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Romans Chapter​​ 6

Rick Moffett​​ 




Note –​​ As noted before, do not let the chapter break cause you to misunderstand what Paul is saying. In this first verse, he is asking the question which he anticipates from his readers in response to​​ Rom. 5:20.



V1​​ What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin So that grace may increase?


Summary –​​ What conclusion are we to draw then? ​​ Should we continue to live under the reign of the power of sin, just so God’s grace may be more fully demonstrated?


Note -​​ The word​​ sin​​ is used as a noun here and in every verse in chapters six and seven except for​​ v6:15. As previously discussed, when​​ sin​​ is used as a noun, it refers to a power or governing principle that desires to control us.​​ For a better understanding of this, please read​​ Controlling Power of Sin​​ on this website.​​ 


Comments – “Man will just continue to sin” is a common objection to grace living. Those who don’t understand God’s grace and what happens​​ to​​ a person​​ at his spiritual regeneration will frequently state that grace is like giving​​ a person​​ a “license to sin”. As I heard Bob George say, “Man is doing a pretty good job of sinning without a license!”


Additional Notes



V2 May it never be How shall we who died to sin still live in it?​​ 


Summary -​​ Paul is saying in response to his own rhetorical question​​ (v1), “No way! How can we still live under the reign of the power of sin when we have died to it, i.e., we have been set free from its power?

Note –​​ From here in​​ v2​​ through​​ v10​​ Paul gives the reasons why we should not continue to live under the power of sin.​​ 


Comments –​​ The desire of the new man in Christ​​ is​​ not “to continue in sin”. The new man in Christ is no longer suited for sin; to do so will always produce inner conflict.​​ 


This verse is frequently​​ misunderstood​​ to mean the following​​ 


  • Christians can never sin again.

  • Christians must do something to continually die to sin daily.

  • Sin (and its power) has died.


Note -​​ Keep in mind that our union with Christ’s death, burial,​​ and resurrection mentioned in this chapter is referring to what happened to our human spirit the moment we received Christ by faith. This is commonly referred to as our union with Christ or our identification with Christ


Additional Notes



V3​​ Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?​​ 


Summary –​​ Paul is asking, “Are you continually ignorant of the truth that when you were​​ baptized (placed into) Christ you were baptized​​ (placed into)​​ his death?”.​​ It would be appropriate to say we are “in union” with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, thus, we are in union with His life, His eternal life!


Comments –​​ Paul explaining why they were dead to sin​​ (v2), reminds them of something they should already know – that they were baptized into Christ’s death.​​ 


The word​​ baptism​​ means​​ -​​ to dip; to immerse; to wash; to submerge; to place into.​​ Contrary to the belief of many, this verse is not referring to water baptism. Don’t always think of water when you read/hear the word “baptism”. Here are a few biblical examples of baptisms other than water. –


  • Into Moses –​​ 1 Cor. 10:2

  • Into Christ’s suffering –​​ Mark 10:38; Luke 12:50

  • Into one body –​​ 1 Cor. 12:13

  • Into Christ –​​ Gal. 3:26-27

  • In the Holy Spirit –​​ John 1:33


What does it mean to be baptized into Christ? ​​​​ 


Here in Romans, Paul is referring to a spiritual baptism by which we have become one spirit with Christ Jesus and thus, are made to share in his death, burial, and resurrection. This spiritual baptism occurs the moment we receive Christ by faith. It is not some “second blessing” that occurs​​ after​​ receiving Christ. It is the joining​​ or uniting​​ of our new, born-again human spirit with that of Christ’s spirit. Paul, later in this letter​​ (v5), speaks of this as our union with Christ.  ​​​​ 


But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit​​ with Him.​​ 1 Corinthians 6.17​​ Also​​ John 17:20-23; Eph. 2:5​​ 


Additional Notes




V4 Therefore 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.


Summary -​​ Paul logically concludes that since we died with Christ​​ (v3), we were also buried with him. But that’s not all! We were also resurrected with Christ to the glory of God. Now we can live every moment of every day​​ in union​​ with Christ​​ who is​​ our new life.​​ (Col. 3:4)


Comments –​​ What does a burial suggest?​​ It suggests finality. Seeing someone’s body closed up in a casket and lowered into the ground has a way of making you realize that the person’s life on earth is really over; that person is not coming back. Perhaps that is what Paul is trying to communicate here as well. Our old spirit that was separated from God (dead to God and energized by Satan), has died and been buried; and he (our old spirit) is not coming back!​​ 


For our old spirit to be resurrected to new life, it first had to die.​​ 


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.​​ 2 Cor.​​ 5.17 (ESV)​​ 


Additional Notes



V5 For if we have become united with​​ Him​​ in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be​​ in the likeness​​ of His resurrection,


Summary –​​ Since we have been united​​ (spiritually)​​ into the death of Jesus, most certainly we have also been resurrected (spiritually) with Jesus.​​ 


But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit​​ with Him.​​ 1 Corinthians 6.17​​ 



Comments –​​ This verse presents another “since/then” type statement similar to those made in chapter five. Since the one thing occurred, then​​ most​​ certainly this other thing will also happen. In other words, they are inextricably linked together.​​ 


Here, it is our union with Christ’s death and resurrection that are linked together. Our old human spirit died with Christ and was resurrected completely new with Christ; thus, we are born again!​​ We now have the life of Jesus flowing through us. We truly become a new creation and hence, have a new identity in Christ.


Also know,​​ that​​ this inseparable spiritual union with Christ is not a future event. This happens to everyone the moment they receive Christ by faith.​​ The word​​ “shall”​​ in this verse is not describing a future event, but rather the certainty of sequence, namely that, resurrection certainly follows death.


Note -​​ Keep in mind that God is not trapped in time like man. God sees everything as present, thus man’s past, present,​​ and future are seen by God simultaneously. Also, keep in mind that it is God working through his Holy Spirit who unites us with Christ. We must simply accept this truth by faith.​​ 

For a deeper insight into this spiritual union, be sure to read the​​ Additional​​ Notes.


Additional Notes



V6​​ knowing 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;​​ 


Summary -​​ You should be well aware that our old man (human spirit) was crucified with Christ so that the power of sin would be made powerless, i.e., would have no more​​ authority over us. Said another way, we have been released from sin’s power, even though it still exists in our bodies. We are no longer obliged to live under sin’s reign!


Comments –​​ The​​ NASB​​ translation quoted above is misleading.​​ Sin was NOT “done away with”. However, for the new man in Christ, we are free from sin’s destructive rule.​​ 

To get an accurate understanding of this verse, please read through the “Additional Notes”.​​ 


Additional Notes




V7 For he who has died is freed from sin.​​ 


Summary –​​ Paul​​ declares as a​​ result of our​​ spiritual​​ death, we are free from the power of sin.​​ 


Comments –​​ Remember, this death refers​​ to​​ the death of our human spirit that was born “in Adam”.​​ As previously stated, we can still choose to commit acts of sin, but we are now free “not to sin”.

No Additional Notes



V8​​ Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,​​ 


Summary -​​ Since we are confident that we have died with Christ, we continually have faith that we will also live with him.​​ 


Comments –​​ This verse restates what Paul has just said in the last four verses, however, in this verse,​​ he adds something new. He adds that​​ “we believe…”. Knowing the truth is not enough; we must believe, i.e., have faith in the truth for it to change our lives.


It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;​​ 2 Timothy 2.11​​ 



Additional Notes




V9​​ knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.​​ 


Summary -​​ You should be well aware that​​ Christ was resurrected from the dead and will never die again, thus death no longer has mastery over Christ nor those who have been united with him.

Comments –​​ Christ will never die again because there is no need! His blood/death​​ satisfied man’s sin debt once and for all.​​ 


14​​ Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,​​ 15​​ and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.​​ Hebrews 2.14-15​​ 


26​​  For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;​​ 27​​  who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the​​ sins​​ of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.​​ Hebrews 7:26-27​​ 


Additional Notes



V10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; But the life that He lives, He lives to God.​​ 


Summary –​​ Paul​​ contrasts death to sin once, with life to God forever.​​ 

Paul explains why Christ will never die again​​ (v9). Why? Because his sacrificial death on the cross satisfied the sin debt between God and man once and for all! No other sacrifice is required. Whereas all mankind was born dead to God, now those who receive Christ by faith are born​​ again alive to God forever.​​ 


Comments –​​ The Old Testament priests had to continually offer sacrifices to cover the sins of the Israelites. Their job was never finished, because the blood of animals could never take away the sin of the people, only cover it (atone). The blood of Jesus did not “atone” for sin, but​​ took away sin once and for all.​​ The sin debt has been paid by the only acceptable payment – the blood/death of the only sinless man – Jesus. Christ’s sacrificial death never needs to be repeated!


26​​ For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest​​ (Jesus), holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;​​ 27​​ who does not need daily, like those high priests​​ (Old Testament or Old Covenant priests), to offer up sacrifices, first for His​​ (Jesus)​​ own sins and then for the​​ sins​​ of the people, because this He​​ (Jesus)​​ did​​ once for all​​ when He​​ (Jesus)​​ offered up Himself.​​ Hebrews 7.26-27 ​​  Note -​​ parenthesis and markings in this verse mine –​​ R. Moffett


Additional Notes



V11​​ Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.​​ 


Summary -​​ Because of the things I’ve just told you​​ (v2-10), you can continually count on the fact that you are no longer under the power of sin, but rather you are now alive to God forever.​​ 

Comments –​​ We are all born alive to sin and dead to God (separated from his life); but when we are born again, we​​ become​​ alive to God and dead to sin.


Up until now, Paul had been teaching the truth of who we are and what we have in Christ. His focus was to inform and remind his readers so they would​​ know the truth.


Now he changes his focus slightly. His encouragement is that his readers would​​ believe these things​​ he has been teaching them.​​ 


Next, he exhorts them to live accordingly​​ (v12- 23). You must first know the truth, then believe the truth, before you can walk in the truth.


