Romans 6:1-14 “Restored Instruments”
Romans 6 1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old selfwas crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set freefrom sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Will And Grace • Up to this point Paul has been talking about the grace of God in the Gospel • Grace is the gift, but faith is the open hand that receives it • A choice must be made (like Adam in the garden) • Paul turns to the results of that choice now
Grace? Awesome! • Apparently, there were some that thought that grace meant they could do whatever they wanted • The hypothesis being that if God gets glory by defeating my sin, the more I sin, the more glory He gets! • Rooted in the idea of Sin as judicial not relational • Paul says you haven’t understood grace is you ask a question like that!
Dead People Don’t Sin! • Paul’s witty response is a question: “Can dead people sin?” • Notice how Verse 2 describes “sin” almost like a place • In Verse 1, “Go on sinning” is singular in Greek • “Go on under sin” • This is about kingdom, allegiance, reign, power
Two Ages New aeon (age) New age marked by suffering love and the rule of the kingdom of God started by Jesus Old age marked sin and death started by the Old Adam Both are happening at the same time right now Old aeon (age)
I’m From the Future… Jesus comes into reality as the representative of the New Humanity Humanity as it is New Humanity
Literally Or Seriously? • When reading the Bible always remember three things • 1. God comes into culture, uses what is in that culture to point to a bigger reality, and He never gives more than that culture can handle • 2. Let the words be defined by the story, not the story by the words • 3. The Bible is for the explicit purpose of pointing us to Jesus
Baptism And Exodus • This explains Paul’s use of place in Verse 1 • This is about choosing a reality (Egypt or Promised Land) • Doesn’t mean we don’t act like we’re still there sometimes • But to experience this new reality one has to learn the language and act as a proper citizen (Phil 3:20)
Martyn L. Jones There is all the difference in the world between being in a given position and realizing you are in that position... Take the case of those poor slaves in the United States of America about a hundred years ago. There they were in a condition of slavery. Then the Civil War came, and as the result of that war, slavery was abolished in the United States. But what had actually happened? All slaves, young and old, were given their freedom, but many of the older ones who had endured long years of servitude found it very difficult to understand their new status. They heard the announcement that slavery was abolished and that they were free: but hundreds, not to say thousands, of times in their after-lives and experiences many of them did not realize it, and when they saw their old master coming near them they began to quake and tremble, and to wonder whether they were going to be sold... You can still be a slave experientially, even when you are no longer a slave legally... Whatever you may feel, whatever your experience may be, God tells us here, through his Word, that if we are in Christ we are no longer in Adam, we are no longer under the reign and rule of sin... And if I fall into sin, as I do, it is simply because I do not realize who I am... Realize it! Reckon it!– D.M. Lloyd-Jones
What is it? • Baptism is rooted in Jewish understands of “being clean” • Ezekiel 36:25-26 • Uncleanness—related primarily to foods, childbirth, bodily discharges, and infection or disease (Leviticus 11–15) • Meant a person could not participate in worship of God at the temple or tabernacle • “Dirty” in language today
Why Wash? • The point of all the washing is to reenter a state where one can be in the presence of God • Romans 6 presents a clean life and new relationship with God • In this new understanding baptism doesn’t cleanse us so that we can enter the temple, but it prepares a place for God in the form of the Holy Spirit • If it sounds mystical, it is! • Would have blown 1st century minds!
What Happens? • Baptism both reenacts and participates in Christ’s death • There is a “burying” of evil • Baptism is a “visible word” about God’s judgment on death and sin • As circumcision was the sign and seal of God’s covenant with Abraham, so baptism points to a faith that is willing to let God cleanse us and make us one of His people • Marriage is an okay metaphor
The First Choice • According to Paul, for the first time, we can choose NOT to sin • Sin and evil is now a tempter and deceiver and not a controller • “Body of sin” in Verse 6 is “rendered ineffective” • As the image of God was broken in us, now the image of sin is being destroyed • Both a break with the past and a look to the future
But… • My own experience • Verse 13, “Do not offer,” military language • “New life” (V. 4), “Dead to sin, but alive to God” (V.11), “instruments” (V.13) • We live in a highly individualized culture • Baptism is a counter-cultural act (passivity, in it’s dependence on another) • It is the path taken by those following Jesus…
Dietrich Bonhoeffer “The Gospels speak of following Jesus, Paul speaks of baptism.” —The Cost of Discipleship
Grace Redefined • The Exodus was always about the world (John 3:16) • Gal. 3:27-28 • In baptism, all the things that divide, label, and separate are left in the Red Sea • Ephesians 2:15 talks about a “new humanity” made to do “good works” • The very word church means “called out ones” • Set apart for the sake of the world
New Pronouns • Now “WE” has a different meaning • Not connected to empire, nation, family, culture, race, gender, or football team • This is hard for Christians today because they much prefer to go to heaven instead of live like they’re already there • God saves to save • CS Lewis on the Christian Life in Mere Christianity