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!

  1. Sinning?

    1. 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.)

    2. Read Romans 6:2. Is Paul’s answer clear? (No ambiguity
      here. Paul tells us “by no means” should we willfully
      continue in sin.)

      1. Why should we avoid sin? (We died to sin.)

        1. Did you notice in your life when that happened?
          If not, what is Paul talking about?

    3. 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.)

      1. 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.)

  2. New Life, Dead Past?

    1. 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.)

      1. Sin leads to death. Did we die for our sins? (When
        Jesus died on the cross, we died.)

        1. 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.)

    2. 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
      to sin?

      1. 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.)

    3. 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?

      1. 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.)

      2. 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.)

      3. 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.)

  3. Practical Advice For Living and the Law

    1. Read Romans 6:13. What practical advice does Paul give us
      to avoid allowing sin to be our master?

      1. 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.)

        1. 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?

    2. Read Romans 6:14. Does this mean the law is dead? Or, at
      least dead with regard to your life?

      1. How can the law be dead if sin is still alive?

      2. 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

    1. 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
      to avoid.)

      1. 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?

      2. 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

    2. Read Romans 6:17-18. Do you feel “set free” from sin?

      1. Since I still struggle with sin, does that mean that
        I have somewhere taken a wrong turn?

    3. 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.)

    4. 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.)

    5. 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?

  1. Next week: The Man of Romans 7.