What is it that we are to consider as true?​​ 


V2 -​​ We are dead to sin.​​ 

V3 -​​ We were baptized (placed into/united with) the death of Christ Jesus.​​ 

V4 -​​ We were buried with Christ but also raised with Him with a new spirit that is alive to God.​​ 

V5​​ -​​ We are inseparably united into Christ’s life and death; forever identified with Him.​​ 

V6 -​​ Our old man (our old spirit in Adam) is dead.​​ 

V7 -​​ We are free from the power of sin. It has no more authority over us.​​ 

V8 –​​ Christ’s life is now our life.​​ 

V9​​ ​​ Christ’s resurrection is proof that he has defeated sin/death.​​ 

V10 -​​ Christ’s once and for all death was sufficient payment for the sin debt of mankind.



​​ Now we can live unto God because Christ’s life is now our life.



Additional Notes



V12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body So that you obey its lusts,​​ 


Summary -​​ As a result of what I’ve just told you (about your union with Christ and how you are dead to sin), don’t let the power of sin that dwells in your physical body continue to be your master or you will be in bondage to its passionate cravings!

Comments –​​ Paul is making an emphatic statement not to let sin control them. If you are living under the reign of sin,​​ it is only because you allow it!

If we are to walk in victory, we must be able to recognize the thoughts that come into our minds​​ that are from Satan working through the power of sin. Thus, the need to continually renew our minds​​ with the truth​​ daily is critical, especially as to our new identity in Christ. If you believe these lusts and temptations originate from you, you will see yourself as a dirty old sinner and often behave accordingly. The new man in Christ is just not suited for sin! So, know and live like who you truly are!​​ For a more thorough understanding of how the power of sin works within us, read the article,​​ The Controlling Power of Sin, on this website.​​ 


“You cannot consistently perform in a manner which is inconsistent with the way you see yourself.”​​ Zig Ziglar*


*Zig Ziglar –​​ The late Zig Ziglar​​ was an author, salesman, and motivational speaker who grew up in Mississippi. Zig was a professing Christian.​​ He authored​​ many books​​ including,​​ Confessions of a Happy Christian.​​ 



Note –​​ The key to “do not let sin reign…” is to first​​ know​​ the truth of your identity. But just knowing is not enough, you must also​​ believe it, i.e., count it to be so (because it is)! When you continue to renew your mind with the truth and surrender your will to God, your behavior is simply the result.​​ 


Additional Notes



V13​​ and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin​​ as​​ instruments of unrighteousness; But present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members​​ as​​ instruments of righteousness to God.​​ 

Note –​​ This verse is a continuation of the previous verse.​​ 


Summary –​​ Paul says to​​ stop placing the parts of your body at the disposal of the power of sin to be used as weapons for the things that are against God; but since you have been given new life, surrender yourself to God and place your body at​​ His disposal as a weapon for righteousness.​​ 


Comments –​​ It is your soul (mind, will,​​ and emotions) that controls your body. Your thoughts will ultimately determine your will (choices), therefore, to surrender your body to God, you must have your mind renewed with the truth. Thus, the battlefield is in your mind.​​ 


1​​ Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God,​​ which is​​ your spiritual service of worship.​​ 2​​ And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.​​ Romans 12.1-2​​ 



Summary of truths in Chapter 6:1-13 concerning the church (the body of Christ):


1.​​ The idea that to continue to live in sin just to see how far we can exploit God’s grace is ridiculous. Remember, sin, when used as a noun, is defined as a power or a governing principle.


2.​​ Why is it ridiculous to continue to live in sin? Because we have died to sin. The verb tense of “died” denotes a past act, i.e., our death to sin has already happened.​​ 


3. “Died to sin” means we have been released from its power, or said another way, sin has been rendered powerless in our lives. That doesn’t mean that we will never commit acts of sin again. It does mean that we can now choose not to sin.​​ Note​​ – sin has not​​ been “done away with” or “destroyed” as suggested by some bible translations e.g., NASB, KJV, NKJV, etc.​​ 


4.​​ We have been baptized into Christ’s death, burial,​​ and resurrection. Baptism in​​ chapter six​​ refers to spiritual baptism.​​ 


5.​​ The word baptism in​​ chapter 6​​ means “to place into”. We have been placed into Christ’s death, burial,​​ and resurrection.​​ 


6.​​ We have been united with Christ in the likeness of​​ His death and resurrection. “United” means to “grow together” as in the grafting of a limb of one type of tree onto the limb of a different type of tree. Essentially “baptized” and “united” in this chapter mean the same thing. We have become one with Christ in​​ His death, burial,​​ and resurrection. This refers to a spiritual union. What happened to Christ physically happened to us spiritually. Theologically this is known as our​​ identification​​ or​​ union with Christ.​​ 


7.​​ Our old man has been crucified with Christ. There are many ideas as to whom/what the phrase “our old man” is referring​​ to. I​​ believe​​ that it refers to our old spirit in Adam. Nonetheless, our old man is dead the moment we receive Christ by faith. Our old man is NOT our flesh. Our old man is dead forever. Our flesh will be with us as long as we live on planet earth. More on this in​​ chapter eight.  ​​​​ 


8.​​ We have been resurrected to a new life. Our old spirit (old man) had to be crucified before we could be spiritually reborn. Similarly, our physical body has to eventually die before we receive a new glorified body.​​ 


9.​​ There is a power called sin that lives in our physical bodies. Our bodies are not sinful, yet, sin dwells in them, thus the need for our bodies​​ to eventually die.​​ 


10.​​ We believe that because we were placed into Christ’s death, we will also live with​​ Him.​​ 


11.​​ Christ’s resurrection has conquered death. He died once​​ 6and​​ for all. His sacrificial death has paid the sin debt of man. Christ will never die again​​ (v9), thus, because we are spiritually united with​​ Him, we also will never die (spiritually).​​ 


12.​​ We should consider ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God, i.e., count it to be so, because it is!


13.​​ Because of these things, we should not allow the power of sin that dwells in our mortal bodies to reign so that we obey its (sin’s) lusts! Know this,​​ the​​ lusting​​ after sinful things comes​​ from the power of sin.


14.​​ Do not continue to allow the members of your body to be at sin’s disposal. The members of your body include your eyes, ears, hands, feet, legs, mind, tongue, etc. Your body is not sinful; however, it can be used by the power of sin if you allow it.​​ 


15.​​ Surrender yourself to God and allow the members of your body to be used for righteousness by​​ Him.



Additional Notes



V14 For sin shall not be master over you, For you are not under law But under grace.​​ 


Summary -​​ Because of what I’ve been telling you (you have died to sin), sin shall absolutely no longer be your master; because you don’t live constrained by religious rules, you live under grace (guided by the indwelling Holy Spirit).​​ 


Comments –​​ Paul introduces a new idea in this verse. He brings up​​ the​​ law.​​ Remember, the church​​ in​​ Rome was comprised of both Gentiles and Jews. Many of the Jews had lived their entire life under the Old Covenant Law. No doubt they had trouble understanding what Paul was saying here (and later in​​ chapter seven). Even today, many (probably most) Christians continue to put themselves under law, either the Mosaic Law or their own self-imposed laws.​​ Read Additional Notes for more on this.​​ 


Consider -​​ If sin is not our master because we are not under law, could we also say that sin is our master if we are living under law? Yes!


The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;​​ 1 Corinthians 15.56 ​​ 



Additional Notes




V15​​ What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!​​ 


Summary -​​ Paul essentially asks the same question as in​​ v1​​ (are we to continue in sin);​​ then​​ gives essentially the same answer – “May it never be”. In this verse, he also adds​​ “because we are not under law”.​​ 


Comments –​​ Many people think that we should live by law so that we will not sin. Law living only stirs up sin, it does not prevent a person from sinning. Living in God’s grace, totally dependent on him (faith) is the only way we will live free from the control of sin.


11​​ For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,​​ 12​​ instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,​​ Titus 2.11-12​​ 


No Additional Notes



V16​​ Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone​​ as​​ slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin​​ resulting​​ in death, or of obedience​​ resulting​​ in Righteousness ?​​ 


Note –​​ The word “resulting” is not in the original Greek language. It appears twice in this verse. Literally,​​ it should read – “... sin unto death”; and “... obedience unto righteousness”.


Summary -​​ Are you continually ignorant?​​ When you yield to someone to obey them as a slave, you become a slave to that one you choose to continually obey. If you choose sin, it will end in death; if you choose to obey God, it will end in righteous behavior.​​ 


Comments –​​ Usually in scripture, the word “righteous or “righteousness”, when referring to man, means the condition of being right with God. Here, Paul uses the word to​​ refer to​​ right action​​ or​​ behavior. When you yield (surrender) your life to Christ, your behavior will be right/righteous​​ (although you can choose to walk after the flesh). This verse is not talking about salvation. It is talking about how we live after we have been born again. The key, however, is to live surrendered to the leading of the Holy Spirit. That is a​​ moment-by-moment choice.​​ 



What does it mean “of sin​​ resulting​​ <unto>​​ in​​ death”?​​ 



Even as Christians we at times are slaves of sin​​ (Rom. 6:16). Anytime we are believing a lie, we are in bondage in some area of our life. When we commit acts of sin, we are always functioning according to the flesh.​​ See article,​​ Understanding the Flesh​​ on this website.​​ 


So, do​​ we die physically when​​ we​​ obey the power of sin)?​​ No.​​ 


Did we die spiritually?​​ No, our new, born-again spirit is joined with the spirit of Jesus, who is eternal life. It will never die​​ (1 Cor. 6:17; 1 John 5:11).​​ 


So, what died?​​ Death here might best be described as the absence of life (the life of Christ via the Holy Spirit). It is in our soul (mind, will,​​ and emotions) where we experience either life or death at any given moment. When we walk by the Holy Spirit, we experience life​​ (John 6:63; Rom. 8:6;​​ 2 Cor. 3:6;​​ Gal. 6:8).​​ When we walk​​ according to the flesh, obeying the power of sin, we experience death (Rom. 8:6,​​ 12-13), which might manifest as conflict, depression, lack of peace and joy, etc.​​ 

The flesh and the Holy Spirit are always opposed to one another​​ (Gal. 5:16-17). When we walk by the Spirit we experience and express the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, ... life​​ (Rom. 8:6; Gal. 5:22-23)! When we walk according to the flesh, we cease to experience all that the Spirit gives us and thus, experience death. However, the moment you choose to surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit, you will immediately experience life and all that it brings! Amen.


Additional Notes



V17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,​​ 


Summary -​​ Paul is saying that you once were slaves to the power of sin, but thank God you submitted to the gospel message which has worked a permanent change in your heart.


Comments –​​ Paul once again presents a contrast. This time he contrasts our condition before we were born again with our condition after we received Christ.

Additional Notes



V18​​ and having been freed from sin you became slaves of Righteousness


Summary –​​ Now that you are free from the power of sin, righteousness is your new master.​​ 

Comments –​​ We are now declared righteous, and as such, we should live accordingly. We are no longer suited for a life marked by sin.​​ 

Additional Notes



V19​​ I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness,​​ resulting​​ in​​ further​​ lawlessness, So now present your members as slaves to righteousness,​​ resulting​​ in ​​ 


Note -​​ Paul has been using the imagery of slavery to contrast sin​​ with​​ righteousness, law with grace, and life with death. Slavery was something​​ with​​ which all those in Rome would be familiar. He uses these examples in the physical world to help them better understand spiritual truths. Jesus often did the same thing.​​ 

Summary -​​ Because of your lack of understanding (“weakness of your flesh”), I will use language to which you can relate. Paul says since you used to yield (surrender) yourselves and thus, were slaves to moral impurity and lawlessness (before you were united with Christ), now yield (surrender) as slaves to righteousness. In other words, live like who you are – righteous and set apart (sanctified) unto God.


Comments –​​ First of all, the NASB translation is not my preferred translation here. The word “resulting”, which appears in two places in the NASB is not in the original language and distorts the meaning of this verse. Also, the word “further” is not in the original language.​​ 


Young’s Literal Translation​​ (YLT) is​​ more accurate​​ but is more difficult to follow.​​ 


In the manner of men I speak, because of the weakness of your flesh, for even as ye did present your members servants to the uncleanness and to the lawlessness--to the lawlessness, so now present your members servants to the righteousness--to sanctification,​​ Romans 6.19 (YLT)


Additional Notes



V20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.​​ 


Summary -​​ Before we were born again in Christ we lived unrestrained sinful lifestyles. We had no other choice. We cannot live a righteous life until we become righteous in Christ.​​ 


Comments –​​ Paul is saying the same thing here as in​​ v18, only in reverse.​​ 


Additional Notes



V21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.​​ 


Summary -​​ Paul asks, what are the consequences of the shameful life you lived when you were under​​ the​​ control of the power of sin because the outcome is death?

We should ask ourselves the same thing!​​ 


Comments –​​ Here Paul is talking about our behavior and what it produces. When we live under the power of sin we will experience death. Our soul is where we experience either life or death​​ in the moment. A person can be spiritually born again and still choose to live under the power of sin, resulting in soulical death (not experiencing the life of Christ, i.e., love, joy, peace, etc.).

Additional Notes



V22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit,​​ resulting​​ in and the outcome, eternal life.​​ 


Summary -​​ We have been released, i.e., set free from the bondage of the power of sin. ​​ Now we are servants of God. As we choose to live like who we are (holy – set apart), we will experience the life of Christ for all eternity, for Christ is eternal life.  ​​​​ 


And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.​​ 1 John 5.11​​ 


And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.​​ 1 John 5.20​​ 


Note -​​ Again,​​ the​​ NASB adds “resulting” but it is not in the original Greek.​​ See notes on​​ v16 and 19.


Comments –​​ As Christians,​​ we are still tempted to sin. Most of us have certain areas where these temptations are strongest. It is impossible to abstain from acting on these temptations without the power of the Holy Spirit. When tempted, ask the Lord to expose the lie that you are believing that strengthens the temptation.​​ When​​ we are believing​​ a lie, it always gives our​​ sinful temptations a foothold.

Additional Notes



V23 For the wages of sin is death, But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.​​ 


Summary -​​ Sin always produces death, but God’s gift to us is​​ eternal life in the person of Jesus Christ.​​ 


Comments –​​ Again, Paul tells us that sin always leads​​ to death.


Additional Notes




Additional Notes by verse​​ 



V1~​​ What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin So that grace may increase?

“What shall we say then?” –​​ A rhetorical question​​ (One authority has identified 74 rhetorical questions in Romans! –​​ preceptaustin.org).​​ Paul uses this phrase or a similar one throughout his letter to the church​​ in​​ Rome​​ (Rom. 3:5,9; 4:1; 6:1,15; 7:7; 9:14,30; 11:7). Paul asks these rhetorical questions to emphasize a point. He is good at anticipating the objections his readers are likely to make to his statements.​​ 


“What shall we say then?”​​ would be like asking,​​ "What conclusion are we to draw (from the previously stated truths)?”​​ He uses this phrase or a similar one in​​ Rom 6:1, 15; 7:7


“Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?” –

Paul asks the question that many people ask today. When you understand who you are in Christ, you will not ask this question.​​ 


“sin”​​ – used as​​ a​​ noun here:​​ 





V2~ May it never be How shall we who died to sin still live in it?​​ 


“May it never be”​​ – one of Paul’s favorite phrases –​​ is​​ used ten times in the book of Romans (7 of them in chapters 3-7).​​ The KJV uses the phrase “God forbid” in place of “May it never be,” although the word “God” is not used in the original language. ​​ 



Word Study -​​ may it be​​ –​​ from​​ Greek –​​ genoito;​​ never​​ – Greek -​​ me

It is of note that GENOITO is sometimes used in the Septuagint, the pre-Christian Greek translation of the Old Testament, to translate the Hebrew word “amen.” So, to write GENOITO would be as if to say “amen!” while in the negative, ME GENOITO is in essence to declare “no amen!” And just as “amen!” is a strong affirmation of agreement, so “no amen!” would be a strong expression of disagreement.​​ Modern English equivalents would be​​ “not at all!” or “absolutely not!” or “certainly not!” or “by no means” or “under no circumstances” or “perish the thought!” or even the colloquial, “no way, Jose!”​​ By Doug Kutilek​​ http://www.kjvonly.org/doug/kutilek_god_forbid.htm



What is it that should never be?​​ That the new man in Christ should continue living in sin. With the phrase,​​ “May it never be,”​​ Paul is strongly expressing his disagreement with any who would suggest the notion that to continue to live in sin is acceptable.


“How shall we who have died to sin”-​​ again, Paul asks a question to which his readers should know the answer.​​ 


“we who” –​​ Refers to all those who have died to sin.​​ 


Word Study –​​ we who​​ –​​ from Greek​​ hoitines​​ 

Note​​ – Newell uses a slightly different translation for “we who”.

Here we have, (1)​​ such ones as we​​ (hoitines). This is more than a relative pronoun: it is a pronoun of characterization, “placing those referred to in a class” (Lightfoot). Paul thus has​​ before his mind all Christians, and he places this pronoun at the very beginning: “such ones as we!”​​ 

(2) He characterizes all Christians as those​​ who died.​​ The translation, “are dead” is wrong, for the tense of the Greek verb is the aorist, which denotes not a state but a past act or fact. It never refers to an action as going on or prolonged.​​ As Winer says, “The aorist states a fact as something having taken place.” Note how strikingly and repeatedly this tense is used in this chapter as referring to the death of which the apostle speaks:​​ 128​​ Verse 2, “We​​ died to sin” (an aorist tense,—definite past fact).
Verse 6: “Our old man​​ was crucified​​ with Him” (another aorist tense); not “is​​ crucified,” as in the Old Version, which expression is a relic of Romanism, and the meaning of which no one knows.
Verse 7: “The one​​ having died” (aorist again; and meaning anyone in Christ) “is declared righteous from sin.”
Verse 8: “If we​​ died​​ [aorist] with Christ.”
Verses 10 and 11: “The death that He​​ died. He​​ died​​ unto sin, once for all. (Aorist tenses, the second specially emphasized by “once for all.”)​​ Mark most particularly that the apostle in verse 2​​ does not call upon Christians to die to sin but asserts that they shared Christ’s death, they have died to sin!​​  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ William Newell​​ http://www.ccel.org/ccel/newell/romans.vii.html



“died” –​​ apothnēskō (Gr)-​​ to be dead.​​ Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary

apothnēskō​​ is in the​​ aorist tense, which denotes​​ a past act or fact, a historical event. It pictures finality. It could be translated​​ as​​ “once and for all”.​​ preceptaustin.org


“to sin” –​​ hamartia (Gr);​​ Used here as a noun. Again, sin here is a power or influence.​​ 

Paul is telling the church that they are no longer in bondage to the power of sin.​​ 


I often hear well-meaning believers say that we need to “die to sin” or “die to sin daily”.​​ Now hear this​​ –​​ we have already died to sin the moment we received Christ by faith!​​ We do not need to continue to “die to sin”. This is a very important truth to know in order to live in the victory that Christ provided for us!


Obviously, as Christians,​​ we still sin (commit acts of sin). However, we have been set free from the reign of the power of sin in our lives. That simply means that we are no longer compelled to sin; we now have a choice. Whereas,​​ before​​ being spiritually reborn, we had no choice.​​ 


still live in it?”​​ ​​ 


How can we still live in sin?​​ 

We have died to sin once and for all. The power of sin no longer has a hold on us, unless we allow it. We are no longer suited for a life of sin! When we sin, we will always​​ experience conflict in our souls. The peace of God will be gone! As​​ the late​​ Mike Wells used to say, “You may not know when the peace of God comes on you, but you will surely know the moment it leaves you”. Amen.





V3~​​ Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?



“Or do you not know”​​ -​​ Paul uses this exact phrase three times in​​ Romans​​ (Romans 6:3, 16; 7:1)​​ and several other phrases/words with similar meanings.​​ Today we might say,​​ “Duh!”​​ Paul is​​ about to share something that should be obvious to his readers; and if it’s not, then they should pay attention!​​ 


“not know”​​ means to be ignorant. Here it is in the present tense, thus Paul is saying, “Are you continually ignorant?", "Do you continually fail to recognize this truth"?​​ preceptaustin.org


“that all of us who have been​​ baptized​​ into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?”​​ 

Paul has told us that we have been set free from the power of sin and therefore, should no longer live under its reign​​ (v2). Now he tells us why. He says that those who have been baptized into Christ, have been baptized into his death.​​ 




Here Paul is speaking of spiritual baptism. This is one of the major themes of Romans chapter six. Our human spirit was changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. We were baptized, i.e., placed into Christ’s death, thus our human spirit died and was buried with Christ Jesus. Our old spirit, also called our “old self”​​ (v6​​ NASB)​​ or “old man” (in other translations) along with its sinful nature was crucified with Christ.​​ 


Note -​​ Our old spirit man was born separated from the life of God as a result of Adam’s sin in the garden. While our old spirit still functioned, it was dead (separated and unreceptive) to God; and instead, it was​​ energized​​ (activated and receptive) to the prince of the power of the air (Satan). Paul gives a great explanation of this in his letter to the​​ Ephesian church –​​ 



1​​ And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,​​ 2​​ in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now​​ working​​ in the sons of disobedience.​​ 3​​ Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.​​ Ephesians 2.1-3​​ 


“working” -​​ from Greek -​​ energeo​​ - means to be active or operative; to work effectually or be effectual –​​ Vines Expository Dictionary​​ Also see this word used in​​ Phil. 2:13.







