"THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS" Shall We Continue In Sin? (6:1-23) INTRODUCTION 1. In Romans, Paul addresses the problem of sin... a. In the first two and a half chapters, he demonstrates that all have sinned - cf. Ro 3:23 b. In the next two and a half chapters, he declares how we can be justified through faith in Jesus Christ - cf. Ro 5:1-2 c. He concludes that where sin abounded, grace abounded much more- Ro 5:20-21 2. Paul then anticipates an erroneous inference... a. "Let's continue in sin, that grace may abound!" - Ro 6:1 a. A conclusion that is repulsive to him - Ro 6:2a 3. Today, many Christians may live in reference to sin as though they had the same idea... a. Living as though there is no need to be diligent in overcoming sin b. Perhaps reasoning, "If I sin, I can simply confess and God will forgive" -- I.e., continue in sin that grace may abound! 4. Yet a careful study of the sixth chapter reveals why such a thought is absurd... a. Paul provides four reasons why we should not continue in sin b. When understood, they will prompt us to say with Paul: "Certainly not!" [Shall we continue in sin...?] I. NO! WE DIED TO SIN! (2) A. WE WERE CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST IN BAPTISM (3-4) 1. Baptism is a burial into the death of Christ 2. Baptism is where we were crucified with Christ - cf. Ro 6:6 3. Thus baptism (not repentance) is where we die to sin -- Having been crucified with Christ should impact how we live - cf. Ga 2:20 B. WE CAN NOW WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE (4-5) 1. Just as Christ rose from the grave, so we rise from baptism to walk in newness of life 2. We are now a new creation in Christ - cf. 2Co 5:17 C. WE ARE NO LONGER SLAVES OF SIN (6-7) 1. The very purpose of dying to sin in baptism, to be free from sin! 2. A point Paul will expound upon later D. WE CAN NOW LIVE WITH CHRIST (8-10) 1. Christ now lives with God in newness of life 2. Because we died with Christ, so can we! - cf. Ep 2:4-6 [The idea of being alive in Christ leads to Paul's second major point in response to the question "Shall we continue in sin?"...] II. NO! WE ARE ALIVE TO GOD! (11) A. SIN DOES NOT HAVE TO REIGN IN US (12) 1. We who were dead in sin can now choose not to let it reign in us! 2. We are no longer debtors to sin - cf. Ro 8:12-13 B. OUR BODIES CAN NOW BE INSTRUMENTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (13) 1. We can present ourselves to God... a. As alive from the dead b. As instruments of righteousness to Him 2. I.e., we can now glorify Him even with our bodies - cf. 1Co 6:19-20 C. GOD'S GRACE FREES US FROM SIN'S DOMINION (14) 1. Sin no longer needs to be our master 2. In Christ, we have been set free! - cf. Ro 8:1-2 [This freedom is not license to sin. On the contrary, consider Paul's third point in response to the question "Shall we continue in sin?"...] III. NO! WE ARE TO BE SLAVES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS! (19) A. WE ARE SLAVES TO WHATEVER WE OBEY (15-16) 1. Grace is no excuse to sin 2. We are either slaves of sin, or slaves of righteousness 3. If we continue in sin, we once again become slaves of sin!- cf. Jn 8:34 4. For Christians to continue in sin makes things worse - cf. 2 Pe 2:20-22 B. WE BECAME SLAVES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (17-18) 1. We were slaves of sin 2. But when we obeyed from the heart the doctrine (i.e., the gospel which commands baptism), we were set free from sin a. Not just sin's condemnation - cf. Ac 2:38; 22:16; Ro 8:1-2 b. But also sin's dominion - cf. Ro 8:12-13 3. We were set free from sin so we could become slaves of righteousness! C. WE ARE TO SERVE RIGHTEOUSNESS LIKE WE ONCE SERVED SIN (19) 1. We previously offered our bodies as slaves of sin 2. So now offer our bodies as slaves of righteousness for the purpose of producing holiness - cf. 1Pe 1:14-16 [Finally, we note Paul's concluding point in response to the question "Shall we continue in sin?"...] IV. NO! THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH! (23) A. THE FRUIT OF SLAVERY TO SIN IS DEATH (20-21) 1. The end of those enslaved to sin is "death" 2. Such "death" is separation from God a. Living in sin separates us from God now - cf. Isa 59:1-2 b. Dying in sin will separate us from for eternity - cf. Re 21:8 B. THE GRACE OF GOD OFFERS ETERNAL LIFE (22-23) 1. By His grace we have been set free from sin, via baptism!
- Ro 6:2-14; cf. Tit 3:4-7 2. By His grace we can now be slaves to God, through continued obedience! - Ro 6:15-19 3. By His grace we can bear the fruit of holiness, which in turn leads to eternal life! - Ro 6:22; cf. 2:4-11 CONCLUSION 1. Shall we continue in sin? a. If we understand what Paul has written in this chapter... b. ...then we will cry out with him: "Certainly not!" (NKJV) - Ro 6:2,15 2. Paul's strong response has been variously translated... a. "It is not to be thought of!" (Knox) b. "Not at all!" (Williams) c. "That be far from us!" (Conybeare) d. "Of course not!" (Phillips) e. "May it never be!" (NASB) f. "Far be it!" (Rotherham) g. "Never!" (Moffatt) h. "By no means!" (Goodspeed, NRSV) i. "Certainly not!" (NEB, NKJV) j. "Heaven forbid!" (TCNT) k. "God forbid!" (KJV, ASV) -- May we develop the same response to taking sin lightly! Have you been set free from sin...? Have you become enslaved to sin once again...? Let the grace of God deliver you from the guilt and power of sin by responding to the gospel of Jesus Christ!