Devotion Text

October 6, 2022

Romans 8 Commentary


ROMANS 1-7 COMMENTARY

ROMANS 8 COMMENTARY

vv.5-11  “Paul is drawing a contrast between two kinds of life.

“(i) There is the life which is dominated by sinful human nature; whose focus and centre is self; whose only law is its own desires; which takes what it likes where it likes. In different people that life will be differently described. It may be passion-controlled, or lust-controlled, or pride-controlled, or ambition-controlled. Its characteristic is its absorption in the things that human nature without Christ sets its heart upon.

“(ii) There is the life that is dominated by the Spirit of God. As a man lives in the air, he lives in Christ, never separated from him. As he breathes in the air and the air fills him, so Christ fills him. He has no mind of his own; Christ is his mind. He has no desires of his own; the will of Christ is his only law. He is Spirit-controlled, Christ-controlled, God-focused.

“These two lives are going in diametrically opposite directions. The life that is dominated by the desires and activities of sinful human nature is on the way to death. In the most literal sense, there is no future in it—because it is getting further and further away from God. To allow the things of the world completely to dominate life is self-extinction; it is spiritual suicide. By living it, a man is making himself totally unfit ever to stand in the presence of God. He is hostile to him, resentful of his law and his control. God is not his friend but his enemy, and no man ever won the last battle against him. […] No sooner has Paul said this than an inevitable objection strikes him. Someone may object: ‘You say that the Spirit-controlled man is on the way to life; but in point of fact every man must die. Just what do you mean?’ Paul’s answer is this. All men die because they are involved in the human situation. Sin came into this world and with sin came death, the consequence of sin. Inevitably, therefore, all men die; but the man who is Spirit-controlled and whose heart is Christ-occupied, dies only to rise again. Paul’s basic thought is that the Christian is indissolubly one with Christ. Now Christ died and rose again; and the man who is one with Christ is one with death’s conqueror and shares in that victory. The spirit-controlled, Christ-possessed man is on the way to life; death is but an inevitable interlude that has to be passed through on the way.”[1]

vv.12-13 “The lower nature does not automatically fade away when a person comes to Christ. The need to put to death the evil practices of the body is ongoing. Note as well that the way to crucify the old self is to obey the promptings of the Spirit. When we walk in fellowship with the indwelling Spirit, the desires of the lower nature are not met. For all practical purposes they are put to death. It is only when we break fellowship with the Spirit that our sinful nature is able successfully to reassert its fraudulent claim on our lives. The key to freedom from what we were is constant reliance on the active presence of the Spirit.”[2]

v.15 “Paul contrasted slavery and adoption as children. He reminded readers that in turning to Christ they were not enslaved once again to fear (cf. 2 Tim 1:7). On the contrary, the spirit they received was the consciousness that they had become adopted sons of God. Accordingly, they cried out ‘Abba, Father.’ The metaphor of adoption comes primarily, but not exclusively, from the Greco-Roman world. […] Although adoption as a legal act was not practiced in Judaism, some Old Testament customs support the view that Paul had that background in mind as well. In adoption all previous relationships are severed. The new father exercises authority over the new son, and the new son enters into the privileges and responsibilities of the natural son.  ‘Abba,’ the Aramaic word for ‘father,’ was used primarily within the family circle and in prayer (cf. Mark 14:36; Gal 4:6).” [3]

v.16 “By enabling us to cry out ‘Abba Father,’ the Spirit ‘endorses our inward conviction’ that we are children of God.  What our own spirit assures us to be true is strengthened by the powerful inward testimony of God’s Spirit. In much the same way that the hymn writer knew that Jesus lives (‘He lives within my heart’), we rest assured that we are actually members of God’s family because the same Spirit witnesses to our spirit that it is so.” [4]

v.17 “We are co-heirs with Christ. ‘All that Christ claims as his will belong to all of us as well!’  How rich in significance is the fact that we are full members of an eternal family in which God is our Father and Jesus Christ is our elder brother (cf. Heb 2:11–12). What appears to be a condition on this promised inheritance (‘if indeed’) is actually a simple statement of fact. Sharing the sufferings of Christ leads to sharing his glory. Obviously we do not share the redemptive suffering of Christ, but we do share the consequences in terms of opposition from the world he came to save (cf. Phil 3:10; 1 Pet 4:13). As members of the same family we share in the trials of life as well as the benefits.”[5]

