Menu Keys

On-Going Mini-Series

Bible Studies

Codes & Descriptions

Class Codes
[A] = summary lessons
[B] = exegetical analysis
[C] = topical doctrinal studies
What is a Mini-Series?
A Mini-Series is a small subset of lessons from a major series which covers a particular subject or book. The class numbers will be in reference to the major series rather than the mini-series.
Wednesday, April 19, 2000

3 - Dead to Sin

Romans 6:5-11 by Robert Dean
Series:Spiritual Life (2000)
Duration:1 hr 0 mins 5 secs

Dead to Sin: Romans 6: 5 – 11 Tape 3


The theme of Romans 6 is that sin is inconsistent in congress and incompatible with the spiritual life. The Chapter is really divided in half; you have verses 1 through 14 and then 15 through 23.


In Verses 1 through 14, the argument is based on the fact that because the believer is united with Christ, sin no longer has a place in his life.


In verses 15 through 23 the argument is based on the fact that because we were slaves to sin from birth, at salvation we became slaves to righteousness to God, therefore sin no longer has a place in the believer's life.


Having said that, Romans 7 looks at the fact we still have a sin nature. When we get down to 7: 15 – 17, Paul says, "…For I am not doing (practicing) what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not wish to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that it is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me." And the point that he is making he concludes in v 24, "Wretched man that I am!" This is a picture of the believer trying to live the spiritual life on the basis of morality and ethics. It is the struggle with the sin nature that I know I shouldn't do certain things or thinks certain thoughts and participates in certain activities, I shouldn't have certain desires or lusts, but I do. I don't do what I want to do and I want to do what I am not doing and I am just torn and schizo and falling apart on the inside. What's the solution? If you notice that is not until 8:2 is the Holy Spirit mentioned. "For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." It is a tremendous argument that Paul is laying out.


That man on his own, (even regenerate man), cannot live the Spiritual Life. It is spiritually empowered and until you come to grips with the role of God the Holy Spirit and how He works in your life, you will never get there. 


The theme in Romans 6 is that sin really does not have any place in the believer's life that means that at some level every single Christian is a hypocrite. Every time we sin we are a hypocrite, because we are doing something that is opposite to what we profess to believe, but we have this split problem and that is that we have a sin nature that is driving us with its lusts and passions in one direction and we have a new nature that is taking us in a different direction and we have the Holy Spirit who is working in us to produce God's plan which is spiritual maturity in our lives and sometimes we want to fight and resist that. Since believers always have a sin nature and you will always sin and every act of sin is doing something inconsistent with what we believe to be true. So as Christians every time we sin we are a hypocrite!


The first fourteen verses focus on the fact that we as believers are united with Christ and that means that there is death to the sin nature, "We are dead to sin." The first four verses which we have studied focused on the reality of our identification with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection. That is the foundational reality that under girds every facet of the spiritual life. If you don't understand positional truth and retroactive positional truth then you will have difficulty understandings its implications for your spiritual life. 


You see in verse 1 Paul starts this section with a rhetorical question, "...What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that Grace might increase? ..."


He has said in the end of the preceding chapter that Law came in order to further reveal the sinfulness of man. As that sinfulness increased grace also increased, in other words the realisation of the need for grace increased and man became more and more cognizant of the fact that he was completely incapable of doing anything to please God.


But the objection that is raised in the first verse is the objection one might say of the licentious crowd. The idea that we can sin with impunity and that it doesn't really make any difference. Of course the other side of it is that Paul is also stating this because he knows that there are those out there in the congregation that don't like grace. Once we come to grips with the fact that God has done everything for us and so we are to respond in gratitude in living out his grace plan in our lives.


The New Testament warns us about the licentious crowd in Jude 1: 4, "...For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only master and Lord, Jesus Christ..." See the purpose of the Law was to expose sinfulness and that man's need was total that God had to do everything for man.


 So Paul continues to develop the argument, "May it never be!" we can't justify sin and continue to sin with impunity.


Romans 6:2, "...How shall we who died to sin still live in it? ..."


Now I want you to notice that phrase, he say, "...we who died to sin..." Now "we" is believers and he says "...we as believers died to sin..." Now this is a key phrase, now look down to verse 10 and we read about Jesus Christ.


Romans 6:10 states, "For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God."

We have to ask a very important question here, what does it mean to be dead to sin? We will come back to that.


We talk about God's character in terms of His righteousness and his Justice. His absolute righteousness is perfect; it is the standard of God's character. His Justice is the application of that standard. The reason we link those together is because in both Hebrew and Greek they are the same word. In the Greek, it's DIKAIOSUNE and in the Hebrew it's Tsedaqah. DIKAIOSUNE, depending on the context it either refers to the standard or the application of that standard. The SUNE ending indicates a quality, the quality of justice, the quality of uprightness or correctness. So in that sense it can either apply to either the absolute standard or the application of that absolute standard and so in some places it refers to righteousness and other places to justice.


But because God is absolute righteousness and perfect justice God can not have fellowship with creatures that do not come up to that standard. We are all obnoxious to God and we all have sin  natures, we are all falling short of the glory of God and that there is nothing in any of us, in our personalities, in our upbringing, in our talents, in our abilities, in our mental abilities, in anything that we do that makes us valuable to God. But God has demonstrated His love for us in that He sent his Son to die on the cross for us, so that all of our sins were imputed to Him. The reason we sin in the first place is because we have one real imputation (we studied the doctrine of imputations, that there were 7 different imputations), one of the real imputations was Adam's original sin, imputed to each one of us at the moment of physical birth. We are born physically alive but spiritually dead and we have a sin nature, so we are sinners because we have a sin nature. So our unrighteousness and our sins had to be judicially imputed to Jesus Christ because He was perfect righteousness. Because He was perfect righteousness there wasn't a natural home or natural affinity for our unrighteousness, so it's a judicial imputation. All of our sins were poured out upon Him on the cross; he carried our sins in His body on the cross. He paid the penalty for every single sin in human history and when we trust Christ as our saviour his perfect righteousness is then imputed to us, that is a second judicial imputation because there is not a natural home for perfect righteousness in our sinful bodies, so His perfect righteousness is imputed to us and now when God looks at us He sees the fact that we have this perfect righteousness.


The root of righteousness is DIKAIOSUNE and so God then acts (this act is a verb and the verb is DIKIAIO from the same word as DIKAIOSUNE), with DIKAIO God declares us to be justified. He declares us to be righteous. We are righteous because we possess the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. So God declares us to be righteous. This is called justification and then he is able to bless us because of the righteousness of Christ in us and not because of anything that we do. That is the foundation for Paul's argument here. Is that we have been justified freely by God's grace, He did everything for us and the results of that mean that there is something different going on in the believer's life, we are new creature in Christ Paul says in 2 Cor 5:17. It is a radically new scenario, the minute after we are saved. Paul begins to develop that.


Now the reason is that at the cross there were certain eternal things that happened as well as temporal realities. Part of the eternal realities is that we are united in Christ and this is the subject of these first three verses "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus have been baptised into his death" This is referring to the baptism of God the Holy Spirit. In the baptism of God the Holy Spirit, God the Holy Spirit identifies us with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That's the significance of that word baptism, is that we are identified fully with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.


So the question that Paul says in Romans 6:3, "...Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? ..."


"Don't you know? Don't you understand this?" experientially all of us that have been baptised into Jesus Christ, (the past tense there refers to the moment of salvation), have been baptised (that word is simultaneous with baptism, baptism into Christ) at that moment we are baptised into his death.


Romans 6:4, "...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..."


 "Therefore, [conclusion] we have been buried with him through baptism into death…" 


What has happened here according to the chart is that at the moment of our faith alone in Christ alone through the baptism of God the Holy Spirit, we are placed in Christ, that unites us with everything Christ has done and everything that He is and we possess a vast number of spiritual realities that are ours from that moment forward. And that becomes the basis for being able to live the spiritual life. Now the spiritual life is indicated by the filling of the Holy Spirit and that is going to be a different subject that we will develop later on.


It starts off with the word UN – "...therefore..." drawing an inference from the previous statement. Paul in his process here is that he makes a point of doctrine and then he says, "Therefore…" Let's draw out the implications about this and go to the next point, "If we have been baptised, if we have been identified with Christ's death. What was that death?" That death was His spiritual substitutionary death on the cross. So death here is the first clue to gain an understanding where we are going to go in verse 11, to be dead to sin is related to what transpired at the cross. Therefore because we have been identified with Christ death (that's a real identification) conclusion, we have been buried with Him, (after he died He went into the ground), so not only have we been identified with His death but we have been buried with Him through baptism into death. So we are identified with His death and burial.


This is the aorist passive indicative first person singular of SUNTHAPTO which means to be buried together with in co – joint with, so it indicates a unity and it is a figure of speech that it represents something. It represents separation from, separation from physical life and the point that is being made here is that just as we died with Christ on the cross we are buried, now what is buried? Well we are going to see that what is buried is the sin nature, it's not removed, it is buried. There is a funeral for the sin nature at the point of salvation.


Romans 6:4 states, "...Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death in order that [for the purpose] as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life…"


Jesus prays to the father in John 17: 1 – 5 "…Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. "This is eternal life that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. "I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do." Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was..." Now what is Jesus saying there? Glorify me at the cross, resurrection and the ascension with the same glory I had from eternity past when I was with you before the incarnation. 


Romans 6:4 states, "…Just as Jesus Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life…"

This is the answer to the high priestly prayer Jesus prayed in John 17:1 – 5. That the glory of the father to glorify him throughout the angelic conflict raised Jesus Christ from the dead as a validation of his substitutionary work on the cross. That's the analogy on one side of the equation.


Resurrection leads to a new glorified life for Christ on this side, in the same way because we have been identified with Christ our identification (this is still retroactive positional truth) with his death, burial and resurrection means that we have new life. A new quality of life! A new kind of life and a new basis of life, after salvation.  That is Gods purpose in our life was not to save us, that's the starting point. He saved us so we can have a new quality of life, that's the plan. The plan is not just to get us saved but to produce in us the fullness of this quality of life.


Romans 6: 5 states, "…For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection."


 This moves us one step further in the argument. Not only are we identified we have become united with Christ. The Greek word for united is SUMPHUTOS, which means to grow together and relates to something that is closely identified and likened together. So this unity that we have in Christ is what is produced by that identification, it is a close intimate unity. "…For if we have become …" is a first class condition. "If" and we will assume it to be true, that we have become united with Him, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. He is reiterating and repeating himself.


Romans 6: 6 states, "...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; ..."


Corrected translation:


Romans 6: 6 states, "… because we know this –  our old self was crucified with Him that [result] our body of sin [sin nature] might be done away with, that [result] we should no longer be slaves to sin…"


Paul is assuming that he and his readers both know this principle. Here he uses the Greek verb GINOSKO. This word tends to emphasis experiential knowledge. This is something they have learned already in their Christian life and their study of doctrine, it's a principle common to all of them and it's in their soul. Paul is appealing to something they have already learned in order to take them from the known to the unknown.


What is the "old man"? The person we were under the dominion of the sin nature before we were saved.  Where Paul is going with the whole argument here is that before you were saved you were enslaved and under the tyranny of the sin nature and there was nothing we could do but sin.  When Paul says that the 'old self was crucified with Him,' – all that we were under the tyranny of the sin nature is crucified. That's gone. For the purpose of; eliminating or abolishing the effectiveness of the body of sin [sin nature]. If the old man is crucified so we should no longer be slaves to sin, it's the dominion of the sin nature (everything we were under that tyranny) is crucified so that we will no longer be slaves to sin. Remember this whole concept of slavery is going to be the image that Paul uses in the second half of the chapter. Then he says "… because the one who has died [identified with Christ's death, burial and resurrection] is freed [justified] from sin…"


Now he is going to turn around and reiterate this in Verse 8 "…Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him…" that's indicated with death and resurrection.


Romans 6: 9 states, "… knowing that [because we know] that Christ having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over him…"

What do we know here? This is a self evident axiom from EIDO that if you just think about what has happened historically it should be evident. He is developing this intricate argument he says that because he died and he rose again, death is no longer master over him. So let's apply that. [Given in verse 10]


Romans 6:10 states, "… For the death that He died, [the judicial payment for our sins] He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God."


