
So what does this new way of life look like? What is it like to be in the “likeness of His resurrection”? Surely we are dead to sin, so sin has no dominion, no power, over the body. We are no longer enslaved to sin, but have power over it! We are freed from sin’s claims and the lies of the Enemy (“did God really say . . . “(fill in the blank for any promise God has made, and Satan is sure to test it and tempt you to question it!)) Death no longer rules over us! And even better is that we are considered alive to God! HALLELUJAH! The very God who created us to be living accepts us as living – we belong to HIM and can enjoy true and everlasting life in HIM!
In John 10:19, Jesus himself tells the disciples that they have been given power over the enemy: “Look, I have given you the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will ever harm you.” So PRAISE God for that! Because truly, if we are alive in Christ, we are dead to sin and it’s power, and nothing can ever harm us! We not only have power over sin, but over the enemy itself! We are untouchable!
New Life. . . What’s Next?
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:12-14 (HCSB)
Because we have been made new in Christ and have been given authority over the enemy and over sin, we are called to live new lives. “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires.” What are the ways that we sin or can allow sin to reign in us? Is it through pride, lust of the flesh and craving things (like food, money, power, or sex?), lust of the eyes, idolizing something or someone? Consider the 10 Commandments (from Exodus 20:3-17) as a basic look at your sin life and ask God to show you where you may need to focus your attention, and your prayers.
- “Do not have other gods beside Me”
- “Do not make an idol for yourself” – do not worship anything or anyone besides God
- “Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God” We serve a Holy God. His name is precious, powerful, and sacred. Do we treat it as such? How do we react when others don’t?
- “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. You must not do any work . . .” This is a hard one, for most people in today’s society. Are we sinning by putting our work and our capabilities before God’s ability to move and work in our lives? Are we putting our trust in material things, in money and in work, instead of in God and His faithful provisions?
- “Honor your father and your mother.”
- “Do not murder.” and Jesus said that even hating someone in your heart will be judged (Matthew 5)
- “Do not commit adultery.” and Jesus said even lusting with our eyes is committing adultery in our hearts (Matthew 5)
- “Do not steal.”
- “Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.”
- “Do not covet your neighbor’s house, wife, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
From Slaves of Sin to Slaves of God
What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not! Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey–either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to, and having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. I am using a human analogy because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from allegiance to righteousness. So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. But now, since you have been liberated rom sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification–and the end is eternal life! For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What is the calling of a slave, but to do what is told them by their master. A slave is stuck – they have to do what is asked of them. So here we are, slaves of God, slaves of Christ, and slaves of righteousness. Figuratively speaking, we have to do what is asked of us – we have to live righteous lives, or at least try to! And the coolest part is that we have been given the Holy Spirit (Thank you, Jesus!) to guide us, direct us, give us discernment, and lead us in this. Without the Holy Spirit’s prompting and guiding, it would be impossible to know what is right and wrong. Without the grace of God, we would literally be unable, incapable of bearing fruit and being sanctified, made holy and pure in God’s sight.
It is a process, and the point is certainly not to be perfect, as Christ alone is perfect. But through His perfection, we are made new. Don’t we become more and more like those we spend time with? So too should we spend more and more time with Jesus, seeking Him, praying to Him, worshiping Him, and reading His Word (the Bible). Praise God for His goodness and faithfulness to us! And PRAISE GOD for Romans 6:23: