Daily Devotion Text

September 27, 2022

Romans 6 Commentary

By gracepoint In Devotion Text, Romans with Comments Off on 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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