v.19 “The creation itself is pictured as eagerly awaiting that time when the glorious future of the sons of God is realized. The personification of nature would not sound strange to those who were at home with rivers that ‘clap their hands’ and mountains that ‘sing together for joy’ (Ps 98:8; cf. Isa 55:12). Because Adam disobeyed by eating the forbidden fruit, God had cursed the ground (Gen 3:17–18; cf. 5:29). The full redemptive work of God includes the reversal of this curse.”[6]

vv.20–21 “Paul spoke of the creation being ‘subjected to frustration’ (v.20).  That was not because of some inherent fault in creation but because that is what God decided.  In punishment for his disobedience, Adam was to garner his food from ground cursed with thorns and thistles. But the curse was not permanent. The physical universe was frustrated by Adam’s sin, yet there is hope. Verse 21 states the content of that hope.  The day is coming when the created order will be set free from its bondage to decay. Freed from corruption, it will share in ‘the freedom of the glory of the children of God’ (literal translation).”[7]

v.27 “When our lack of faith undermines certainty in prayer, the Spirit himself intercedes on our behalf. So intense is his prayer that Paul described it as ‘groans that words cannot express.’

“God understands what the Spirit desires even though it is inexpressible in human terms (v.27).  God is the one who has complete access to the heart. His knowledge is direct, not dependent upon one’s ability to articulate concerns. God is a searcher of hearts and knows the desires of the Spirit as the Spirit intercedes for us. He knows that the Spirit is interceding for saints in harmony with his will.  No passage of Scripture provides greater encouragement for prayer. The Spirit comes to the aid of believers baffled by the perplexity of prayer and takes their concerns to God with an intensity far greater than we could ever imagine. Our groans (v.23) become his (v.26) as he intercedes on our behalf.”[8]

v.28 “He says that those who love God, and who are called according to his purpose, know well that God is intermingling all things for good to them. It is the experience of life for the Christian that all things do work together for good. We do not need to be very old to look back and see that things we thought were disasters worked out to our good; things that we thought were disappointments worked out to greater blessings.”[9]


[1] The Letter to the Romans. 2000, c1975 (W. Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, Ed.). The Daily study Bible series, Rev.ed. (Ro 8:12). Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.

[2] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (180). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[3] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (182). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (182). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (182). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[6] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (184). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[7] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (184). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[8] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (186). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[9] The letter to the Romans. 2000, c1975 (W. Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, Ed.). The Daily study Bible series, Rev.ed. (Ro 8:31). Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.


October 6, 2022

Romans 8:1-4

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Romans 8 Commentary

Bible Text: Romans 8:1-4 (ESV)

1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Reflection Questions

Romans 8:1-4

  • Reflect on God’s grace, “that the righteous requirement of the law [is] fulfilled in [me]” because of Jesus.  What is my response to this statement that “there is now no condemnation” for me?

Prayer


October 5, 2022

Romans 7:13-25

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Romans 7 Commentary

Bible Text: Romans 7:13-25 (ESV)

13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Reflection Questions

Romans 7:14-20

•       What does this passage show about the nature of sin?  Describe examples of people who are “of the flesh” and enslaved to sin.

•       What are some examples of “I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate”?  What is my hope against this sinful self?

Romans 7:21-25

•       What is the relationship between what’s going on “in my inner being” and “in my members”?  What is my response to this?

•       Can I identify with Apostle Paul’s sentiment expressed in vv. 24-25?


