Posted On June 22, 2021

Dead to Sin

by | Jun 22, 2021 | Featured, Romans

Romans 6:1-2, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”

Without a doubt, Paul is used to fielding objections to the Gospel, especially those having to do with the law of God. Already in Romans we have seen him dealing with hypothetical objections because of his teaching that the law does not save. Now, as we come to Romans 6, he pauses again for the same reason, recognizing that his assertion that “where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” might lead someone to the seemingly logical conclusion that engaging in sin is actually a good thing because it causes grace to increase. Is this true? Certainly not, Paul replies, and sets out to put the question of the law to rest once and for all. In chapter 6, he will deal with antinomianism, the notion that believers can live lives ungoverned by the law, and in chapter 7 he will show the purpose of the law in light of the Gospel.

Dr. James M. Boice points out that the doctrine of the triumph of grace can lead to righteousness or to sinful conduct. But the latter course, while logical on the surface, really is nonsensical, for a number of reasons Paul already has laid out—it defies God’s plan to save people from the guilt, penalty, and practice of sin; we are in Christ, and He cannot be the source of sin; and the reign of grace delivers us from sin’s bondage (for grace to increase, sin must decrease). But the greatest reason is, as Paul puts it, we have “died to sin.”

There are many misconceptions about this phrase, as Boice notes. Some say Paul meant that believers are no longer responsive to sin, that they should die to sin, that they are dying to sin, that they have renounced sin, or that they have died to sin’s guilt. But the Greek verb translated “died” indicates a single action completed in the past. We have died to sin, just as Jesus did (6:10). While He lived upon the earth, He was in sin’s realm, subject to temptation. But when He died, He left that realm forever. It is the same for us. “As a result of our union with Christ in His death and resurrection, that old life of sin in Adam is past for us also,” Boice writes. “We can never go back to it. We have been brought from that old life, the end of which was death, into a new life, the end of which is righteousness.” We have been changed forever by God. We have been born again, and we can no more become what we were man an adult can become a child again. We must go forward in the Christian life, living lives of holiness.

Coram Deo

At times, our growth as Christians seems painfully slow. Sin entices us; discouragement stymies us. We may be tempted to give up. But that is not an option. One who is truly born again simply cannot return to a life of complacent sinfulness—God will not let him. Look to Him for grace and press on toward the goal of Christlikeness.

Dead to Sin, Copyright (2021), Ligonier Ministries.

Related Posts

Salvation Draws Near

Salvation Draws Near

Romans 13:11, “Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.” We fulfill the law of God through our love of Him and our neighbor (Rom. 13:8-10), but Paul is clear that...

What it Means That The Word of God is Alive

What it Means That The Word of God is Alive

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks Dave, “What Does it Mean That the Word of God Is Alive?” What you’ll hear in this episode God’s Living Word. God’s Penetrating Word. God’s All-Sufficient Word. Subscribing, sharing, and your feedback You can subscribe...

Fulfilling the Law

Fulfilling the Law

Romans 13:8-10, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment,...

The Deceitful Heart

The Deceitful Heart

“Follow your heart” is something that we hear all too often in this day and age. Initially, this statement seems like good advice, but is it really biblical? Should we follow our hearts, or is there something else that we need to follow? If we are to answer this...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reddit
Share
Email
Buffer
Tweet