Introduction: The law has taken a beating in our last few studies!
Not only is it not the key to salvation, it is not even a
description of all sin. The law may seem down and bloodied, but it
is not out, because sin is still in the picture. This week we begin
Paul’s argument about the importance of right behavior. Does this
involve the law? If not, what does it involve? Let’s dive into our
study and find out!
- Read Romans 6:1. Why does Paul even ask this question?
Is it reasonable to conclude after studying his last two
chapters that sin is irrelevant?(Yes. If we are saved by
what Jesus did, if our actions cannot save us, then we
might conclude that we can continue to sin and not worry
about it because Jesus’ grace will cover it all.)
- Read Romans 6:2. Is Paul’s answer clear? (No ambiguity
here. Paul tells us “by no means” should we willfully
continue in sin.)
- Why should we avoid sin? (We died to sin.)
- Did you notice in your life when that happened?
If not, what is Paul talking about?
- Read Romans 6:3-4. What does Paul mean when he says that
we died to sin? (Now we see the point in time when we
died to sin. When we are baptized, we die the death to
sin that Jesus died. When we rise out of the water in
baptism, we are raised to a new life.)
- I sometimes feel that I could use another baptism
(or two). How about you? Do you feel that your
spiritual nature could use a real wash? Does it
really feel like you died to sin? (Read 1
Corinthians 10:16-17. I think this is the way to
maintain our baptism experience. To use an
automotive analogy, Communion is the periodic
baptism “tune-up” for our inner being.)
- New Life, Dead Past?
- Read Romans 6:5-7. Why does Paul write about Jesus’
resurrection when he is addressing our attitude about
sin? (Jesus was resurrected to life in heaven. He was
resurrected to a place where sin is not present. This
should be our attitude toward sin. We want to progress
to a place where sin no longer reigns in our life.)
- Sin leads to death. Did we die for our sins? (When
Jesus died on the cross, we died.)
- How is that consistent with the idea that we
died to sin at our baptism? (The logical
conclusion is that we embrace our death with
Jesus when we are baptized.)
- Read Romans 6:8-10. Is our death to sin automatic? If we
get a good and proper baptism, we no longer have a desire
- After baptism, does death no longer have the mastery
over us? (Paul does not specifically say that. At
this point he is only clearly writing about Jesus.
But, let’s read on.)
- Read Romans 6:11-12. When Paul writes “in the same way,”
is he saying that our experience is the same as that of
Jesus: once crucified and sin is gone?
- What does this teach us about post-baptism sin in
our life? Is it a matter of choice? (Yes, it is a
matter of choice. It is not automatic and it is not
“once and I never have to worry about it again.”
Paul says “don’t let sin reign in your mortal body.”
Don’t “obey its evil desires.” This tells me that
“in the same way” is aspirational – it is the goal
we set before us. Sin is still present, but I must
make a choice not to let it rule me.)
- When Paul writes about “its evil desires,” is this
the evil desires of my post-baptism body or the evil
desires of sin? (It does not matter, because
whichever it is, we have to deal with it.)
- When Paul writes of my “mortal” body, is this
different than the “resurrected” body that I have in
Jesus after my baptism? (Apparently, we still have a
“mortal” body hanging around after our baptism. Paul
is at least teaching us that we still have to deal
with the sin problem after we are baptized. We have
an obligation to obey the law of God. “You cannot
change your heart, you cannot of yourself give to
God its affections; but you can choose to serve
Him.” E. White, Steps to Christ, p. 47.)
- Practical Advice For Living and the Law
- Read Romans 6:13. What practical advice does Paul give us
to avoid allowing sin to be our master?
- How would you follow this advice, as a practical
matter? For example, what does it mean to “offer”
your body parts? And, which “parts” are we talking
about? (If we decide to do something, we first use
our brain to decide how to do it. We then use our
hands, feet and back to make it happen. This is what
Paul is writing about. Make a conscious effort not
to plan and execute sin. Instead, plan and execute
those things which advance the Kingdom of God.)
- Think just a minute about the plans you have
been working on today or this week. Were they
advancing the Kingdom of God, advancing the
kingdom of you, or advancing sin?
- Read Romans 6:14. Does this mean the law is dead? Or, at
least dead with regard to your life?
- How can the law be dead if sin is still alive?
- Read Romans 3:19-21. How does this explain that idea
that we are not “under law?” (All the law does (and
it is an important work) is to make us conscious of
sin. It cannot save us. Therefore, when it comes to
our salvation, we are not “under law,” but “under
grace!” The law is very much alive and, like a
professor, it is instructing us about our sin
problem. It is simply not the means by which we are
- Read Romans 6:15-16. What does this say about the
relative health of the law? (This is the second time that
Paul tells us in this chapter that we must still be
engaged in the battle against sin. We just learned that
the law makes us conscious of sin. Paul tells us that
despite grace (or because of grace) we should still not
sin. Therefore the law is an important tool for
identifying the sin problem(s) in our life which we need
- Let’s be practical. Sin is often fun. Why worry
about sin? If we are saved by grace, what advantage
do I enjoy by avoiding sin?
- I once heard a Christian say about a planned sin,
“God will forgive me.” Is that the issue – whether
God will forgive us of intentional sin? (Sin is
progressive. Sin enslaves us. That slavery brings
- Read Romans 6:17-18. Do you feel “set free” from sin?
- Since I still struggle with sin, does that mean that
I have somewhere taken a wrong turn?
- Read Romans 6:19. Why does Paul call me weak? What does
it matter whether or not I am weak when I am a slave?
What choices do slaves have? (This is the answer to the
last few questions. Because we are weak we still struggle
with sin. Paul teaches us that sin and righteousness are
progressive. If you keep choosing sin, you will go deeper
into sin and become more firmly bound by it. If you keep
choosing righteousness, you will become steadily more
righteous until the pull of sin becomes less. We should
not feel that something is wrong with us if we still
struggle with sin.)
- Read Romans 6:20-23. Is our choice between evil and good
an easy choice to make? (I think this is advice for
adults. Paul says to look back and see how obedience and
disobedience affected your life. Paul teaches us that
obedience brings practical benefits during our life, and
eternal life after death.)
- Friend, what does your personal history teach you? We all
continue to have choices to make. Either we choose to
follow God and walk in the path of increasing
righteousness, or we choose to follow Satan and walk in
the path of increasing sin. Your path may be a zig-zag.
But if you use God’s law and your conscience as a guide
for the choices that you make, your zig-zag will be
towards righteousness! Why not decide today to choose the
path towards holiness?
- Next week: The Man of Romans 7.