V4~ Therefore 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.


What follows​​ “therefore”​​ is the conclusion of something previously stated. Paul had just said that we were placed into (baptized)​​ Christ’s death.​​ 


“we have been buried with Him through baptism into death,” –​​ 


So, what is the logical conclusion to a person’s death?​​ – That they should be buried! And that is what Paul is saying here – we were also buried with Christ, i.e., baptized into Christ’s burial as well as his death.



What conclusion is Paul about to state?​​ Not only were we baptized into Christ’s death and burial but also into his resurrection! Now that is great news, perhaps the best news of all! Our old spirit has been raised from death and now we have​​ a​​ new​​ spiritual​​ life,​​ as well as​​ the​​ indwelling​​ life of Jesus​​ (via the Holy Spirit)!​​ 


“through the glory of the Father,” –​​ all that God does is for his glory. Here specifically, the resurrection is a display of his glorious power.​​ 


“so we too might walk in newness of life.”-


“so” –​​ again Paul is about to​​ express his​​ conclusion.​​ 


“might walk” –​​ used figuratively to indicate how a person lives his life day to day.​​ 


“newness” -​​ refers to a new quality rather than new in time.​​ We are a new creation. The old is gone and the new has come.​​ 


​​ “life” –​​ zoe​​ (Gr)​​ – can refer to physical life, but more often in the new testament,​​ it refers to spiritual life. It is this spiritual life of God that man lost in the garden when Adam sinned. Here it speaks of that same spiritual life that​​ has been restored to​​ man as a result of his faith in Christ. It is Christ who has now become our life!


3​​ For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.​​ 4​​ When Christ,​​ who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.​​ Colossians 3.3-4​​ 



John Best​​ Th.D., in his study notes on​​ Romans 6-8, states that​​ baptism​​ in verses​​ 6:3-4​​ means, “to change the identity of something or someone.”​​ 



We now have a new identity!​​ Our old identity was a sinner “in Adam”, but it has been changed. We are​​ now a saint “in Christ.”​​ 



Note -​​ Receiving a new spirit is exactly what was predicted by the Prophet Ezekiel​​ (Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26)​​ when he was speaking about the New Covenant that would someday replace the old. Just as the Old Covenant was replaced by the New Covenant, our old spirit (old man) was replaced with a new spirit.​​ For the new to come, the old had to die.​​ 

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels--a plentiful harvest of new lives.”​​ John 12.24 NLT



We no longer have to live in the bondage of sin; we now live by the life of Christ Jesus. We are no longer energized by Satan. Now we are energized by God​​ (Phil 2:13). Paul sums up​​ Romans 6:3-4​​ perfectly in his letter to the Galatian church -​​ 


​​ “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the​​ life​​ which I now live in the flesh​​ <body>​​ I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.​​ Galatians 2.20​​ Note –​​ Comment​​ in chevrons < >​​ is​​ mine. ​​​​ Note​​ - see also​​ Col. 2:12



Understanding our baptism with Christ can be a hard concept to grasp.​​ Consider the analogy of placing or immersing (baptizing) a white shirt into a bowl of red dye. When the shirt is removed from the dye it is no longer white. It has been permanently changed to a red shirt. It can never be white again. Similarly, our old spirit was permanently replaced with a new spirit as we were immersed (placed into or baptized) into Christ Jesus’ death, burial,​​ and resurrection. And with our new spirit, we received a new nature, the Devine nature of God​​ (2 Peter 1:4); thus, our old sinful nature is permanently gone. Our old identity is gone forever. We are now a new creation “in Christ.” To be clear, we can still commit acts of sin if we choose, but it is no longer our nature to sin.






V5~ For if we have become united with​​ Him​​ in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be​​ in the likeness​​ of His resurrection,



What is Paul attempting to explain or make clearer?​​ He is referring to what he said in the two previous verses – that we (those who have been justified by faith) have been baptized into Christ’s death, burial,​​ and resurrection.​​ 


​​ “if” -​​ would be better translated​​ as​​ “since”. The statement Paul makes here is not in question but rather assumed to be true.​​ 


For if​​ - The “if” here signifies a fulfilled condition and could be translated "in view of the fact" or "since such and such a thing is so".​​ preceptaustin.org


since​​ we have become united with​​ him​​ in the likeness of His death,” –


​​ “have become” -​​ ginomai​​ (Gr) means to cause to be; to become; to come into existence; to be formed. Here the tense of the word depicts a past completed act and its abiding results. Clearly,​​ this tense speaks of permanence. In this context, it speaks of the permanence of the believer's union with Christ.​​ 


“united with” –-​​ The Greek word for​​ “united with”​​ can be translated​​ as​​ “planted” or “to grow with”.​​ ​​ It is from the Greek root word​​ symphyo​​ that literally means,​​ “to make to grow with or together.”​​ 


A good example of this is the grafting (uniting) of a branch from one kind of tree to the branch of another kind of tree. ​​ A peach tree limb can be taken off a peach tree and attached (united) to a nectarine tree. At that point, there is no more “peachtree life” flowing to the limb that was removed. It now has​​ a​​ new source of life from the nectarine tree that flows up from the roots of the nectarine tree and into the grafted peach tree limb. Compare this to the vine and the branch analogy Jesus taught in​​ John chapter 15.



Word Study –​​ united​​ from Greek word​​ symphytos -​​ translated “union” or more specifically, “to grow with”.​​ This word comes from two words -​​ 
With​​ – Greek -sun/syn.​​ As​​ discussed below the preposition​​ sun​​ speaks of intimacy in contrast to​​ meta​​ which speaks of nearness without the idea of intimacy. An excellent illustration of this difference is the two thieves on the Cross. The believing thief was crucified (physically but more importantly spiritually) with (sun) Christ (see word study on crucified with​​ =​​ sustauroo) while the other thief was crucified (physically next to) with Christ. The first thief experienced intimate union with Christ, while the second experienced only close proximity to Christ, the result of which was eternal separation from Christ.

Wayne​​ Barber​​ has an excellent illustration to help understand the difference between the two prepositions for​​ "with", (3326)​​ meta​​ versus (4862)​​ sun.

"One Greek word for "with" is​​ meta. We are​​ with​​ one another (Ed note: he is speaking this to his congregation, those who are "with" him to listen). The Lord Jesus was​​ with​​ them when He was on this earth. He was alongside them, in a room together with​​ them. That’s the word​​ meta.​​ 

Another word for "together with" is the little word​​ sun, which means not only are we​​ together​​ with​​ one another, but we are​​ so mixed in that nobody can tell the difference one from the other. We can’t get apart from each other. Let me give you the illustration... making biscuits. Let’s just say you take all the ingredients and put them out on a piece of waxed paper. You put the flour down and the shortening or whatever else goes in them. You put it all on the piece of paper. Now all of those ingredients can be separated, but at the same time,​​ they are with each other—meta. Okay? But take all of those ingredients and mix them together. Just stir them all together. Cut them out and put them on a pan. Let’s put them in the oven, and let’s bake them. After they have baked for a while they come out as luscious biscuits. Once they are baked, that’s that little word​​ sun. No scientist has ever been able to separate those ingredients out again.​​ 

"You mean to tell me that I’ve been united so much into His death that now I am united in His resurrection? When He raised from the dead, that’s when the newness of life started for me?" Absolutely. Now let me ask you again. Can a believer, one who has put his faith into Jesus Christ, go back and live as if he is still in Adam? You make up your own mind! No wonder John says you can’t habitually sin and call yourself a Christian! You are dead to that lifestyle! You have been united. The word has the idea of planted together with. It’s like taking a branch and grafting it into a tree. The life of the tree now floods into the branch. Jesus used that same picture in​​ John 15. He said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. And because you abide in Me, you will bear much fruit. It’s not you doing it, it’s Me in you doing it!" This is the resurrected life that we are now intertwined into. There is nothing that can separate us from that!​​ 

When you were in Adam, sin caused you to do what you were doing. You couldn’t get away from it. But now that you have put your faith into Christ, you have been taken out of Adam and put into Christ and you are so united with Him that His Spirit lives in you. The "Divine Referee of God" has changed you from within. That’s regeneration. "You mean I sinned before because I was a sinner, so now if I sin it is only because of choice. Is that right?" You are exactly right! When you find a Christian saying, "Hey, I can’t stop sinning," you have a Christian who is really saying, "No, I won’t!" You have the life of Jesus in you now! You can’t go back and live like you want to live. There is no way you can do that! You bring total blasphemy to everything Jesus Christ did for you. You shame what salvation is all about. You are a new person in Christ. You’re saved "out of sin" and "into Him."

