Main point summary
We must consider ourselves dead to sin because we have died with Christ in order to live with him.
What shall we say then?
m Are we to continue in sin
that grace may abound?
By no means!
How can n we who died to sin still live in it?
Do you not know that all of us o who have been baptized p into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
We were q buried therefore with him by baptism into death,
in order that, just as r Christ was raised from the dead by s the glory of the Father,
we too might walk in t newness of life.
For u if we have been united with him in v a death like his,
we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
We know that w our old self 1 x was crucified with him
in order that y the body of sin might be brought to nothing,
so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
For z one who has died a has been set free 1 from sin.
Now b if we have died with Christ,
we believe that we will also live with him.
We know that c Christ, being raised from the dead,
will never die again;
d death no longer has dominion over him.
For the death he died he died to sin, e once for all,
but the life he lives he lives to God.
So you also must consider yourselves f dead to sin
and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Let not g sin therefore reign in your mortal body,
to make you obey its passions.
h Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness,
but i present yourselves to God
as those who have been brought from death to life,
and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
For j sin k will have no dominion over you,
since you are not under law but under grace.
What is the kind of thinking that goes into what v.1 says: "Are we to continue in sin in order that grace may abound?" I don't think most people are saying: "I'm going to sin right now so that God's grace will be evident." Most people have enough of a conscience and understanding of truth that they would know this is not the way grace works. However, I do think many of us think in this way, which is very similar: "I'm going to sin right now because I'm assuming grace will abound." It seems to me that what Paul is getting at in v.1 is that we should not go on sinning assuming grace will abound. As if sin is not a big deal, since we can just claim Christ's blood on our account after we sin. That view of sin is ignoring what the rest of the passage goes onto argue about the nature of Christ's death and our union with him. This kind of thinking misunderstands the gospel. It makes the gospel merely a "get out of hell free" card. As opposed to the gospel being that which transforms me from a sin-loving hater of God into a righteousness-loving follower of God, making me someone new, a different person, a new creation. The command in v.11 is significant: "You must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus." Much of the battle against sin happens in our minds. We think about what we could do; we talk ourselves out of it. We talk ourselves back into it. We consider the cost. We think about what might happen if we get caught. We feel like we can't say no. We think that sin is too powerful. We believe a lie that this will satisfy. We believe a lie that this is what we actually want. Paul's words are to think something else. Sin has no power over you (6:14). Sin does not reign in my heart. I am absolutely free to say no to it. In fact, that is what I must do. I must consider myself dead to sin and alive to God. Since I'm still living with sin as a reality (in this world all around me), I must continually and constantly remind myself that it had no dominion over me. This is a daily, moment-by-moment truth-reality that I need to speak to myself.