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Jesus' Resurrection Gives us Confidence

Romans 6:5-7

The final stage of immersion-baptism, coming up out of the water, reminds us that as Jesus was raised from the dead, we too have been given a new life to live.  The resurrection of Jesus assures us that one day we will have new bodies (Job 19:26).  But until then we are called to live a 'resurrection life' in the power of the Holy Spirit.

When Death is Cancelled, Only Life is Left!

Romans 6:8-10

God's message about Jesus is, "Death is cancelled, life reigns!"  The resurrection of Jesus Christ was unique and dramatic, and all the more so because He could never die again - unlike others whose bodies had miraculously been raised to life (Mark 5:39-43; Luke 7:11-15; John 11:38-44; Matthew 27:52-53).  Christ alone has defeated death; He lives now and will remain alive forever.

Sin must not be the Boss

Romans 6:11-14

Christ has died. And all those who trust Him, claim His death as the final punishment for their sin.  Christ has been raised and will one day raise us from death to an everlasting life in close company with Him (2 Corinthians 5:8).  Therefore, Paul argues, how can we respond to the call of sin anymore?  Of course, the human answer is 'all too easily' (Romans 7:21-25), but as the Apostle personally experienced and was teaching the church in Rome, we need to think in a new way.

Sin is a Form of Slavery

Romans 6:15-16

Paul repeats his question of Romans 6:1 - 'If God's grace cancels the punishment of our sin, shall we continue to sin?'  The answer to that question was “By no means!” – because having died to the ruling principle of sin, we should be unresponsive to it (Romans 6:1-7).  This time, the answer, "By no means!" is based on the principle of redemption.  A slave is the property of his master unless he is redeemed by a price being paid to buy him out of slavery.

Wholehearted Change

Romans 6:17-18

The good news of the gospel includes this: in Christ we do not have to submit to the tyranny of sin any more ... we are no longer slaves to wickedness (Romans 6:14).  Those who trust in the Lord Jesus for their salvation have been set free from sin so that they can be trained in righteousness (Hebrews 12:11).

Naturally Weak

Romans 6:19

Although some Christians like to pretend that they are perpetually godly and always do what is right, it is not true.  That hypocrisy helps nobody and cannot commend the gospel.  The reality is that we are weak in our natural selves and, at best, we are ‘jars of clay’ (2 Corinthians 4:7-10).  We have no human power to overcome the temptations that we believe will bring wealth, pleasure, power or adoration – even if that means we cheerfully offer our bodies to impurity and wickedness.

Walk Free

Romans 6:20-22

Bad habits are difficult to shake off.  Until our conversion, our sinful nature was constantly creating and reinforcing patterns of behaviour which offend God (Ephesians 2:1-3).  Even after repenting and coming to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, those habits still want to cling on tightly, even though Christ has set us free (Romans 7:18-23).  Paul does not shy away from this tension but wants to present our minds with a different way of thinking so that our lives might be transformed (Romans 12:1-2).

Wages versus Gifts

Romans 6:23

Every worker knows what wages are.  They are the payment for what has been done.  Paul says that sin also has its pay-day.  The only appropriate payment for sin is death, eternal separation from God and perpetual suffering in hell.  Jesus described that scene in dreadfully graphic word-pictures in Luke 16:23-24.  The implication is clear: we reap what we sow, we get what we give (Galatians 6:7-8).  Unless there is gracious divine intervention, we will all be cut off from the glory of God and suffer for eternity.

The Illustration which Illuminates

Romans 7:1-3

The Apostle Paul used marriage as an illustration of the binding power of any law - to introduce his teaching about the powerful effect of the 'law of sin' (Romans 7:4-25).  It was not his primary intention here to preach about marriage, and certainly not to suggest that marriage is in any way sinful.  However, God has used these verses to remind Christians of every generation of His intention that marriage should be a binding, exclusive, bilateral covenant which lasts for life.

Belonging to Christ and Fruitful for God

Romans 7:4-6

In marriage, two people belong to each other.  But if one dies, the other is free to marry again and belong to somebody else (Romans 7:1-3).  Paul used that illustration to show how those who previously depended on the law of God to save them, could be released into a new relationship with God through Jesus.