The root (no pun intended) verb​​ phuo​​ means to grow and the compound word,​​ sumphutos, means to grow up together with and pictures the believer in living, vital union, growing up together with Christ. When we placed our faith in Christ, God placed us into Christ on the Cross, to share His death, burial and resurrection.​​ 

One commentator paraphrased this section as "fused into one"—almost as if we were speaking of Siamese twins who share the same vital organs.​​ 

How close are you to Jesus?​​ Beloved, if you know Him, His life is your life, His strength is your strength, His mind is your mind, His power is your power.​​ 

*Barnes comments that​​ sumphutos​​ "properly means sown or planted at the same time; what sprouts or springs up together; and is applied to plants and trees that are planted at the same time, and that sprout and grow together. Thus, the name would be given to a field of grain that was sown at the same time, and where the grain sprung up and grew simultaneously. Hence, it means intimately connected, or joined together. And here it denotes that Christians and the Saviour have been united intimately in regard to death; as he died and was laid in the grave, so have they by profession died to sin. And it is therefore natural to expect, that, like grain sown at the same time, they should grow up in a similar manner, and resemble each other."​​ Barnes, A*: Notes on the NT

The truth of this passage gives the reader even more insight regarding the believer's union and communion with Christ in Jesus' declaration​​ 

"I am the vine, you are the branches (genuine believers); he who abides (remains or stays around = keep in fellowship with Christ so that His life can work in and through us to produce​​ fruit) in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing (the Greek means absolutely nothing!)." (Jn 15:5).​​ 

A vine branch has one great purpose—to bear fruit. It is useless for making furniture or for building homes. It does not even make good firewood. But it is good for fruit bearing—as long as it abides in the Vine. ​​ 

As *Warren Wiersbe​​ puts it,​​ "Our union with Christ is a living union, so we may bear fruit; a loving union, so that we may enjoy Him; and a lasting union, so that we need not be afraid."​​ Wiersbe, W*: Bible​​ Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor


*John Gill​​ has some insightful comments on what "we have been planted together" entails writing that "when they are transplanted from a state of nature, and are engrafted into Christ; have the graces of the Spirit of God implanted in them, and grow up under the dews of grace, and shinings of the sun of righteousness upon them, and bring forth much fruit; now as these persons, by virtue of their secret union with Christ from eternity, as their head and representative, with whom they were crucified, in whom they died representatively, share in his death, enjoy the benefits of it, and feel its efficacy, and through it become dead to the law, sin, and the world"​​ John Gill's* Exposition of the Entire Bible, 1690-1771



*Albert Barnes –​​ American theologian (12/1/1798 – 12/24/1870) and​​ a​​ Presbyterian minister and author, graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary.​​ 

*Warren Wiersbe​​ ​​ (Born 5/16/29) Pastor, bible teacher, conference speaker,​​ and writer. Graduate of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.​​ 

*John Gill -​​ (23 November 1697 – 14 October 1771) was an English Baptist pastor, biblical scholar, writer,​​ and theologian who held to a firm Calvinistic soteriology.



him” – not in the original.​​ 


“in the likeness of”​​ ​​ 


“likeness” –​​ homoioma (Gr)​​ - denotes "that which is made like something, a resemblance,"​​ Vine's Expository Dictionary​​ 


Here it indicates the state of having a common experience – Christ died, we died; Christ was resurrected, we were resurrected.


But there is a slight difference, which is why Paul said in the “likeness” of his death and resurrection. Christ died physically; we did not. We died spiritually. Christ suffered physically. His death paid the sin debt of all mankind; our death did not. Christ was physically resurrected; we are spiritually resurrected the moment we place our faith in Christ.​​ 


“his death” –​​ Christ’s death on the cross.​​ 


“certainly we shall also be”​​ 


Paul is saying that as certain as it was that Christ was raised from the dead, it is also certain that we will be raised. Why? Because we are now in an inseparable union with Christ! Again, this is a spiritual union. The word​​ “shall”​​ is not describing a future event, but rather the certainty of sequence, namely that, resurrection certainly follows death.


in the likeness​​ of His resurrection.” –​​ in the likeness”​​ is not in the original. It was added for clarification.​​ 


“his resurrection” –​​ as certain as Jesus was resurrected from the grave, so shall we also be!





V6~​​ knowing 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;​​ 



Translation Note

The KJV has a misleading translation of the verbs in​​ Romans 6:6, 7, 8.

Knowing this, that our old man​​ is​​ crucified with​​ him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that​​ is​​ dead​​ is​​ freed from sin.  Now if we​​ be​​ dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:​​ Romans 6:6-8 (KJV)

Comparison of the verbs shows that the​​ KJV​​ translates each verb with a​​ present tense meaning​​ (is, is, is, be), whereas the​​ NASB​​ more accurately reflects the aorist tense (was, has, have) which conveys the clear sense of a​​ past completed action​​ in each case.​​ preceptaustin.org


​​ “knowing this”​​ – similar to​​ v3​​ - you should be well aware of…


Word Study –​​ knowing​​ from Greek​​ ​​ ginosko​​ -​​ means to acquire information by whatever means, but often with the implication of​​ personal involvement or experience. As Rich Cathers writes "We need to learn about this. We need to “know” this. Our knowledge isn’t merely head knowledge, but knowledge by experience." Paul is not admonishing them to know something but instead appears to be appealing to the fact that this was something his readers were already familiar with, i.e., the truth that our old self was crucified with Christ

Leon Morris​​ rightly draws our attention to the fact that "Paul not infrequently appeals to his correspondents’​​ knowledge​​ (we know; cf. Ro 3:19-note; Ro 6:6-note; Ro 7:14-note; Ro 8:22-note, Ro 8:28-note). He varies his approach by using the participle “knowing” (Ro 5:3-note; Ro 6:9-note; Ro 13:11-note). Or he can say “you know” (Ro 2:18-note) or ask the question “Do you not know?” (Ro 6:3-note, Ro 6:16-note; Ro 7:1-note; Ro 11:2-note; cf. Ro 2:4-note). All this is an invitation to sweet reasonableness. Where the occasion demands it, Paul can be dogmatic and issue authoritative instructions. But he likes to enlist the intelligent cooperation of his readers and have them see the point for themselves (as when he tells the Corinthians, “I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say”, 1 Co 10:15). (Morris, L. The Epistle to the Romans. Grand Rapids, Mich.; Leicester, England: W. B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press)

In Ro 6:9 (note)​​ Paul uses the verb​​ eido​​ which speaks of​​ intuitive​​ knowledge whereas​​ ginosko​​ suggests​​ experiential​​ knowledge...

You should be well aware​​ (by what you have been experiencing),” he was saying, “that in Christ you are not the same people you were before salvation. You have a new life, a new heart (cp Ezek 11:19, 18:31, 36:26, 27, cp New Covenant Jer. 31:31, 32, 33, 34), a new spiritual strength, a new hope (cp Je 29:11, 31:17 - first given to the Jews but by application to all who believe in Messiah), and countless other new things that had no part in your former life.​​ preceptaustin.org


“that our old self was crucified with him”- the phrase “old man”​​ (KJV)​​ is a better translation than “old self”. “Old man” refers to the unregenerate spirit of a person before they are born-again. Now we have a “new man”​​ (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:9-10).​​ 


Our spirit is the source of our true identity. Our identity is determined by our birth (not our behavior). We were all born in Adam with a spirit that was dead (spiritually separated from the life of God). When we are born-again, we have a new spirit and are now saints in Christ. Our new spirit is infused with the life of Christ.​​ For man to get rid of his old identity,​​ his old spirit​​ had to die. There was no other way. In God’s economy, death always precedes life.​​ 


“old man”​​ – the word “old” here does not refer to time,​​ but to “that which is worn out”.​​ Vine's Expository Dictionary


Note - “old man” is not the same as our flesh​​ (flesh - not our physical body, but the selfish condition of living out of one’s own resources independent of God). The flesh will be discussed in chapter eight of Paul’s letter to the church​​ in​​ Rome. For a better understanding of how the word “flesh” is used in the Bible, please​​ read the article​​ Understanding the Flesh​​ on this website.​​ 



It is of vital importance to understand that our old man, along with its sinful nature, was crucified (past tense) and buried (past tense) with Christ.​​ Our “old man”​​ is not coming back! We are now a new creation!​​ 


“was crucified with him” -​​ 

Our old man (spirit) was crucified with Christ. ​​ 


“in order that our body of sin might be done away with,” -​​ 

Now Paul tells us why or for what purpose our old man was crucified.​​ 


“our body of sin” -

“body”​​ – from Greek​​ soma​​ – refers to the physical body as an organized whole made up of different parts.


This verse​​ does​​ NOT​​ say, “sinful body” as in some translations.​​ Our body is neutral, not sinful. It can be used for sinful activities​​ or it can be used for God’s glory. It is merely an instrument (as in​​ v13). However, as we shall see in more detail later in this chapter and in chapter seven,​​ a​​ power called sin, dwells in our physical body​​ (Rom.​​ 6:12, 13; 7:17,20, 23).​​ 


“sin” -​​ here, as it is throughout​​ Romans 6-7,​​ refers​​ to an organized power that resides in the body.​​ 


“might be”-​​ is not used here to suggest​​ a​​ doubt as to whether or not it would happen.



Word Study -​​ might

“might be in the​​ NASB​​ is not intended to convey the possibility of doubt as if the body of sin might or might not be done away with. This phraseology is simply an idiomatic way of stating an already existing fact.​​ preceptaustin.org



“done away with” -​​ katargeō​​ (Gr)​​ – means to render powerless or to release from a prior obligation.​​ It does not mean that sin has been destroyed. Our personal experience would certainly bear witness to that fact! If sin had been​​ “done away with”, there would be no need for Paul to exhort us not to let sin control our lives as he does in the next phrase​​ in​​ this verse and several other verses later in this chapter. Sin is still “alive”, but we no longer have to allow it to control our lives. Amen!



Note -​​ The Greek word​​ katargeo "never means “to annihilate” (= to destroy utterly and completely and thus cause to cease to exist).​​ The general idea in this​​ word is that of​​ depriving a thing of the use for which it is intended.”​​ Collected writings of​​ W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson



Note that​​ katargeō​​ also appears in​​ Romans 7.2, 6,​​ where it is translated “released from”; and in​​ Heb. 2.14​​ where it is​​ correctly​​ translated, “render powerless”.​​ See additional notes on​​ 7:6.​​ 

14​​ Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might​​ render powerless​​ him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,​​ Hebrews 2.14​​ 

​​ For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is​​ released from​​ the law concerning the husband.​​ Romans 7.2​​ 

But now we have been​​ released from​​ the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.​​ Romans 7.6​​ 



Word Study –​​ done away with​​ -​​ literally​​ means to reduce to inactivity. The idea is to make the power or force of something ineffective and so to render powerless, reduce to inactivity. To do away with. To put out of use. To cause to be idle or useless. To render entirely idle, inoperative or ineffective. Cause something to come to an end or cause it to cease to happen. To abolish or cause not to function. To free or release from an earlier obligation or relationship. To no longer take place.​​ preceptaustin.org



“so that we would no longer be slaves to sin” –​​ before​​ being born-again,​​ we were all​​ in bondage to sin​​ (v17)​​ and had no choice but to sin.​​ 



Note -​​ It may be hard for some to believe that a​​ spiritually re-born person could have​​ sin dwelling in their body. I know I resisted that notion for a long time. However, if we consider the whole counsel of God’s word, it is impossible to ignore this truth. Notice this idea is continued throughout this​​ chapter six​​ (v12, 13)​​ and also in​​ chapter seven.​​ Consider that when we are spiritually re-born we are said to be a new creation​​ (2 Corinthians 5:17), however, did your physical body change at that time? Obviously, not. What was made new then? Our old human spirit (old man) was crucified with Christ and we were spiritually reborn, i.e., we received a new spirit. Our soul (mind, will,​​ and emotions) is in the process of being changed. Our body,​​ however, did not change. But someday it will. Our physical body will someday die, and​​ after that,​​ we will receive a new body​​ (1 Corinthians 15);​​ furthermore,​​ we will​​ then​​ be free from the presence of sin forever!​​ 

Also note, nowhere in scripture does it say that sin died. Sin is alive and continues its destruction leading to death.​​ R. Moffett






V8~​​ Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,


“Now if”​​ – again as in​​ v5,​​ “if”​​ here would be better translated “since”. What Paul is about to say is a fact.


“we have died with Christ” – “died”​​ is in the​​ aorist tense​​ indicating an event that happened at a specific time in the past.​​ See notes on​​ v3-5​​ about our death with Christ.


we believe”​​ ​​ pisteuo (Gr)​​ from​​ pistis;​​ pistos​​ – to have faith.​​ See notes on faith -​​ v3:22. ​​ 

Real faith is evident​​ in​​ one’s actions. Recall again, the description of faith from​​ Hebrews 11:1​​ –


“But we are convinced and confident in our beliefs, which results in a life lived in full expectation of that which God has promised, even though the proof of our beliefs cannot yet be seen.”​​ R. Moffett’s translation.



Here,​​ pisteuo​​ (Gr), is in the​​ present tense​​ which indicates a continuous action. It also refers to a current, “right now” action as opposed to a future or past action. We live in the present moment; thus, our faith occurs only in the present. What we believe right now determines our “right now” behavior.​​ 


What is Paul saying or encouraging us to believe?​​ 


“that we shall also live with Him” –​​ 


This truth is at the heart of living in the victory that Christ’s death, burial,​​ and resurrection provided for us. As I have already mentioned, Christ is now our life​​ (Col. 3:4). His life is eternal and we are inseparably united with​​ His life, thus we too have eternal life. We now live each moment by faith in this truth.


I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.​​ Galatians 2.20 (ESV)





V9~​​ knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.​​ 


“knowing”​​ – same as​​ v6​​ - you should be well aware of…


What causes death? -​​ Sin. See​​ Romans 5:12; 6:23​​ 



Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—​​ Romans 5.12​​ 

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.​​ Romans 6.23​​ 



Sin is the cause of death​​ – spiritual, physical,​​ and soulical.​​ 


As we discussed above, the sin debt has been paid by Christ’s death/shed blood on the cross. Therefore, death no longer has any power or authority over Christ (and those in Christ). Christ’s life is now our life.​​ 


“death no longer is master over Him.” –


This part of the verse seems to imply that death once had mastery over Christ. If so, it was only temporary, and only because Christ willingly allowed it​​ so​​ that he could become sin for us​​ (2 Cor. 5:21)​​ so that he might pay our sin debt with his death.​​ 






V10~ For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; But the life that He lives, He lives to God.​​ 


Here Paul gives the​​ reason why​​ he made the statement in​​ v9.


“the death that He died,” – ​​ Christ’s sacrificial death (on the cross).


​​ “He died to sin once for all;”​​ –​​ 


Christ’s death paid the penalty for sin; it also broke the power of sin for all those who have received him by faith.​​ 


“once for all” –​​ ephapax (Gr) -​​ from​​ epi​​ and​​ hapax; upon one occasion (only): - (at) once (for all).​​ Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary


“but the life that He lives, He lives to God.” –


Paul, as he often does, is​​ contrasting two different things –​​ 


1st​​ part​​ of this verse​​ –​​ Christ died to sin once for all

2nd​​ part​​ of this verse – but the life he lives, he​​ lives​​ to God.​​ 


He contrasts​​ death to sin once​​ with​​ life to God forever.


Note –​​ the 2nd​​ occurrence of the word​​ “lives”​​ in the 2nd​​ part of this verse is in the​​ present tense​​ and thus means to “keep on living”. - The life he lives, he “keeps on living” to God.


Equally important is that we, who are in Christ, are also now alive to God (energized​​ and​​ receptive to God) forever, whereas,​​ in Adam, we were all dead to God.​​ 


How do we live to God?​​ By faith; the same way we received Christ.


​​ "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the​​ life​​ which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.​​ Galatians 2.20​​ See also​​ Col. 2:5-7





V11~​​ Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.​​ 


​​ “Even so” –​​ means​​ because of this or that; in context – because of what I’ve just told you​​ (v2-10)​​ about who you are (identity) and what you have as a result…


“consider” –​​ logizomai (Gr)​​ -literally – consider, calculate, reckon.​​ See notes on 4:5.​​ Here it is in the​​ present imperative tense​​ which means to treat as a continual action or attitude. Make it a habit!


What truth are we to consider?​​ 


“yourselves to be dead to sin” –


It is not our faith or reckoning that makes a thing true. It is true because God said it was true. We are dead to sin’s power and authority, i.e., we are no longer compelled to sin – we have a choice! It is true whether we believe it or not. However, if we want to walk in this freedom, we must believe it. Until this happens, we will not experience the freedom we have in Christ.​​ 



“but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” –​​ Before we were​​ born-again, we were dead to God. We were left on our own to get our needs met (according to the flesh). Now we have the life of Christ as our life. In​​ Him we are complete. Our every need is met. As we walk by faith in this truth, we experience​​ His life in whatever capacity we need in the present moment.





V12~ Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body So that you obey its lusts,​​ 


Therefore”​​ -​​ Here it​​ means consequently or as a result of.​​ 


“do not let sin reign”– literally - “Be not at all allowing sin to reign!” (The Greek is emphatic).​​ 


“reign” –​​ basileuo (Gr) -​​ from​​ basileus;​​ to rule (literal or figurative): - king, reign

Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary


In other words, we are no longer under the authority of the power of sin, so stop allowing it to master you. Remember, sin here is referring to a power that can control you if you​​ allow​​ it.​​ 


It is a choice that we make​​ – live under the power of sin or of the reign of the King of Kings – Jesus!​​ 


in your mortal body” –​​ soma (Gr)​​ - refers to your​​ physical body.​​ 


This is where sin dwells.​​ While it is true that sin no longer has any power over us (unless we allow it), it is also true that sin continues to dwell in our physical body​​ (Romans 6:6,12; 7:17, 20, 23), however, that doesn’t mean that our bodies are sinful. Sin is in us, but it is not us. Consider the analogy of a splinter in your finger. It can be said that the splinter is in you, but certainly,​​ the splinter is not part of you.​​ 


So, we are encouraged not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies.



“so that you obey its lusts” –​​ 


“obey” –​​ hypakouo (Gr) -​​ from​​ hupo​​ and​​ akouo; to hear under (as a subordinate), i.e. to listen attentively; by implication to heed or conform to a command or authority: - hearken, be obedient to, obey.​​ Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary


“lusts”-​​ epithymia​​ (Gr)​​ -​​ in itself is a neutral term denoting the presence of strong desires or impulses, longings or passionate craving directed toward an object.​​ preceptaustin.org


When sin reigns, we will obey its lusts.​​ ​​ 


What do you notice about these lusts? They are not ours; they are sin’s lusts! This is one of Satan’s great deceptions. Satan works through the power of sin that dwells in us to make us believe that our lustful thoughts originate from our own minds. Most addictions are a result of obeying sin’s lusts.






V13~​​ and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin​​ as​​ instruments of unrighteousness; But present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members​​ as​​ instruments of righteousness to God.


“and do not go on presenting” –​​ The Greek construction is a​​ present imperative​​ which conveys the sense "Stop doing this." The idea is to terminate an action that is already in progress.​​ 


Word Study -​​ present ​​​​ from Greek -​​ paristemi​​ from​​ para​​ = near, beside +​​ histemi​​ = place, set) literally means to place or set beside or near and hence to place at someone's disposal.​​ Paristemi​​ means to present oneself for service or to put at the service of (sometimes translated "help" Ro 16:2-note).​​ preceptaustin.org



So, stop placing yourself for the service of or at the disposal of sin.


Presenting what?


“the members of your body”​​ 


“members​​ –​​ melos (Gr) -​​ refers to a limb or member of the body.

This would include one’s arms, legs, fingers, tongue, eyes, ears, feet, etc.​​ 


“to sin”​​ – again, refers to sin as a power that desires to control you.


“as​​ instruments” – ​​ hoplon (Gr)​​ -​​ an​​ implement​​ or​​ utensil​​ or​​ tool​​ (literal or figurative, especially offensive for war): - armor, instrument, weapon.​​ Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary


“of unrighteousness;” –​​ adikia​​ from​​ a​​ = not +​​ dikê​​ = right) is a condition of not being right, whether with God, according to the standard of His holiness and righteousness or with man, according to the standard of what man knows to be right by his conscience.​​ preceptaustin.org


“but”-​​ a term of contrast.​​ 


Paul is contrasting presenting your body to be used for unrighteousness​​ with​​ presenting it to God to be used for righteousness.​​ 


“present yourselves to God” –​​ 


“present” –​​ same as above.​​ Here it conveys the idea of placing yourself beside God, in so doing placing yourself at His disposal. Paul's use of this verb also conveys the idea of yielding or surrendering because if you place something at the disposal of God, you are in essence surrendering your rights and power to God and His power (a very good exchange indeed!)​​ 


“as those alive from the dead,” –​​ we were dead in our trespasses and sins, separated from the life of God;​​ 


1​​ And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,​​ 2​​ in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.​​ 3​​ Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.​​ Ephesians 2.1-3​​ 



but now we have been given new life in Jesus Christ.


