The Triumph of Grace over Sin
1So what do we do, then? Do we persist in sin so that God’s kindness and grace will increase? 2What a terrible thought! We have died to sin once and for all, as a dead man passes away from this life. So how could we live under sin’s rule a moment longer? 3Or have you forgotten that all of us who were immersed into union with Jesus, the Anointed One, were immersed into union with his death?
4Sharing in his death by our baptism means that we were co-buried with him, so that when the Father’s glory raised Christ from the dead, we were also raised with him. We have been co-resurrected with him so that we could be empowered to walk in the freshness of new life. 5For since we are permanently grafted into him # 6:5 Or “if we have become grown together as one with him.” to experience a death like his, then we are permanently grafted into him to experience a resurrection like his and the new life that it imparts.
6Could it be any clearer # 6:6 Or “Coming to know this,” or “Coming to the realization.” that our former identity # 6:6 The Aramaic can be translated “our old son of Adam.” is now and forever deprived of its power? For we were co-crucified with him to dismantle the stronghold of sin within us, # 6:6 Or “body of sin would no longer have dominion over us.” so that we would not continue to live one moment longer submitted to sin’s power. # 6:6 Or “that the body of sin might be annulled” (put out of business). To beg God for victory over sin is a refusal to understand that we have already died to sin. Our joyful task is to believe the good news, rather than to seek to “crucify ourselves.” Sin is not suppressed by the cross; it is eliminated. Upon this “water” God commands us to step out and walk, for we are now in him.
7Obviously, a dead person is incapable of sinning. 8And if we were co-crucified with the Anointed One, we know that we will also share in the fullness of his life. 9And we know that since the Anointed One has been raised from the dead to die no more, his resurrection life has vanquished death and its power over him is finished. 10For by his sacrifice he died to sin’s power once and for all, # 6:10 See also Heb. 9:26–28. but he now lives continuously for the Father’s pleasure. 11So let it be the same way with you! Since you are now joined with him, you must continually view yourselves as dead and unresponsive to sin’s appeal while living daily for God’s pleasure in union with Jesus, the Anointed One.
Sin’s Reign Is Over
12Sin is a dethroned monarch; so you must no longer give it an opportunity to rule over your life, controlling how you live and compelling you to obey its desires and cravings. # 6:12 This command of the apostle Paul must be seen in the light of 6:2–11. Spiritual victory is not striving harder, but resting on the truths of our purchased freedom. We have already died to sin (v. 2), through baptism we have been united with Christ in his death and resurrection (vv. 3–5), our former identity has forever been deprived of its power (vv. 6–7), and we are joined with Christ and live to God (vv. 8–11). On that basis, the command of v. 12 is based on who we really are. 13So then, refuse to answer its call to surrender your body as a tool for wickedness. Instead, passionately answer God’s call to keep yielding your body to him as one who has now experienced resurrection life! You live now for his pleasure, ready to be used for his noble purpose. # 6:13 Or “For the members of your body will be used as weapons for the righteousness of God.” 14Remember this: sin will not conquer you, for God already has! You are not governed by law but governed by the reign of the grace of God.
Grace Frees Us to Serve God
15What are we to do, then? Should we sin to our hearts’ content since there’s no law to condemn us anymore? What a terrible thought! 16Don’t you realize that grace frees you to choose your own master? But choose carefully, for you surrender yourself to become a servant—bound to the one you choose to obey. If you choose to love sin, it will become your master, and it will own you and reward you with death. But if you choose to love and obey God, he will lead you into perfect righteousness.
17And thanks be to God, for in the past you were servants of sin, but now your obedience is heart deep, and your life is being molded by truth through the teaching you are devoted to. # 6:17 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “the type of teaching into which you were handed over.” 18And now you celebrate your freedom from your former master—sin. You’ve left its bondage, and now God’s perfect righteousness holds power over you as his loving servants.
19I’ve used the familiar terms of a “servant” and a “master” to compensate for your weakness to understand. For just as you surrendered your bodies and souls to impurity and lawlessness, which only brought more lawlessness into your lives, so now surrender yourselves as servants of righteousness, which brings you deeper into true holiness. 20For when you were bound as servants to sin, you lived your lives free from any obligation to righteousness.
21So tell me, what benefit ensued from doing those things that you’re now ashamed of? It left you with nothing but a legacy of shame and death. 22But now, as God’s loving servants, you live in joyous freedom from the power of sin. So consider the benefits you now enjoy—you are brought deeper into the experience of true holiness that ends with eternal life! 23For sin’s meager wages is death, # 6:23 The Greek word translated “meager wages” actually means “the wages of a foot soldier.” This Greek word, opsonion, is taken from the word used for a piece of dried fish: opsarion. The Aramaic can be translated “The business of sin is death.” but God’s lavish gift is life eternal, found in your union with our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One.