Romans- Session 6- Romans 6:1-14

Session 6- Freed

Romans 6:1-14

Lesson Resources:

  • Video Summary

 

Subject:  Freedom

Central Theme:  Freedom in Christ

Objective Sentence: We can experience freedom in Christ by living out belief in three realities.

Keyword:  Realities

Reality #1- I am dead to sin.  V.1-7.

Reality #2- I am alive in Christ.  V.8-11.

Reality #3- I am a tool of righteousness.  V.12-14.

 

Introduction:

Connection:

  • Discussion Question: What is your favorite birthday memory?
  • Some may feel that birthdays were more fun when they were younger. Others may still have a good time on their birthdays even though they are getting older.
  • Either way, your birthday was a pretty important event in that it affects the rest of your life. Without a date of birth you can’t really have any other date on your calendar.  Without a birth in your history, you have no calendar!
  • But it doesn’t mean it is the end. It is the beginning.  Because of your birth, a lot of other things can and must happen.
  • Healthy things grow and mature. If there is no growth then something is wrong.

Tension:

  • We have been learning in Romans that we are made right with God by faith.
  • When we trust in Christ as Savior, what Jesus called being “born again”, we are declared righteous because of Christ’s righteousness.
  • But just as our date of birth is important and effects everything else in our life, it is not the end. It is the beginning.
  • The new birth that comes by being justified by faith means that we can have freedom in Christ.
  • In today’s text, Paul makes the case that we can have freedom in Christ because of three realities that are true for all who know Christ as Savior.

We can experience freedom in Christ by living out belief in three realities.

Reality #1- I am dead to sin.  V.1-7.

Rom 6:1-2 (KJV)

1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

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

 

Explanation:

  • It is very common in the book of Romans for Paul to preemptively provide arguments to the objections his reader may have.
  • Up until this point He has been making a real case for justification by faith.
    • To summarize this case, let us say that we cannot be saved by our good works.
    • When we violate any one part of the law we violate the whole thing.
    • Our good deeds cannot outweigh our sins.
    • As sinners our works cannot justify us before a Holy God.
    • So God provided His Son to keep the law on our behalf.
    • He punished His own Son for our sins on the cross.
    • The blood of Christ atoned for our sin and saved us from the wrath of God for our sin.
    • We are now justified by faith in Christ.
    • Our new position before God, when we trust in Jesus, is a position of grace.  We have an unmerited favor with God because of what Christ has done.
  • So what’s the objection one may have to this? It is characterized in verse 1.
    • Someone may say, “If I’m good at sinning, and God is good at forgiving, and sinning, although bad, allows for forgiveness and grace, which is good, then maybe God and I have a good partnership?! I keep doing what I’m good at (sinning) and God will keep doing what He’s good at (grace)!”.
    • Thought of another way, some have argued against the Gospel because they say that if they were to believe that your saved by faith you can just live however you want and it doesn’t matter.
  • Paul’s argument against this is pretty strong.
  • In verse 2 he says “God forbid.” The English translators use this phrase because they wanted to denote how strongly Paul objected to this. A more literal translation of this phrase is “may it never be”.
  • The point is that Paul couldn’t more strongly disagree with this assessment of the Gospel of grace through faith. Why? Because it leaves out a crucial point.
  • Paul says that when we get saved we are “dead to sin”.
  • In the coming verses we’ll study the rest of this text that explains what this means.
  • For now, let us just say that when we get saved some amazing things happen in us and not just for us.
  • God sends His Holy Spirit to indwell every believer at the moment of salvation.
  • His Spirit cannot leave.
  • If you are saved you are indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
  • The Bible says that every person that knows Christ as Savior is a new creation.

2Co 5:17 (KJV)

17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

  • God is doing something incredible in us when we get saved.
  • It doesn’t mean that we will become sinless, but it does mean that our desires change.
  • Our relationship with our sin changes, because our relation to God has changed.
  • We are dead to sin.

 

Application:

  • It may be hard to believe on some days that we are dead to sin.
  • But just as we are saved by faith, God desires us to live by faith.  We must trust God in moments of temptation to help us to consider ourselves dead to sin.
  • We must strive to discipline ourselves against the very thing that put Christ on the cross.  We should not live any longer therein!

Response:

  • Is there a sin that you’re struggling with?  The answer should be yes in the sense that we all will fight sin until we get to heaven.
  • What’s the proper response? Repentance and confession.   Take some time to do that today!

Continue with me in verse 3…

Romans 6:3-4  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.

 

Explanation:

  • In this text Paul uses baptism as an illustration of what happens to our relationship with sin when we are saved.
  • When we come to know Christ as Savior we are “in Christ.”
  • Our identity with Christ means that we identify with his person, death, burial, and resurrection.
  • This means that as those who identify with Christ, we are dead to sin.
  • Our old selves are identified with sin, but our new life is in Christ.
  • We are no longer slaves to sin.  We are no longer under sins power.
  • Now we walk in newness of life.
  • This doesn’t mean that we no longer sin.  Until heaven we will not be sinless.
  • What it does mean is that sin is no longer our master.  It is no longer our identity.  Christ is our identity.