4​​ But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,​​ 5​​ even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),​​ Ephesians 2.4-5​​ 



“and your members​​ as​​ instruments of righteousness to God.” –​​ and place your body at the disposal of God as weapons for righteousness.​​ 





V14~​​  For sin shall not be master over you, For you are not under law But under grace.​​ 


Paul is making a declaration in this verse (not a command).


“For” –​​ a term of explanation. You could substitute the word, “because” here.​​ 


Why shall sin not be your master?​​ Because of what Paul has been saying – that our old man has died and thus, we are no longer under the reign of sin.​​ 


“sin shall not be master over you”


“sin” -​​ hamartia (Gr) a noun –​​ again, sin here refers to a controlling power that desires to enslave us to its demands.​​ That sin shall not be your master is one of the dominant​​ themes in​​ Romans chapter 6.


​​ “not”​​ -​​ ou​​ (Gr)​​ - signifying absolute negation.​​ 


“be master over”​​ -verb​​ kurieuo​​ from​​ kúrios​​ – rule; have dominion; exercise lordship​​ Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary

Sin shall absolutely no longer be our master as when we were in Adam. We are no longer in Adam, we are now reborn in Christ.


Paul then gives us another reason we should not be dominated by the power of sin.

“For” –​​ a term of explanation. You could substitute the word, “because” here also.​​ 


“you are not under law” –​​ 


“not”​​ -​​ ou​​ (Gr)​​ - signifying absolute negation.


“under” –​​ here used to mean to be​​ subject to the authority of law.



Word Study -​​ under

From Greek​​ hupo​​ - literally means beneath but figuratively as in this passage speaks of being totally under the power, authority, and control of any kind of law, whether the 10 commandments are a set of do's and don'ts which I set up. Believers no longer owe allegiance to the law, and yet believers are by no means "lawless." In the​​ New Covenant, the law is written on our hearts (Jer 31:33 contrasted with Is 51:7; cp Ezek 11:19, see Ps 37:31, He 8:10, He 10:16, cp Ro 6:17) and we possess the indwelling Spirit to obey its commands (see esp Ezek 36:25, 26, 27 which is related also to the New Covenant).​​ 

In Matthew 8:9 the Roman centurion declared..., “I am a man​​ under​​ (hupo) authority (exousia​​ = the right and the might), having soldiers​​ under​​ (hupo) me”. So in this passage just as the Roman centurion was​​ under​​ Roman military authority, including its laws and penalties, so his soldiers were​​ under​​ his authority. In summary, we may say that for one to be "under law" in the Biblical sense is to be subject to its authority, its commands and its penalties.​​ preceptaustin.org


“law” –​​ nomos (Gr) –​​ a regulation; of Moses; figuratively – a principle, force or influence – such as the law of gravity. ​​ 


Note –​​ Law here is not just the Old Covenant (Mosaic) Law, but any system of rules/regulations, e.g., “Do this” or “Don’t do that”, etc.​​ 


Word Study - Law​​ 

From Greek​​ nomos​​ - originally referred to something parceled out and came to mean usage or custom and later came to refer to a formalized rule (or set of rules) prescribing what people must do.​​ 

Note that in this verse the definite article is not used with "law" so Paul is saying we are not under any kind of law, be it the 10 commandments or self-imposed constraints or conditions. When you put yourself under law, as discussed in the previous section, the​​ Sin​​ again becomes your master. When you start setting up a list of rules which say "I can't do this. I can't go there." etc. then you need to understand that you are putting yourself back up under (the power of)​​ law. There is something about our fallen​​ flesh​​ that loves to respond to a list of do's and don'ts.​​ preceptaustin.org



What’s wrong with living under law? Answer – Everything!​​ The Gentiles were never under the Law; and the new man in Christ (either Jew or Gentile) has NO relation to the Law! We have died to the Law!


Here are some of the things about the law –​​ 


4​​ Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to​​ die to the Law​​ through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.​​ 5​​ For while we were living in the flesh,​​ our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.​​ Romans 7.4-5 (ESV)

8​​ But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for​​ apart from the Law sin​​ is​​ dead.​​ 9​​ I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died;​​ 10​​ and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me;​​ Romans 7.8-10.

Talking to the Jews about the Law -​​ But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?​​ Galatians 4.9​​ 

3​​ And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.​​ 4​​ You have been severed from Christ,​​ you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.​​ Galatians 5.3-4​​ 


And there’s more.​​ The power of sin is the Law!

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;​​ 1 Corinthians 15.56 ​​ 


“but under grace.” –​​ Grace and law are totally opposites. Anytime you add even a pinch of law to grace, it is no longer grace. Grace cannot be earned. It is God’s favor on us because he loves us!


Law living​​ is an​​ achieving system, while​​ grace living​​ is a​​ receiving system,​​ 


Law living​​ is me trying to achieve a certain standard of living out of my own strength (my flesh) to gain acceptance and/or favor from God. It always focuses on one’s external behavior. It is me living dependent on myself (which is living according to my flesh), rather than dependent on God. Living according to my flesh is always sin and thus, always produces death.​​ See​​ Understanding the Flesh​​ on this website.​​ 


Grace living​​ is living by faith in Christ and​​ His strength. It is me living in complete dependence on Christ. Grace living always produces life! Grace living focuses on “being” rather than “doing”. In other words, its focus is on who I am and what I have in Christ,​​ and what Christ has done, rather than me trying to do something to obtain favor with Christ.​​ 


We are always living either under the reign of sin or the reign of Christ. So, here’s the question you must ask yourself - “Should I serve sin or should I serve God?



“But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”​​ 

Bob Dylan



Practical Example #1 –


Suppose you want to lose some weight and decide to go on a diet. In so doing, you set up a list of certain foods you will eat and others that you will not eat.​​ 


Do you ever do that?​​ 


It won’t be long before those foods on the “do not eat list” will be the very ones that you can’t stop thinking about. And if you think about “not eating” them long enough, you will eventually eat them!​​ 


Practical Example #2 –


You decide, from now on you will get up every morning at 5:00 to have a “quiet time” with the Lord (you have just put yourself under law). What happens when you miss a few mornings? You feel defeated, then you stop completely because you just can’t be consistent.​​ 


After you fail in either of the two examples, what happens?​​ – You feel condemnation!​​ 

Law living demands a standard but gives you no strength to achieve it! Law living always depends on one’s flesh to attempt to keep the rules/standards.​​ 



Do this and live the law commands,
But gives me neither feet nor hands.
A better word the gospel brings,
It bids me fly and gives me wings.

Author Unknown


What would be an alternative to a diet?​​ 


Let me suggest this attitude –


Father,​​ I realize my weight has become a problem. I am unhealthy and more importantly, I’m not honoring you with my body. I confess that I struggle to control what I eat. I choose to surrender my desire to overeat and ask you to guide me by your Holy Spirit as to how much to eat, what to eat,​​ and when to eat. Surrender happens​​ in the moment. I can’t surrender today for what I will or won’t do tomorrow. Think about this!


An alternative to a “quiet time”?​​ (I realize I’m treading on sacred ground here!)


I know I am continually in the presence of the Lord Jesus, so I will communicate with him all day long. There is nothing wrong with getting alone with the Lord to pray (talking and​​ listening), but making it a law turns it into a religious duty, and that will not produce life.​​ 






V16~​​ Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone​​ as​​ slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in Righteousness ​​ 


Then​​ Paul, as he did after​​ verses​​ 1​​ and​​ 2, asks another question and begins it the same way – “Do you not know”,​​ which could be translated – “are you continually ignorant”.​​ 


And then he reminds his readers of something they should know -​​ 


“when you present” –​​ see notes on​​ v13.​​ 


“to someone” –​​ we will always be yielding to God or to the power of sin. As I said above, Satan works through the power of sin.​​ 


“slaves” –​​ a servant or bondservant.​​ 


Word Study –​​ slaves​​ –​​ from Greek -​​ doulos

Usage Notes: from​​ deō, "to bind," "a slave," originally the lowest term in the scale of servitude, came also to mean "one who gives himself up to the will of another," e.g.,​​ 1 Cor. 7:23;​​ Rom. 6:17,​​ 20, and became the most common and general word for "servant," as in​​ Matt. 8:9, without any idea of bondage. In calling himself, however, a "bondslave of Jesus Christ," e.g.,​​ Rom. 1:1, the Apostle Paul intimates (1) that he had​​ been formerly a "bondslave" of Satan, and (2) that, having been bought by Christ, he was now a willing slave, bound to his new Master. See​​ SERVANT. The feminine,​​ doule, signifies "a handmaid,"​​ Luke 1:38,​​ 48;​​ Acts 2:18.​​ Vine's Expository Dictionary​​ 


“for obedience” –​​ see notes on​​ v12.


“you are slaves of the one whom you obey,” –​​ Obey is in the present tense, which indicates a continuous and/or habitual action. Slaves are continually obeying their masters- that is their habit.​​ 


“either of sin resulting in death”​​ – when you obey sin, the result is always death! Death came into the world as a result of sin.​​ 


Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—​​ Romans 5.12​​ 


“obedience resulting in righteousness” –​​ 


“resulting”​​ – not in​​ the​​ original language.​​ 


“righteousness” –​​ 


“When grace is operative in the Christian’s​​ life there will be "obedience resulting in righteousness"​​ (Rom. 6:16).”​​ James Fowler





V17~ But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,​​ 

“But” –​​ a term of contrast.​​ ​​ 


“thanks”​​ - As Paul is reminded of what God has done in their lives, he gives thanks recalling how we previously​​ were slaves to the power of sin.​​ 


“Were” -​​ is in the imperfect tense which speaks of a continual action in the past.

But now we have become –


obedient”​​ –​​ hupakouo (Gr)​​ - to hear under; to submit to obey; to listen attentively; by implication to heed or conform to a command or authority. Is in the​​ aorist tense, which speaks of an action that occurred at a specific point in time in the past. We became obedient to the gospel message, i.e., we received it by faith. That produced a heart change in us.​​ 


“from the heart” -​​ suggests that it was an inside out change (a change of heart), not merely a change of external behavior. One of the promises of the new covenant was that along with a new spirit, we would also receive a new heart.


