What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 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. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
- We are not to continue to sin.
- We have died to sin.
- When we were baptized, we were baptized into Christ Jesus death.
- We were buried with Christ Jesus by baptism.
- Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father.
- We were buried by baptism so we might have in a new life.
- We have been united with Christ in death.
- We will be united with Christ Jesus in resurrection.
- We will have a resurrection just like Christ Jesus’ if we have been united with Him in death.
- Our old self was crucified with Christ.
- Our old self was crucified with Christ so the body of sin might become nothing.
- The body of sin became nothing so we would no longer be a slave to it.
- One, who has died to sin, is free from sin.
- Since we have been buried with Christ our body of sin has died we are free from sin.
- Since we have died with Christ we live with Him.
- Christ was raised from the dead
- Christ will never die again.
- Death has no authority over Christ.
- Christ died to sin once and for all.
- The life Christ lives is lived to God.
- We must consider ourselves dead to sin.
- We must consider ourselves alive to God in Christ Jesus.
- We are not to let sin reign in us.
- We are not to obey our passions.
- We are not to allow sin to use us as an instrument for unrighteousness.
- We are to present ourselves to God.
- We have been brought from death to life.
- We are to be present ourselves to God as an instrument of righteousness.
- Sin has no authority over us.
- We are not under law.
- We are under grace.
Paul concluded chapter 5 by saying, “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” Therefore, we could draw the inference that we should let sin increase, the more sin, the more grace. Grace is a good thing and we want more of it, so, let’s sin more. Paul addresses this head on by saying, are you nuts! Okay, that is my paraphrase, but I think it captures the thought. Paul has just completed nearly 3 chapters where he talks about how we justly deserve God’s wrath because of our sin.
Whoever sins certainly lives in sin and has not died to it. We, who have been redeemed, have died to sin through the grace of Christ. Whatever abolishes sin does not strengthen it. It would certainly be strange inversion of the work of God if sin were to gain strength on account of His grace. Grace is offered to us, to free us from sin. A medicine does not feed the disease. It destroys it.
In verse 3, “all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death,” Paul talks about the effect of baptism. Baptism is not a sign. We were buried with Christ in our baptism. Our old nature, our sinful nature, is crucified with Christ. Baptism is not getting wet. Baptism is a work of the Holy Spirit .
Paul does not simply say we are to imitate Christ, as if He were simply an example to follow. Paul says the death of Christ destroys and demolishes our old nature. The resurrection rebuilds a new and better nature. And by baptism we participate in this new nature by grace. This is the same teaching he gives the Galatians in Galatians 3:27, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
In verse 5 Paul says we have been united with Christ in a death like Christ’s. Since we have been united with Christ, we will be united in a resurrection like Christ’s. There is a twofold meaning here. First we die to the flesh and are alive in Christ. That is, Paul is speaking spiritually. The second meaning is that Christ died physically. We will die physically, like Christ. But Christ rose physically from the dead as we, who are in Christ, will rise physically from the dead also. Our old nature has died with Christ. And we are no longer slaves to sin. We have been set free.
Christ died once and will never die again. He subjected Himself to death’s power and in doing so destroyed death forever. We receive the benefit of Christ work. We are free from the yoke of death. We know that because Christ Jesus lives we too will live. Christ now lives to the glory of God. Through the work of Christ, we too can realize our purpose, to glorify God. When Paul says Christ died to sin, he does not mean Christ stopped sinning. That would be how it would apply to us. Rather Paul is saying Christ suffered death on account of sin.
Since Christ died for us to bring glory to God and since we receive such benefits from God we ought to live for Him. Our bodies are not to be used for sin or unrighteousness. Rather we are to stand before holy and righteous God as ones who realize what Christ has done for us. Our bodies are simply instruments. They can be used for righteousness or unrighteousness. We are to present our bodies to God as instruments to be used for righteousness. We can do this because sin, which once had authority over us no longer has any authority over us. We have been placed under grace and no longer do we suffer under the law.
If you are a Christian, there must appear evidence of such. The fruit of the death and resurrection of Christ is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) Because you may find remnants of the flesh in our lives does not mean you have not been crucified with Christ. But the increase of the fruit ought to be labored for.
Though sin dwells within us, we should not allow it to exercise power over us. Even though we may know we are no longer under the authority of sin, we often do not except it. As a result we still allow sin to control us. Even though sin has no authority we often act as if it does. Let me give an example of how something can affect us even though it has no authority and in fact you have authority over it. I was a Marine Corps Officer. All Marine Corps officers go through program called Platoon Leadership Class (PLC). The whole purpose of PLC is to wash out officer candidates who cannot withstand the pressure of command in combat. Less than half of the class that I started with graduated. If you graduation from PLC you are offered a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. After I accepted my commission, and was an officer in the Marine Corps, there came a time when I had reason to go back to where I attended PLC. As soon as I went through the gates to the camp I noticed my heart rate jumped. My anxiety level increased. Why? I was no longer under the authority of any Drill Instructor. In fact, as a commissioned officer, the Drill Instructors were now under my authority. But nonetheless my physical reaction to being back where I went through such an intense the program, where they were trying to wash me out and make me quit still took its toll on me, even though I was now the one in authority. Sin has the same effect on us. We are no longer under its authority. We know it. But often we do not accept that fact. We feel sin has authority over us. We feel compelled to act or behave in a certain way. Paul here is reminding us that we are no longer under the authority of sin no matter what it may feel like.
We are to live according to reality of freedom in Christ, not the illusion of being a slave to sin.