So He died to sin on the cross, you died to sin on the cross. He now lives to God, so now we are to live to God. Because the sin nature's power was broken on the cross, we can now live to God. We couldn't before hand. So he has laid down this foundation for us.


Same principle Paul states in another Gal 4:20, "... I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me and the life that I live now in the flesh [physical body] I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and delivered Himself up for me..."


It is the principle back in Romans 1:17 that the one, who is justified by means of faith, shall live. This is how we live, is that we have to understand some doctrine related to salvation. If you don't understand fully what has happened on the cross in terms of justification and reconciliation and if you don't understand what happens in terms of your retroactive identification to that at the point of salvation and the baptism of God the Holy Spirit, you can't grasp what is happening in terms of the new spiritual life. Because the foundation for it and in this passage what Paul is saying, this should motivate you. You understand this, meditating on all the Christ did for you on the cross and it should challenge you and motivate you and stimulate you to living out that newness of life, once you grapple with all the different dynamics of the cross. 


Romans 6: 9 states, "...Because you know that Christ having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. Because the death that he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life that he lives, he lives to God..." The analogy is brought out in the next verse.


Romans 6:11 states, "...Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus..."


Here we have a crucial word brought out in this verse, this is the word LOGIZOMAI, it is the present middle imperative of LOGIZOMAI it's a deponent, it's a middle inform but its active in meaning. This means that the believer performs the action in carrying out this command. You are to consider yourselves dead to sin. But 'consider' is a fairy weak word. The word LOGIZOMAI means; to reckon, to calculate, to count, to take into account, to evaluate, to estimate, to think,  to ponder, to deliberate, to conclude. This is a THINKING word, not an emoting word or a 'feeling' word. What have we seen here, we have seen because you know something? You know: -


  1. Verse 3: "… [Identified] Baptised into His death…"
  2. Verse 4: "…Buried with Him…"
  3. Verse 6: "…The old self was crucified with Him…"
  4. Verse 9 "…Christ having been raised from the dead…"


Now, because you know these doctrines, you are exhorted to go to the next stage and apply it into your thinking. Consider yourselves to be dead to sin, because you were identified with Christ's death to Sin (v10), he died to sin on the cross, therefore know: that you have died to sin. There has been a judicial break there so that the sin nature is no longer in power. For every believer this is true. You are dead to sin. That doesn't mean you don't have a sin nature, nor are you immune to the temptation of the sin nature, it doesn't mean it's any easier to resist the temptations from the sin nature. What it does mean is that before you were saved you had no option but to submit to the tyrannical rule of the sin nature. But that was broken at the moment of your salvation. So now for the first time in your life, you have the full freedom that Adam had before the fall. You are no longer a slave to sin. You now have true freedom to live for God, which you never could before.


So the basis for being able to live the spiritual life is firmly grounded in what happens in the reality of our positional identification and union with Christ in death, burial and resurrection. That's why when we come to the three stages of salvation and we talk about phase one, phase two and phase three, we always talk about phase one salvation as a moment in time, it is not a process, (if you come out of a Roman Catholic back ground justification is a process and its simultaneous with sanctification, they are both processes). But this teaches that something happened in a point in time that broke the sin nature, that's Justification. The spiritual life is phase two and it grows out of justification but it is not the automatic results.


See, the Lordship salvation gospel also gets there. In Lordship salvation they almost go as far as to say that sanctification is so connected to justification that if you don't have sanctification then you were never justified. It is a slick way of getting back into the same Roman Catholic problem. And then Glorification is phase three. So we say that phase one is also called positional sanctification. That's why we use this terminology. We are positionally sanctified by Christ and that provides the basis for our progressive or experiential sanctification in time. (Phase two salvation). We grapple with all the doctrines of salvation because they are designed by knowing them to motivate us to live more consistently the spiritual life.


Father, we thank you for the opportunity to get into your word and to be challenged by these things tonight. We pray that we would understand more fully all that you have done for us, that it is not so we can treat our sin lightly or justify it or even be licentious about it but that we might realise that we were saved to be freed from sin, that even though we still have this sin nature in us and that we still struggle with it. We do have the potential and the power now, through the Holy Spirit and your Word to make true free choices and not to succumb to that sin nature. help us to understand and apply these things in Jesus name, Amen.