Monday, April 03, 2023

2023.04.03 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 6:1–7

Read Romans 6:1–7

Questions from the Scripture text: How does the apostle introduce the error that he is correcting (Romans 6:1)? What had these errorists been suggesting that we continue in? For what excuse/reason? How does the apostle answer in Romans 6:2? What does he say that we have done unto sin? What mustn’t we do? Into Whom have a number of church members been baptized (Romans 6:3)? Into what else were they baptized? What happened to the former self with Him (Romans 6:4)? Through what? What had previously happened to Christ? By what means? By the same means, who else would be able to do what? How did our death to sin happen (Romans 6:5)? What else must certainly happen from this union? What happened to whom (Romans 6:6)? With Whom did this happen?  What version of our body (controlled by what) has been destroyed in this union? What must we no longer be, then? What has happened to the one who has died with Christ (Romans 6:7)?

Why mustn’t Christians sin, if grace outdoes their sin anyway?  Romans 6:1–7 looks forward to the sermon in this week’s midweek meeting. In these seven verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the way that grace superabounds in Christ for the Christian is not by permitting them to stay slaves, but by freeing them from even being the people they were when enslaved to their old master.

“Where sin abounded, grace super-abounded” (Romans 5:20). The flesh responds to this in predictable fashion, “then sin is a friend to grace, and I should sin all the more!” (Romans 6:1). But those who are dead to sin must not listen to their remaining fleshliness. Grace super-abounds over sin not because they are friends but precisely because they are enemies (Romans 6:2). 

Believers are friends no longer one with their sin. They have been united instead to Christ by their baptism. No, not by the application of water on earth. But by the pouring of the Spirit from heaven. The Christ-sent Spirit’s work is what has united us to Jesus. By virtue of their union with Christ, believers died to sin in Christ’s death (Romans 6:3Romans 6:5a) just as much as all Adam’s descendants had died to righteousness in Adam’s sin and spiritual death (cf. Romans 5:12). 

A believer’s humiliated former (and dead!) self is as dead and buried as Christ’s humbled self, and a believer’s new (and living!) self is as new and alive as Christ’s glorified self when He arose from the dead. Both have been accomplished by the same Spirit, carried out by the same glory of the Father (Romans 6:4Romans 6:5b). Sin has neither claim upon nor power over the believer (Romans 6:6-7), who is both claimed by and empowered by the Triune God.

If you are a Christian, this has happened by the power of God the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father has poured upon you through the Son. And the Spirit has united you to the Son. Thus, we have been brought into the true freedom—not to do what our flesh desires, which would be slavery (Romans 6:7), but to know the living God and to do what He desires.

When are you tempted to take forgiveness as an excuse to sin more? But if you are forgiven, then how did you come to have life and faith? And if that is the case, what does this mean for whether you would continue in sin?

Sample prayer:  Lord, thank You for saving us from our abounding sin by Your super-abounding grace. Truly, by Your glory, Your Spirit has done this. Grant, by Your same Spirit, that Your glory would be magnified as we walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus, in Whose Name we ask it, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH433 “Amazing Grace”

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