Prayer


October 4, 2022

Romans 7 Commentary


ROMANS 1-6 COMMENTARY

ROMANS 7 COMMENTARY

v.4 “By baptism we share in the death of Christ. That means that, having died, we are discharged from all obligations to the law and become free to marry again. This time we marry, not the law, but Christ. When that happens, Christian obedience becomes not an externally imposed obedience to some written code of laws, but an inner allegiance of the spirit to Jesus Christ.”[1]

vv.8-13 “Set a thing in the category of forbidden things or put a place out of bounds, and immediately they become fascinating. In that sense the law produces sin.  […]  Is, then, the law a bad thing because it actually produces sin? Paul is certain that there is wisdom in the whole sequence. (i) First he is convinced that, whatever the consequence, sin had to be defined as sin. (ii) The process shows the terrible nature of sin, because sin took a thing—the law—which was holy and just as good, and twisted it into something which served the ends of evil. The awfulness of sin is shown by the fact that it could take a fine thing and make it a weapon of evil. That is what sin does. It can take the loveliness of love and turn it into lust. It can take the honourable desire for independence and turn it into the obsession for money and for power. It can take the beauty of friendship and use it as a seduction to the wrong things. That is what Carlyle called ‘the infinite damnability of sin.’ The very fact that it took the law and made it a bridgehead to sin shows the supreme sinfulness of sin. The whole terrible process is not accidental; it is all designed to show us how awful a thing sin is, because it can take the loveliest things and defile them with a polluting touch.”[2]

vv.14-25 “Paul is baring his very soul; and he is telling us of an experience which is of the very essence of the human situation. He knew what was right and wanted to do it; and yet, somehow, he never could. He knew what was wrong and the last thing he wanted was to do it; and yet, somehow, he did. He felt himself to be a split personality. It was as if two men were inside the one skin, pulling in different directions. He was haunted by this feeling of frustration, his ability to see what was good and his inability to do it; his ability to recognize what was wrong and his inability to refrain from doing it.[3]

“When the evil impulse attacked, the Jew held that wisdom and reason could defeat it; to be occupied with the study of the word of the Lord was safety; the law was a prophylactic; at such a time the good impulse could be called up in defense.

“Paul knew all that; and knew, too, that, while it was all theoretically true, in practice it was not true. There were things in man’s human nature—that is what Paul meant by this fatal body—which answered to the seduction of sin. It is part of the human situation that we know the right and yet do the wrong, that we are never as good as we know we ought to be. At one and the same time we are haunted by goodness and haunted by sin.”[4]

vv.24-25 “Caught up in this spiritual warfare, Paul cried out: What a wretched man am I! Who is able to free me from the ‘clutches of my own sinful nature?’ (The ‘body of death’ was like a corpse that hung on him and from which he was unable to free himself.  It constantly interfered with his desire to obey the higher impulses of his new nature. Who is able to rescue the believer crying out for deliverance? The answer is, Thanks be to God, there is deliverance through Jesus Christ our Lord (v.25).  Through the death and resurrection of Christ, God has provided the power to live in the freedom of the Spirit (cf. 8:2).”[5]


[1] The Letter to the Romans. 2000, c1975 (W. Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, Ed.). The Daily study Bible series, Rev.ed. (Ro 7:7). Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.

[2] The Letter to the Romans. 2000, c1975 (W. Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, Ed.). The Daily study Bible series, Rev.ed. (Ro 7:14). Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.

[3] The Letter to the Romans. 2000, c1975 (W. Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, Ed.). The Daily study Bible series, Rev.ed. (Ro 8:1). Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.

[4] The letter to the Romans. 2000, c1975 (W. Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, Ed.). The Daily study Bible series, Rev.ed. (Ro 8:1). Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.

[5] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (171). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.


October 4, 2022

Romans 7:1-12

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Romans 7 Commentary

Bible Text: Romans 7:1-12 (ESV)

1 Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Reflection Questions

Romans 7:1-6

•       What is it that we have died to through the death of Christ, and for what purpose?

Romans 7:7-12

•       According to this passage, what may be the reason people lack personal conviction of sin? 

Romans 7:10-12

•       Is the mental agreement that “the commandment is holy and righteous and good” consistent with how I feel when the law confronts me about my utter sinfulness?


Prayer


October 3, 2022

Prayer

Our church is continuing our current devotional format, to devote Mondays and Fridays to prayer and study through Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans on Tuesdays through Thursdays. As we memorize our hymn of the month together, we pray the sentiments expressed in the hymn “Before the Throne of God Above” and the gospel truths will shine brighter in our hearts and in our lives.


“Work, work, from morning until late at night. In fact, I have so much to do that I shall have to spend the first three hours in prayer.”