 

Application:

  • If you don’t know Christ as Savior, sin is still your master.  God wants to free you from sin, and make you alive in Christ.
  • If you do know Christ as your Savior, we are going to see in the coming verses that we must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ.  Since Christ died for our sins, and we are identified with him, we must forsake sin, and by faith ask God to help us walk in newness of life.

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  (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.

Romans 6:5-7

Explanation:

  • What incredible joy this passage is bringing to those who read it and believe. This text should absolutely astound us.
  • Paul is saying that justification is not just some legal matter between us and God.
  • Yes, God declares us righteous based on Christ’s imputed righteousness to us through His obedience in life and death, and through the power of His resurrection.
  • But this declaration has real world implications in our life right now.
    • For those of us who have been justified, we have a new reality.
    • We have a new life.
    • We have a new relationship both with God and with sin.
    • Our relationship to sin is characterized with the death and burial of Jesus Christ.
    • Sin’s power doesn’t automatically overpower us anymore.
    • Our relationship to God is characterized by Christ’s resurrection.
    • If the old man of sin has been crucified with Christ on the cross, then the new man of righteousness has now been made alive in the likeness of His resurrection.
    • Now we don’t have to serve sin. We can serve the Lord.
    • Why? “For he that is dead is freed from sin.”

 

Application:

  • One of the tough things about applying this passage is that often this reality isn’t felt by many professing Christians. We still sin. Sin doesn’t always feel dead in us. Why?
    • One reason it could be this way is that someone hasn’t been justified. Maybe they don’t feel free from sin because they have never placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
    • As a believer, you may not feel free from sin because you are continuing to serve sin instead of Christ. Even though you are free from sin as a master, you’re not considering yourself dead to sin.
    • We’ll talk more about this in the next few verses. Just as justification is by faith, so sanctification happens by faith as well.

Reality #2- I am alive in Christ.  V.8-11.

Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  (9)  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  (10)  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  (11)  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 6:8-11

 

Explanation:

  • Paul continues to think through the implications of Christ’s death and resurrection.
  • The crucifixion of Christ lead to his resurrection.
  • Death no longer has power over Christ.
  • He only had to pay for sin one time.
  • Sin’s consequence is death, and since sin has been paid for sin is no longer demands the death of Christ.  Death has no power over him.
  • It is the same for us that are in Christ.
  • So Paul makes this incredible statement in one key word.  The word is “reckon”.  Strongs concordence defines the word translated “reckon, λογίζομαι (logizomai) this way:

to take an inventory, that is, estimate (literally or figuratively): – conclude, (ac-) count (of), + despise, esteem, impute, lay, number, reason, reckon, suppose, think (on).

 

  • It’s an accounting term.
  • Paul is saying when you estimate yourself in relationship to sin, run the numbers, and come to the right conclusion.
  • You and I who are in Christ are dead to sin.  We are also alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • Justification doesn’t just lead us to right standing, it leads us to right living.
  • We’re not just positionally right with God, now we’ve been given the power of God to be alive to Christ and dead to sin.

Application:

  • The problem with “reckoning” ourselves dead to sin is that we must believe this truth by faith.
  • Just as we are justified by faith, we must also be sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ.
  • You may not feel dead to sin in the moment, but it’s precisely in that moment of temptation where we must consider ourselves dead to sin.
  • “I’m dead to that.”  These 4 words might be exactly the right words to say by faith when temptation comes.

 

Reality #3- I am a tool of righteousness.  V.12-14.

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  (13)  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  (14)  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.  Romans 6:12-14

Explain:

  • One of the most important interpretive words in Paul’s epistles is the word translated “therefore”.
  • He is tying what He is saying or about to say to what has been said. So, what has been said?
  • Because we have been justified by faith we are no longer slaves to sin. We are dead to sin and alive to Christ.
  • It is on this basis then that Paul says, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lust thereof.”
  • When we reckon, or consider, or estimate that we are dead to sin, then sin no longer dominates in our bodies. We no longer have to be obedient to sin.
  • We don’t offer our bodies up to sin to be used to do sinful things.
  • Rather, since we are alive to God, we offer our bodies up to him to do righteously.
  • So the grace that is given, by faith, through justification leads us to righteousness, since it breaks the power of sin. Sin doesn’t dominate our lives any longer. Now we are dominated by the grace of God.

Apply:

  • By saying “let not” Paul implies that a believer can still allow sin to dominate him at times, even though as a believer we are dead to sin.
  • Have you ever been there? I’m sure you have.
  • As believers, we must choose by faith to reckon ourselves dead to sin. We must consider ourselves alive to God, and rely on His power to help us fight temptation.

 

Respond:

  • Today, let these words be on the tip of your tongue:
    • – No.
    • – I’m dead to that.
    • – Lord, please help me to reckon myself dead to sin, and alive to you!

 

Conclusion:

We can experience freedom in Christ by living out belief in three realities.

Reality #1- I am dead to sin.  V.1-7.

Reality #2- I am alive in Christ.  V.8-11.

Reality #3- I am a tool of righteousness.  V.12-14.

 

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