Monday, October 22, 2007

Romans, Chapter 6

In the last chapter of Romans we discussed on Friday Paul ended by suggesting that the more sin we have in our lives, the more grace is increased for all of us. I have used the extreme example of Hitler before in the blog to illustrate the point of grace. I like extreme examples like this, because they illustrate well the point I am trying to make. Even someone as evil and misguided as him could not have been separated from grace if he had accepted God's gift of salvation. That shows in human terms the depth of the grace of god, but what does it truly mean? Does that mean we have the license to continue sinning, flying in the face of God because we are given an unlimited amount of grace for our sins? As we see in Romans 6 the answer is no.

"1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." – Romans 6:1-4

It is hard to understand in human terms, but once we accept Christ into our hearts there is a spiritual transformation that occurs severing us from our old ways. We do not become perfect and therefore incapable of sin. We do, however, begin to live a life where we are directed away from sin. We are baptized into the perfect life of Jesus, so therefore we begin to live a new life through Him. As we grow and walk with Him we gradually grow away from our old lives and see certain aspects for what they were. It is a transformation that happens in our heart and while we are still subject to falling, we recognize the grace we are given and begin to walk in that light away from sin.

"11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace." – Romans 6:11-14

As we see beginning here and through the second half of the chapter, we merely switch our form of slavery from darkness to light when we accept the grace of Jesus Christ. Sin is no longer our master, but Christ is, and with that comes a new form of bondage and a new set of responsibilities. We are instructed to fight the evil desires of our own bodies, and even though we may falter from time to time, we are given the ultimate victory through grace.

"16Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness." – Romans 6:16-18

Once we become slaves to righteousness we find that sin does not have any power over us. We may occasionally fall away, but if our true master is Christ and He is in our hearts we will always find our way back to Him. That is the beauty of grace. This does not mean we will have an easy life once we accept his grace, but it does mean that we have an advocate for us at all times. We are at least pointed in the right direction, and we will continue to grow in faith.


  1. How can we sin once we are slaves to righteousness?
  2. What is the point of grace if we are imperfect and can still sin?
  3. What does it really mean to be a slave to righteousness?

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