Martin Luther

Prayer of Gratitude

Prayer of Supplication


Hymn of October: Before the Throne of God Above

Before the throne of God above,
I have a strong and perfect plea,
A great High Priest whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart,
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me,
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold him there, the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace.
One with Himself I cannot die;
My soul is purchased by His blood;
My life is hid with  Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God,
With Christ, my Savior and my God!

September 30, 2022

Prayer

Our church is continuing our current devotional format, to devote Mondays and Fridays to prayer and study through Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans on Tuesdays through Thursdays. As we memorize our hymn of the month together, we pray the sentiments expressed in the hymn “And Can It Be” and the gospel truths will shine brighter in our hearts and in our lives.


“…[The] Word supplies us with material for prayer and encourages us in expecting everything from God.”

Andrew Murray

Prayer of Gratitude

Prayer of Supplication


Hymn of September

And Can It Be

Verse 1

And can it be that I should gain

An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?

Died He for me, who caused His pain?

For me, who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! how can it be

That Thou, my God, should die for me?

(Chorus)

Amazing love! How can it be

That Thou, my God, should die for me!

Verse 2

He left His Father’s throne above,

So free, so infinite His grace;

Emptied Himself of all but love,

And bled for Adam’s helpless race.

‘Tis mercy all, immense and free;

O praise my God, it reaches me.

Verse 3

Long my imprisoned spirit lay

Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;

Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,

I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;

My chains fell off, my heart was free;

I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

Verse 4

No condemnation now I dread;

Jesus and all in Him is mine!

Alive in Him, my living Head,

And clothed in righteousness divine;

Bold I approach th’eternal throne

And claim the crown,

Through Christ, my own.

Words by Charles Wesley, 1738;

Music by Thomas Campbell

September 29, 2022

Romans 6:15-23

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Romans 6 Commentary

Bible Text: Romans 6:15-23 (ESV)

15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!

16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Reflection Questions

Romans 6:15-18

  • Am I in agreement that I am a slave to whom I obey?  Am I a slave to sin or to righteousness?
  • Am I “obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which [I was] committed”?  In what ways have I experienced being “set free from sin”?

Romans 6:21-23

  • Spend some time thanking God for setting me free from sin and for his gift of eternal life.

Prayer


September 28, 2022

Romans 6:8-14

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Romans 6 Commentary

Bible Text: Romans 6:8-14 (ESV)

8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Reflection Questions: Romans 6:8-14

  • Reflect on the words “consider yourselves dead to sin,” “let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body” “do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness.”  How is this true of my life?
  • In contrast, how have I experienced being “alive to God in Christ Jesus”?  In what ways have I been able to offer myself to God as an instrument for righteousness?

Prayer


September 27, 2022

Romans 6 Commentary


ROMANS 1-5 COMMENTARY

ROMANS 6 COMMENTARY

v.1  “Paul had just written (in Rom 5:20) that where there is an increase in sin there is an even greater increase in grace. So the question was bound to arise, Why not continue in sin so the greatness of God’s grace may be seen more fully? The question may have arisen from antinomian sources that purposively misconstrued the doctrine of justification by faith as providing an excuse for a sinful lifestyle. Against such a perverted inference W. Barclay writes, ‘How despicable it would be for a son to consider himself free to sin, because he knew that his father would forgive.’ ”[1]

vv.2-3  “The answer to the rhetorical question is a resounding ‘By no means!’  How could it be possible for those who have died to sin to continue to live in it?  Death separates. Death to sin removes the believer from the control of sin. This truth finds expression throughout Paul’s writings (Rom 6:6, 11; Col 3:5; cf. 1 Pet 2:24). The text does not say that sin dies to the believer; it is the believer who has died to sin. Origen, the most influential theologian of the ante-Nicene period, described death to sin in this way: ‘To obey the cravings of sin is to be alive to sin; but not to obey the cravings of sin or succumb to its will, this is to die to sin.’  Sin continues in force in its attempt to dominate the life and conduct of the believer. But the believer has been baptized into Christ, and that means to have been baptized into Christ’s death as well.  Christ’s death for sin becomes our death to sin.”[2]

