Now in Romans 6 and 7, we would talk about how we could stop sinning while in grace. Chapters 1-3 talk about how all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And in Chapters 4 and 5, Paul preaches grace.
ROMANS 6 STUDY AND COMMENTARY
6:1-2– Answering the question asked at the end of Chapter 5: “Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound?” Paul answers and says, “certainly not!” KJV says, “God forbid!” And he explains why: if we are dead to sin, how can we continue to live in it?
6:3-9– He further goes on to say that as we were baptised in Christ, we were baptised into His death and raised from the dead also by the glory of the Father. We’ve been baptised into Jesus and so, we participate in all He went through. He died a physical death and rose up, never to die again. This is also our reality as we are baptised in Him; we walk in newness of life.
6:9-11– As Jesus died and rose again to die no more, He has dominion over death. He died to sin and lives to God, just as we reckon ourselves to be. We who are alive in Christ therefore have dominion over death, because we are alive forever.
6:12-14– Since we reckon ourselves dead to sin, we therefore should not let it reign in our bodies. We are alive to God and so, our members are instruments of righteousness to God. As those under grace and not under the law, we walk in the nature of who we truly are.
6:15-16– Paul answers the same question in Verse 1 with another reason. We do not sin when we are under grace, we are servants to whom we obey. The word “servant” is the same Paul used in Chapter 1, “doulos”. Doulos means a servant who voluntarily chooses to continue serving the master because of his faithfulness. And so we answer the question, “Are we doulos to sin or to righteousness?”
6:17-19– Paul then thanks the Lord, as we should always, that once we were slaves of sin but now we are slaves of righteousness. Paul then says he uses the illustration of slavery to explain what he means because of the weakness of our human nature as it was an example of an everyday life situation.
6:20-22– A slave is one who is faithful to his master alone, he cannot be faithful to two masters. When we were servants of sin, we were free from righteousness and in the same way, now we are servants of righteousness, we are free from sin. For we are now ashamed of the fruits we once bore in our sinfulness that could only lead to death. But now, we bear fruits into holiness which lead to eternal life.
6:23– This is a very famous verse which is usually quoted only halfway. The wages of sin is death (we reckon ourselves dead to sin and having dominion over death); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. We have received this free gift the very moment we believed in the finished work of Christ.
ROMANS 7 STUDY AND COMMENTARY
7:1– Paul addresses those who are familiar with the law, probably the Jews in Rome. He says, ‘don’t you know the law applies only when a person in living?’
7:2-3- Paul then uses marriage as an illustration to explain the question he had asked. If a woman marries another man while her husband is still living, it is considered as adultery. Whereas, if the husband is dead, she is free to marry whosoever she wants and this isn’t adultery. This was most likely the Jewish custom.
7:4-6– The marriage illustration points humanity as the woman. We died to the power of the law when we died in Christ and now we are united to Christ through our resurrection from the dead. Therefore, we are not controlled by our old nature and we can now produce a harvest of good deeds for God. We are dead to the law and not captive of its power. Remember the law brought about our sin consciousness and the realisation of our helplessness. But now that we are united with Christ, we serve in newness of Spirit and not the oldness of the letter. The letter (gramma) means the law.
7:7– Pastor Kris Langham explains the law in this manner: the wristwatch can make you aware that you’re late for an event but this act does not make the wristwatch bad, it only informs you of your lateness. The watch itself is good and so is the law.
7:8– Sin once produced all manner of evil desire. Pastor Kris says once again, “if the law says don’t look in the box, sin says look in the box. If the law says don’t push the red button, sin says push the red button.” Often times, we find ourselves wanting to do exactly what we’ve been instructed not to do. And just as the law says “thou shalt not…”, sin causes us to want to do it.
7:9-12– Paul says he was once alive before the law but the commandment came, sin revived and he died. The law originally meant to bring life but sin took advantage of it and hence, brought death. The law does not bring death and it is holy and just and good.
7:13– You may ask, “if the law is good, why then did it bring death?” Paul answers this question and lets us know that sin, taking advantage of the law; in that sin might be shown clearly to be sin, is what brings this death. The law made us have knowledge of our sinful nature, it was never made to save us. Knowing that we have sinful flesh only grows the sinful desires we have and this is what brings about death.
7:14-20– The law is spiritual but we are carnal, sold under sin. And so, we find ourselves doing what we do not want to do and not being able to do what we want to do. We want to do what the law says because we know it is good but sin leads us to a completely different and opposite path.
7:21-22– Paul speaks as the old man in these verses, saying there’s a principle that makes him do evil when he wants to do good because he delights in the law of God.
7:23-24– He says there’s a different law asides the law of God residing in his flesh, and this law of sin is at war with the law of God, causing him to sin. He then laments, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” This is the cry of the old man, we were continually in sin seeking to die to it but we couldn’t do it by ourselves and we needed a Saviour.
7:25– Salvation has come as Paul thanks God that we are delivered from this body of death through Jesus Christ our Saviour. This is how things are: with the mind, we serve the law of God but with the flesh, we serve the law of sin.
Now that we have been saved and dead to sin, we are under grace. Do we then act according to the flesh or the spirit? Let’s see what Chapter 8 says.?
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