SUBJ: The fact of being dead to sin
put into practice as we are to live in Christ and unto Christ in full
identity with both His death and His risen life.
AIM: That we might consciously
labor against any thought in us or in others as that there is any
rationalization for sin.
INTR: Paul at this point presses
the argument for the pursuit of holiness as opposed to any idea that sin
might be accepted by us in that God so intensely hates it.
matter of justification is a settled issue at this point in the
presentation of Paul to the Romans as he would lay down the foundations
for the believing life.
2. The tendency of men is to look for ways to
minimize the impact on their worldly approach to things and Paul very
firmly addresses such a possibility.
3. He would therefore bring the
fact of a sanctified life into view here as the intended outcome of the
work of grace in true believers leaving none with an excuse for sin; it
rather that he would point to the spiritual logic after the example of
what Christ has done.
The blood of Christ has fully accounted for the issue of the sins of His
people. The validation of that accounting is seen in a life lived before
God unto Christ Jesus our Lord giving evidence thereby of the eternal
work of the Holy Spirit.
I. An absurdity refuted (vv. 1-2)
Paul often anticipated an attempt by men to put a warped interpretation
on some precious Gospel Truth.
1) Here the preposterous idea is that
since grace abounded where sin abounded that somehow sin was the source
of abounding grace.
2) To most, this will immediately appear as what
it is – an attempt to rationalize sin by proposing that more sin just
makes grace look good.
2. In fact, grace is manifested against sin,
but “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
1) Certainly, it is grace
that is the efficient cause in our justification and our forgiveness and
2) It is grace that enables the manifestation of a sanctified life
There is no place for presumption on the grace of God: Keep back thy
servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me:
then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great
transgression. Psalms 19:13.
3. Paul countered this abhorrent thought
with the strongest of terms: God Forbid!
1) The thought here of being
dead to sin is a clear reference to justification and so appeals to what
the blood of Christ has accomplished.
2) The thought that it produces
the idea in any that, since we are justified, further sin doesn’t matter
us repulsive to all who love mercy.
3) The thought that we should
live under the rule of that which Christ has delivered us from is an
insult to Him and His work.
II. A precious truth illustrated, and
an ordinance explained (vv. 3-6)
1. Employing the manner of Christ
and others for emphasis sake, Paul poses a question:
1) Do you know
what happened at the cross and do you remember what you testified to
when you were baptized?
2) Remember Paul’s declaration that he was
crucified with Christ. Compare: For he hath made him to be sin for us,
who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:21.
3) The fact is that we were in Christ in His
death, burial, and resurrection and so brought us from death unto life –
we were dead in trespasses and sins!
4) The experience of the
believer in coming to Christ and being baptized into Christ in
regeneration answers to what He has done.
2. This does not set aside
the need for water baptism as picturing both what He has endured and
conquered and so the directive is everywhere stated or implied.
Further in importance is that submitting to water baptism depicts what
has occurred in the experience of the believer. Dying to an old life,
being buried and raising to “walk in newness of life.”
1) This is the
answer to justification in that our lives are made to be distinct and
lived with purpose in Christ Jesus.
2) The words are strong in that
this is in the “likeness of His death” and the “likeness of His
4. An important thing to know: