Romans Bible Study #20
Romans Chapter 6:1-11
Phrase: “In Christ”
1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7for he who has died is freed from sin.
8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (NASB)
1-3So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we've left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn't you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!
3-5That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we're going in our new grace-sovereign country.
6-11Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin's every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ's sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That's what Jesus did. (The Message)
Verse 1,2 If we are really paying attention to and believing what Paul has been saying in the preceding chapters, (it sounds something like this, “By Grace through faith you have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. His righteousness saved you and the same power and love by grace through faith will keep you, the power of sin is overcome by the power of grace.) we are led to this question. “So do we just sin and sin and sin, and let God’s grace be all the more amazing.” Paul now sounds like every exasperated teacher who has ever stood in front of a class and had a student ask a question, that demonstrates, beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have become terribly lost at some point. He launches into these verses to show exactly what he meant and begins the 3 chapter teaching on how to “walk out”/live the Christian life, which is, the process of sanctification.
An important point is that we are not moving from death to life, death is defeated and life is given. At its root Christianity is not a reforming, educating or improving of the old man, it is the death of the old man and the ever-growing reception of the life of the new man.
Verse 3,4Baptism was key in the early church, it seems you got saved and you got baptized, there was not a lot of time in between. I agree with those who say it is symbolic, but Paul goes beyond that and says there is a very real, powerful change taking place ‘in the Spirit.’ Sin does not reign in you anymore, it doesn’t cast the the deciding vote in your decisions. So baptism is not itself grace, but it is a means of receiving grace. The new life of Jesus living in you is more real than the sin, the life He gives is more powerful than death. His life is like that amazingly powerful “energy thing” in Ironman’s chest that allows him to power all those amazing devices. One with the life of Jesus, we venture out into the world with a sure and true compass, a mighty unsinkable ship, and a power supply fit for every need. These truths from Romans 6 launch us out into the Christian life, of course, we will run into the wall of Romans 7 next, but Romans 8 will show us the way to surmount that wall. This book, this study, is all about the “great things” of this life, sports, entertainment, whatever else pale in comparison to spending time seeking God, seeking understanding, seeking truth through this letter. We, by taking time to do this are giving ourselves to something CRITICAL to our lives, our families and the church, most other things absolutely pale in comparison.
One of my sons struggles with self-esteem issues, and we have in verses 3-8, the Biblical answer to self-esteem issues. God ‘reckoned’ you to be ‘in Adam’ from your birth, after your ‘new birth’ God reckons you to be “in Christ.” YOU did not do anything to be “in Adam” and you cannot do anything to be “in Christ” it is a work of God. Your vileness and total separation from God was real and complete, but once born again, your beauty and union with God is given as a gift, the beginning of a love relationship process. Your self-esteem needs to be found in what God has done for you, the sin that He has and is covering and the love that He has and is showing. Grades, appearance, people’s opinions, athletic ability, intelligence are all sinking sand, “Jesus loves me this I know” is a solid rock on which to build biblical self-esteem.
“In Christ” becomes the theme and Paul uses it over and over to describe the ultimate blessing of the Christian life, being “in Christ.” Many blessings flow from that blessing.
Rom 3:24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
Rom 6:11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Rom 6:23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rom 8:1Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Rom 8:2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
Rom 8:39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1Cr 1:2To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
1Cr 1:4I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,
1Cr 1:30But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
1Cr 15:22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
2Cr 2:14But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.
2Cr 5:17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Gal 3:14in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Gal 3:26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Phl 4:19And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Verse 5 Tribulation comes into our life from God. We apprehend His increase in our decrease.
Death gives way to resurrection, blindness gives way to sight. His strength becomes more real in our weakness. “Our negative, known, human existence, so little conformed to Jesus, is filled with hope by the positive and secret power of resurrection.” Barth
Gal. 6:17 From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.
2 Cor. 4:10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
Phil. 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
Col. 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions.
Verse 6,7 We are still in our body and that body is still a body of sin. But now it is like a fish out of water. It does not have the ultimate power in our lives. Our ultimate power is invisible, and by that invisible power we 'starve out’ the visible.
Verse 8-11 Again we died - past tense and we shall also live - future tense. This is no supposition, it is reality. Faith is knowing what God knows. His death and so our 'death’ is a once and done event, but His life is a life that liveth, that goes on and on. It is His Life that is our “jumping off” point for sanctification. But it is also that Life that is the power that allows us to continue in the process of sanctification. He is our sanctification.
1 Cor. 1:29 so that no man may boast before God.
30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
31 so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."