"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.​​ Ezekiel 36.26​​ 


Law living is about attempting to change external behavior by conforming to a set of rules. Grace living is about receiving the fullness of Christ, which will result in righteous behavior. Law focuses on doing. Grace focuses on being.​​ 


“that form of teaching to which you were committed”​​ 


“form”​​ –​​ See word study below.


Word Study –​​ form​​ -​​ from Greek word​​ typos.​​ “The word for "form" is when you take an instrument, strike it, and it makes an indelible imprint on something. It marks or identifies something. Something has been traumatized by something else. That’s what the word means. In the context here, he says that you were​​ delivered over. This is what you are now committed to. This is the teaching that rules and reigns in your life.” –​​ Wayne Barber

The representation or pattern of anything. Here refers to the form or mold of “teaching which you were committed”.​​ Vine’s Expository Dictionary

typos​​ is a noun with the underlying literal meaning of a "print," in the sense of a mark on the body left by a wound.​​ typos​​ also exhibits an expanded metaphorical sense of "pattern," "figure," or "example." This term can also have the technical meaning "type." The meaning "pattern" refers to that of the temple, duly prescribed by God, as noted in​​ Acts 7:44;​​ Heb. 8:5. It is evident that the temple in Jerusalem constitutes a "typological" anticipation of Christ's eternal dwelling place in heaven alongside his Father.​​ Rom. 6:17​​ also refers to the apostolic "pattern" of teaching, embodied in the gospel.​​ Expository Dictionary of Bible Words


Upon receiving Christ by faith, we began to be conformed to his image.​​ 


For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined​​ to become​​ conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;​​ Romans 8.29​​ 


“teaching”​​ - doctrine, instruction, teaching;

“to which you were committed”​​ –​​ 

“committed”​​ –​​ paradidomi (Gr)​​ - surrender; yield up; deliver or deliver up.


paradidomi​​ - "to deliver over," in​​ Rom. 6:17, RV, "that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered," the figure being that of a mold which gives its shape to what is cast in it (not as the AV).​​ Vine's Expository Dictionary


J.B. Phillips​​ translates the phrase “to which you were committed” as “when you came under its influence.”





V18~​​ and having been freed from sin you became slaves of Righteousness ​​ 


Note -​​ This verse is a continuation of the sentence started in the previous verse.​​ 

“having been freed from sin”​​ - We were slaves of sin​​ (v17). Now we have been set free from the power of sin. We are no longer obligated to obey sin. However,​​ even​​ as a Christian, we can still choose to sin.​​ 

“became slaves of righteousness” –​​ 


Having been freed… have become slaves - It is important to notice that both of these verbs in Rom.​​ 618​​ are in the passive voice, which indicates that we have been acted upon by a power outside of ourselves to bring about the effects/actions of each verb. In other words, it is God alone Who supernaturally brought about the effects/actions indicated by these two verbs and this should be a cause of worship and humble thanks to our Creator and Redeemer and Friend.​​ preceptaustin.org


Thought -​​ Think about slavery in the past. Slaves had a master, someone that owned them. A slave could be bought, sold,​​ or traded at the whim of his owner (master). We were all born into slavery to sin. We lived under the master known as sin. But Christ paid the price to purchase us from sin. Now we are owned by a righteous God. We are slaves to righteousness because we are righteous.​​ 


19​​ Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?​​ 20​​ For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.​​ 1 Corinthians 6.19-20​​ 

He made Him who knew no sin​​ to be​​ sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.​​ 2 Corinthians 5.21​​ 





V19~​​ I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness,​​ resulting​​ in​​ further​​ lawlessness So now present your members as slaves to righteousness,​​ resulting​​ in


Here is a summary​​ of what​​ Paul has been saying in the last six verses about those who are now united with Christ.​​ 


In summary –​​ 

1.​​ We are​​ dead to sin​​ 

2.​​ We are​​ alive to God

3.​​ Don’t let sin reign in your body

4.​​ Stop yielding your body as instruments of unrighteousness

5.​​ Start yielding your body to God and your members to righteousness

6.​​ Sin is not our master because we are not under law

7.​​ The one you yield yourself to becomes your master – either to death or to righteousness

8.​​ You used to be slaves to sin, but you became obedient from the heart

9. Now you are freed from sin and are slaves to righteousness


Paul is comparing how we used to present our bodies before we were freed from sin, with how we should present them now.​​ 


Before we were freed from sin, we would “yield the members”​​ (parts of our bodies) as​​ 

servants to the uncleanness and to the lawlessness--to the lawlessness,​​ 

“uncleanness”​​ – moral impurity – especially sexual sins.​​ 


“lawlessness” –​​ disregard for God’s ways/commands, i.e., living independent of God (according to the flesh). Doing whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, and however they wanted.​​ 


“lawlessness to the lawlessness” –​​ lawlessness and more lawlessness. Seems to be saying there is just no limit to the disregard for God and his ways.​​ 


An old saying –​​ Sin will take you further than you want to go; keep you longer than​​ you want to stay; and cost you more than you​​ are able​​ to pay!​​ Author​​ Unknown


In summary, Paul is saying that before you were freed from sin, you yielded your body to slaves of moral impurity and disregarded the ways of God.​​ 


“present your members servants to the righteousness--to sanctification,”​​ ​​ 


But now, he encourages us to “present (yield) the members”​​ (parts of our bodies) as though they were “servants to righteousness”.​​ 


“servants” –​​ a slave, either voluntary or involuntary.​​ 


“righteousness”​​ – refers here to their behavior. We have been declared righteous in Christ Jesus and should therefore let our behavior reflect it. We live righteously (behavior) because we are righteous (identity), not to achieve righteousness (identity).​​ See notes on 3:20.​​ 


“unto” –​​ eis (Gr) - ​​​​ can mean – into, to, unto, for, in, on, toward, against.​​ 


“sanctification” - ​​ 


Word Study -​​ sanctification

From Greek​​ hagiasmos –​​ from​​ hagiazo; properly purification, i.e. (the state) purity; concrete (by Hebrew) a purifier: - holiness, sanctification.​​ Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary

"sanctification"​​ is used of (a) separation to God, (b) the course of life befitting those so separated, 1 Thess. 4:3, 4, 7; Rom. 6:19, 22; 1 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 12:14.​​ Vine's Expository Dictionary​​ 


For more on this subject, please read​​ Understanding Sanctification​​ on this website.​​ 





V20~ For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.​​ 


​​ “slaves”​​ - servant

Again, you cannot serve two masters​​ (v16). You will either be a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness.





V21~ Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.​​ 



What was previously stated?​​ We were slaves to sin.​​ 


Paul now poses the question –​​ How did that benefit you?


“benefit”​​ - it refers to fruit, produce,​​ or offspring. Figuratively, it describes the consequence of an action, either physical, mental, or spiritual.​​ 


Paul gives the reason why the sinful life is shameful.​​ Sin always produces death – spiritual, soulical, and physical!





V22~ But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit,​​ resulting​​ in and the outcome, eternal life.​​ 


Paul makes a similar statement here as in​​ v18.​​ 


Here Paul is contrasting the life lived as a slave to the power of sin​​ (v20-21)​​ with the life lived as a slave to God. Again, behavior is in view. ​​ 


“freed from sin” –​​ We are no longer under the reign of the power of sin.​​ 


“enslaved to God” -​​ Now we have become slaves to God, i.e., servants/bondservants of God, i.e., we live under the power of the Holy Spirit.​​ 


“you derive your benefit” –​​ same as in​​ v21.


What is produced (benefit) from this life?​​ 

“resulting in sanctification” –​​ 


“resulting”​​ – not in​​ the​​ original language. Literally – “unto sanctification”.


“to sanctification” –​​ see notes on 6:19.​​ 

We are already set apart unto God, therefore, our life should be lived as an expression of​​ His character.​​ As we​​ surrender/yield to the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit​​ is experienced and expressed​​ in and through our lives.​​ 


“the outcome, eternal life” –​​ in keeping with the contrast of​​ v21, where the outcome of the life lived under the power of sin is death, the life lived enslaved to God is eternal life. When we live under the power of the Holy Spirit, we will experience Christ as our life right now on planet​​ Earth.


“eternal life” -​​ ​​ refers to​​ life that has no beginning and no end. Jesus is spoken of as “eternal life”. We don’t live our lives on earth, die (physically), then step into eternal life. The moment we are spiritually reborn we have a new identity. We are “in Christ”​​ (in union with Christ). Again, Christ is eternal life. We​​ are united with​​ Christ’s life the moment we receive Him by faith. More accurately,​​ His life is our life​​ (Col. 3:4). Don’t think of eternal life as a length of time, but rather as a person. Christ is life​​ (John 14:6)​​ and​​ He is eternal.​​ For more on this subject,​​ read/watch​​ A New Creation in Christ​​ Part 1.​​ 





V23~ For the wages of sin is death, But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.​​ 


“For”​​ – a term of explanation.​​ 


“wages”-​​ what we earn or what we get paid.​​ 


Our sinful actions will only earn death for us. Remember, we are all born spiritually dead to God because of Adam’s sin (see​​ Chapter 5). Even though we have been spiritually born again, now alive to God, we can still choose sinful behavior and thus, experience soulical death.​​ 


“free gift” – “free” -​​ not in​​ the​​ original but is implied here.​​ ​​ 


“gift” –​​ that which is freely given, i.e., cannot be earned, only received.​​ 


“God” –​​ God is the giver of the gift.​​ 


What is the gift?​​ Eternal life in the person of Jesus Christ. Again, Christ is eternal life!



Chapter 6 Summary –​​ We have died to the power of sin. So how can we still choose to live under its power? Don’t you know that we were baptized (placed into) Christ’s death, burial,​​ and resurrection?​​ We are now united with Christ. Now we live our new life free from sin’s reign because we have been released from its power. Now we live in the power of Christ’s life. So, stop submitting to the power of sin that is still in your physical body; instead,​​ submit to God and live a holy life, because you are holy (set apart unto God). When you submit to sin, you will experience death, but when you submit to God you will experience eternal life in the person of Jesus Christ, for he is now your life!​​ 


Bottom line​​ – live like who you are or you will experience conflict in your life. You are no longer suited for sin!




1.​​ Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary

2.​​ Practical Word Studies in The New Testament​​ 

3.​​ Vine's Expository Dictionary

4.​​ preceptaustin.org





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