Romans 6 basically deals with and trashes the false argument that says: “Oh, cool! I have been given the righteousness of God and have peace with God, so therefore I can live any way I please – I can sin recklessly because Christ justifies me.”
Paul’s main argument here is: Stop sinning because you have a new life and are dead to sin.
As we saw in our reading yesterday, one of the lavish blessings we receive through our faith in Christ is that we get to “reign in life”. Here, in chapter 6, this idea of reigning in life is spelled out in detail.
We have died to sin (verse 2) and therefore we are no longer slaves to sin (verse 6). The body that is ruled by sin has been done away with and we have “been set free from sin” (verse 7). This is a great truth in and of itself because it shows that we are no longer under the rule of sin. But there is more marvel to be had.
Not only have we died to sin, we have also been raised to LIFE just as Christ was raised from the dead (verse 4). This is a very significant truth that we must grasp and believe: We have new LIFE!
This is why Paul exhorts us in verse 11 to “count yourselves dead to sin but ALIVE to God”. You see, sin no longer has power over you because that part of you that was a slave to sin is dead. We sometimes allow ourselves to give into sin because we have forgotten that we are dead to sin. This is why Paul exhorts us to be proactive and count yourself dead to sin. We don’t have to listen to sin’s demands because we are dead to it. Remind yourself of this next time sin tries to make you do its bidding.
Not only are we dead to sin, we are gloriously ALIVE to God. We have a new LIFE. We have been brought from death to LIFE (verse 13) so we can now offer ourselves to God as “an instrument of righteousness”. We have the capacity and ability to live righteous lives because we have this new LIFE in Christ Jesus.
So, in Romans 6 we see that by grace we have not only been made righteous, but we have also been made ALIVE. Because of this we must LIVE!
In the film ‘Risen’ that we saw recently at TCC, there is a disgusting scene where all the crucified corpses have been dumped in a mass open grave. Imagine for a moment that one of those decaying corpses are miraculously brought to life. What will he do? Will he remain lying in his ‘comfortable’ spot among the other rotting stinking corpses? Or will he get up and LIVE among the living and do stuff that LIVING people do? I think, as I’m sure you do too, that he will do the latter.
So it is with you too. You have been made ALIVE in Christ, so then LIVE! Don’t offer your LIVING body to sin and death, but offer it to God and righteousness.
May God help you to count yourself dead to sin but ALIVE to God.