vv.6-7  “Our confidence in a resurrected life rests upon the fact that our old self was nailed to the cross with Jesus. We were ‘crucified with him’ (v.6). Believers, by definition, are those who by their union with Christ died with him on the cross. That death had a definite purpose in the spiritual life history of the believer. We were crucified in order that our sinful nature might be stripped of its power. […]  Death fulfills the demands of sin.  But death opens the way for resurrection. Resurrection lies beyond the control of death. It is the victor over death. With the old self rendered powerless, it is no longer necessary for a person to continue in bondage to sin. In Christ we are set free. Since sin exhausted itself in bringing about death, from that point forward it is powerless to overcome new life.”[3]

v.11  “Christ is our example. By his death he ended once for all his relationship to sin. Now he lives forever in unbroken fellowship with God. ‘In the same way,’ wrote Paul, we are to consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God (cf. 1 Pet 2:24). When Christ died for sin, he also died to sin. Now we are to take our place with him and regard sin as something to which we also have died. Paul was not suggesting that we imitate Christ. He was speaking of a reality that took place when we by faith were incorporated into Christ. Our responsibility is to take with all seriousness the fact that in Christ we have died to sin. Fitzmyer writes: ‘Ontologically united with Christ through faith and baptism, Christians must deepen their faith continually to become more and more psychologically aware of that union.’ We are to consider ourselves ‘dead to the appeal and power of sin’ and alive to God through our union with Christ Jesus.”[4]

v.12-14 “Christianity is not an emotional experience; it is a way of life. The Christian is not meant to luxuriate in an experience however wonderful; he is meant to go out and live a certain kind of life in the teeth of the world’s attacks and problems. It is common in the world of religious life to sit in church and feel a wave of feeling sweep over us. It is a not uncommon experience, when we sit alone, to feel Christ very near. But the Christianity which has stopped there, has stopped half-way. That emotion must be translated into action. Christianity can never be only an experience of the inner being; it must be a life in the marketplace.

“When a man goes out into the world, he is confronted with an awesome situation. As Paul thinks of it, both God and sin are looking for weapons to use. God cannot work without men. If he wants a word spoken, he has to get a man to speak it. If he wants a deed done, he has to get a man to do it. If he wants a person encouraged, he has to get a man to do the lifting up. It is the same with sin; every man has to be given the push into it. Sin is looking for men who will by their words or example seduce others into sinning. It is as if Paul was saying: ‘In this world there is an eternal battle between sin and God; choose your side.’ We are faced with the tremendous alternative of making ourselves weapons in the hand of God or weapons in the hand of sin.

“A man may well say: ‘Such a choice is too much for me. I am bound to fail.’ Paul’s answer is: ‘Don’t be discouraged and don’t be despairing; sin will not lord it over you.’ Why? Because we are no longer under law but under grace. Why should that make all the difference? Because we are no longer trying to satisfy the demands of law but are trying to be worthy of the gifts of love. We are no longer regarding God as the stern judge; we are regarding him as the lover of the souls of men. […] At best, the law restrains a man through fear, but love redeems him by inspiring him to be better than his best. The inspiration of the Christian comes, not from the fear of what God will do to him, but from the inspiration of what God has done for him.”[5]

v.23 “It all comes down to this: the wages paid by sin are death, but the gift God gives is eternal life (v.23).[6] Not only is the contrast between death and life but also between earning and giving. Sinners earn what they receive. By obeying the impulses of sin, they are storing up the reward for sinning. Their severance check is death—eternal separation from God, who alone is life. By yielding to the impulses of righteousness, believers do not earn anything. They do, however, receive a gift—the gift of eternal life, which comes by faith through Jesus Christ their Lord.” [7]


[1] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (148). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[2] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (148). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[3] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (151). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (152). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] The Letter to the Romans. 2000, c1975 (W. Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, Ed.). The Daily study Bible series, Rev.ed. (Ro 6:15). Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.

[6] Some have suggested that χάρισμα (“gift”) in this verse may refer to the donativum, or “bounty,” such as a new emperor might distribute to the army on his accession to the throne (Black, Romans, 93).

[7] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (158). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.


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