Bible Commentaries Romans 6
Chuck Smith's Bible Commentary
Chapter 6 What shall we say then? ( Romans 6:1 ) If where sin abounds, grace does much more abound, Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? ( Romans 6:1 ) No. Let's let God reveal how much grace there is by continuing in sin. Paul's answer is typical: God forbid ( Romans 6:2 ). Now he gives to you the new principal of life. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? ( Romans 6:2 ) I have received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. In receiving Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior I have done that and the result is that I am born again. I am now a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ. If I am born again, then where is the old Chuck? He is dead. That old fellow who used to live after his flesh, he is dead. I now have a new life, a spiritual life, that life from Christ. Therefore, to say, "Well, let's go ahead and just live in sin that grace may abound," is folly. Because I am dead to sin, that old life is dead. So know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? ( Romans 6:3 ) Don't you realize that water represented the grave? Don't you realize that as you were put in the water it was the burial of the old life? You were buried with Christ in the water of baptism. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life ( Romans 6:4 ). It's a whole new life, that new life after the Spirit and, of course, that is the old things. The old life after Adam is a life after the flesh. It is a life where the body is dominant, and the consciousness is occupied by the body needs. It is life on the animal plane--body and soul. The body supreme, the mind subjected and filled with the consciousness of the body needs. Now, when you are born again, that which is born of the flesh is flesh. If you are born again by the Spirit of God, the new life that you now have is spirit, soul, and body. So now the spirit is the dominant feature and the new life is spiritual life, the old life was a fleshly life. The new life is a spiritual life. A spirit in union with God's Spirit. So a spirit in union with God's Spirit, my thoughts, my consciousness now is upon God and the things of God and how I might please Him by walking in the spirit. These are the things that dominate my conscious state. God's love for me, God's grace for me, God's goodness for me, these things dominate my conscious state. No longer dominated by my fleshly desires or fleshly needs. That is what baptism was all about. Buried with Christ, but yet raised in that newness of life in Him. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, [through baptism] we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection ( Romans 6:5 ): As I come up out of the water, it's like being resurrected--like Jesus resurrected coming out of the grave. That new resurrected life of Christ. Knowing this, that our old man was [not is, was] crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed [or put out of business], that henceforth we should not serve sin ( Romans 6:6 ). This body of sin was put out of business. It can no longer dominate my life. It can no longer rule over my consciousness, because that old man was crucified with Christ. As Christians our biggest problem is with our flesh. For our flesh is still seeking to make its demands on us. Our flesh will still bring us under its control and power. As a Christian there is a warfare that is going on in me, for the flesh is warring against my spirit and my spirit is warring against my flesh and these two are contrary to each other. There is this battle going on for the control of my mind, the control of my life. My flesh still wants to sit on the throne of my life and the spirit wants to sit on the throne of my life and there is a battle waging raging, actually, over the control of my life itself, the flesh and the spirit. I don't always do the things that I would as we sang this morning. Then I shall be what I would be, and I shall be what I should be, things that are now nor could be soon shall be our own. The battle will be over one of these days and my spirit leaves this old body of flesh. I am still living in the body, that is my big problem. If I weren't living in this body any longer then I would have no problems. But I am still living in the body, and as long as I am living in this body it is going to struggle for supremacy, and thus, I must keep my body under. You remember Paul the apostle said, "I beat myself to keep my body under." It is a struggle. It is a fight. My body wants control again. It wants to sit on the throne. I have to keep my body under. The way to do that is to reckon that old self to be dead. It is a reckoning process. "Lord, that is a part of the old life dominated by my flesh. I reckon that to be dead. That flare up, Lord, that belongs to the old life, that bitterness that belongs to the old life, that anger that belongs to the old life, that is dead." Thank God that it is dead. I don't have to live under that domination anymore. That was crucified with Christ and I am now living a new life in the resurrected Lord. So the old man was crucified with Him. But the body of sin might be put out of business, that I shouldn't serve sin any longer. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death has no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he lives, he lives unto God ( Romans 6:7-10 ). I am now in the risen Christ. I am living in Christ. I have that life in Christ. Sin no longer can reign as king in my mortal body. For Christ now reigns. Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Account that to be...how many times I must account that to be in my own life? When the old flesh rears its ugly head and I do that which is not pleasing. The Spirit of God calls my attention to it and I feel so ashamed that I would have said, "I would have done that." I cry out unto God and I say, "Lord, I reckon that to be dead a part of the old life, thank God I don't have to live under its rule any longer. Help me, Lord." So reckon ye also yourselves to be dead. Now reckoning is a word of faith. You see, if my own flesh were dead I wouldn't have to reckon it to be dead. If it were actually dead. One day it will be. I am not going to have to reckon it any more after that. But my old flesh is still very much alive, too much alive. I am painfully, keenly aware of that, and so I have to take the position of faith, the position of reckoning, I reckon that to be dead. Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord ( Romans 6:11 ). Again, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts [or the desires] thereof ( Romans 6:12 ). Don't let sin . . . don't let the flesh reign. Neither yield your members [that is, the members of your body] as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God ( Romans 6:13 ). My hands can be tools for God or they can be tools for my flesh. I love that song, "Take my life and let it be, consecrate it, Lord, to thee. Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love. Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee." My feet have carried me into a lot of mischief. They have carried me away from a lot of mischief, faster than they carried me into it. But, God, take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee. I can yield my body as an instrument in God's hands for God to use for His glory, or I can yield my body to fulfill the desires of my own flesh and body, and be ruled by the desires of my body. I am not to yield the instruments of my body as instruments of unrighteousness. But I am to surrender them to God that He might take and use my body for His glory. "Take my lips and let them sing always only of my King, always only of my King." Your mouth, your words, they can speak the power and the blessing of God. People's lives can be blessed and transformed by your words, and lives can be cut down and destroyed by your words. Satan can use my body as his instrument of destruction, or God can use my body as His instrument of glory. Satan can use my life and fill it with hatred and cut people down, or God can use my life and fill it with His love and build people up. We are exhorted here that we should yield our bodies as instruments of righteousness unto God. "For sin," and I love this. This is one of my favorite promises in the whole Bible. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace ( Romans 6:14 ). God told me sin is not going to have dominion over me. Thank God for that. Doesn't mean that I don't sin. The word sin means to miss the mark, and it doesn't mean that I hit the mark every time. I am not perfect, far from it. Paul the apostle, after walking with the Lord for thirty years, said, "I have not yet apprehended that for which I was apprehended by Jesus Christ, neither do I count myself perfect" ( Philippians 3:12 ). Oh, move over, Paul. I will join you. God has not yet fulfilled His complete purposes in my life. I've not yet apprehended that for which I would be apprehended. God had a plan and a purpose for my life when God apprehended me and called me to serve Him in His service. I haven't yet completed that call of God, and neither do I count myself complete or perfect. I don't hit the mark every time. But thank God sin doesn't have dominion over my life anymore. I'm not ruled by sin. I don't have to be ruled by sin. I have freedom, glorious freedom from the tyranny of the flesh, the power of sin, and it shall not have dominion over me. For I am a child of God, born again by the Spirit, living that new life, that resurrected life in Christ. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid ( Romans 6:15 ). They are willing to jump on anything, aren't they? Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants, they are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? ( Romans 6:16 ) Every man is ruled. No man is supreme; no man is master of his fate or captain of his soul. We are all governed by an outside power. We are governed either by the power of God or by the power of Satan, and it is your choice. You can choose to be governed by God, or you can choose to live after Satan's authority. You can choose to live like the devil, or you can choose to live like God. But whoever you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you become. This is the tragedy of the Garden of Eden. God said, "Thou shall not eat of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, and in the day you do, you are going to die." Satan came along and said, "You ought to try the tree in the midst of the garden, it is good. It is delicious, and you won't die. God is just trying to protect himself. He knows that that tree holds the key of the knowledge of good and evil and if you know knowledge of good and evil, you will be just like God, and He is just trying to protect Himself." "You ought to really try it. How can you put it down if you haven't tried it? You know, just one bite. You don't like it, you don't have to finish it." Now the action of Eve was a double action. It was, first of all, an action of disobedience to God, but in the same token it was an action of obedience to Satan. And she yielded herself in obedience to Satan, and thus, became a servant. Now you know that whoever you yield yourself servants to obey, his servants you become. And so man, through the disobedience, became a servant of Satan, that was the tragic consequence of disobedience to God, and the same is true of our lives. If I choose to yield myself to God and to His word and to His will, then I become a servant of God. But if I choose to yield myself as a servant of disobedience, and I become a servant of the disobedient one. But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you ( Romans 6:17 ). Once you were a servant of sin but now thank God, because we have chosen to follow after God. We have chosen to obey the voice of Jesus Christ. We who were once servants to sin are now made servants of righteousness. Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness. Now I speak after the manner of men because of the weakness of your flesh: for as you have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness ( Romans 6:18-19 ). If we would live just as hard for God as we live for the devil we could turn this world upside down. If we serve the Lord with the same gusto and zest that we served our flesh, think of what we could accomplish. And this is what he is encouraging us to do. Even as we yielded our members once as servants to uncleanness and iniquity, now let's just yield ourselves to God. Oh, God help us that we might start living full on for Jesus Christ, just totally gung ho for Him. I like that attitude. Let's go for it. In talking about the things of the Lord and serving the Lord, let's go for it. Let's go all out for it. Let's give ourselves totally and completely to live for Jesus Christ, yielding ourselves, our lives to Him, just to see what God would do and wants to do in this area through a bunch of people that are just sold out fools for Christ. I think of how people make fools of themselves over such silly things. Get a few drinks, what a fool they can make of themselves. And yet, we become so proper and reluctant to step out for Jesus Christ to be considered a fool for Him. For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness. But what fruit did you have then in those things wherein you are not ashamed? ( Romans 6:20-21 ) When you were living in sin and you did those things for which you are so ashamed, what real fruit, what lasting fruit did you have in your life? Unfortunately, the fruit was miserable fruit, and it left misery in its wake. for the end of those things is death ( Romans 6:21 ). The life after the flesh. But now being made free from sin, and having become the servants of God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life ( Romans 6:22 ). Glorious fruit is now coming forth from my life. Fruit of righteousness unto God, the love with its joy and peace and long-suffering and gentleness and goodness and meekness and temperance. And eternal life the glorious ultimate results. For the wages of sin is death ( Romans 6:23 ); Satan pays his servants. You get your wages. Serve him well, give him your best, you will be rewarded. The wages of sin is death. You can't escape them if you continue in sin. But in contrast to the wages, the gift of God ( Romans 6:23 ) Not the wages of God, because we can't earn eternal life. It's by grace. the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord ( Romans 6:23 ). So we have the extreme contrast. The wages of sin, the life after the flesh, it ends in death. The gift of God, the life after the Spirit, ends in eternal life. Every man is in one of two categories: either a servant of sin, or a servant of God. Using my body as an instrument of sin or yielding my body as an instrument for God to use for His glory. I agree with that song "I have decided to follow Jesus." I want my life to count for God for eternity. The glorious gift of God, eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, in Him, through Him, by Him. Oh the blessings that God has made available to us revealed in Jesus Christ, eternal life through Jesus Christ. Father, we thank You for Thy word, a lamp unto our feet, a light unto our path, for the balanced life through the Word. Thank You for Your grace that abounds unto us. Thank You for this glorious position of justified by faith and the results in peace and joy and rejoicing and access into this grace. Lord, may we walk now after the Spirit, a life in fellowship with You, yielding, Lord, our bodies to You that they might become your instruments to do Your work, to bring Your love and Your peace and Your beauty to this poor sin froth world. In Jesus' name we ask it, Father. Amen. As we move next week into chapters 7 and 8, they are chapters of extreme contrast. Chapter 7 will take you into the depths of despair as I see the ideal, as I approve the ideal and as I try in my own strength and energy to achieve it. And the struggle, and the pain, and the defeat as I in my own strength try to live by the divine ideal that I accept and approve as desirable. But then chapter 8 will take you out of the despair as we see God's plan for victory for His believer and the provisions that God has made for me to achieve and attain the ideal. Just like us, try first yourself. If it doesn't work, look at the instructions. And so with the things of the Spirit, it seems we have to get our two cents in. Then we have to try it first, experience that failure and that frustration. And then finding God's way, living that glorious life of victory that He has provided for us through His Holy Spirit. May the Lord be with you and bless and keep you in His love. May you walk after the Spirit and may you indeed yield your body unto God this week that God might use your life as His instrument to do His work in this needy world. May others receive a word of encouragement, of love, of hope from you as you become God's instrument to tell them of His goodness and of His love. In Jesus' name. "