You've been set free, but be careful your freedom doesn't drag you right back into slavery to sin.
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Romans 6 Summary
The key teaching in Romans in the first five chapters has been that we are saved fully by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone. All our own efforts can do is sink us farther into the sinful mess God pulled us out of.
So it's easy to understand why some people may conclude that since our actions don't matter, why make any effort at living righteously? Thankfully, Paul saw this objection coming and he preemptively heads it off here in chapter six.
Follow the logic he lays out:
You've been joined to Christ
This means you were baptized into
His life, but also:
Since Christ in His death overcame sin,
He has been set free from it
You also have died to sin and are set free from it
do not: let sin reign in your body
do not: use your body as an instrument of unrighteousness
From the beginning, sin has been sold as the ticket to freedom. 'Eat this,' said the serpent, 'and you will be freed from your limitations and will be like God.'
Of course this was a lie. Ever since that first bite, Adam and all of his offspring have been sold into slavery to sin. As the first three chapters of Romans pointed out, this slavery only goes one way: down. The more a person clings to sin, the more God gives them over into it.
By God's grace, we've been freed from this initial slavery. But understand, you've not been set free just to wander around and follow your heart's desire! Rather, you now belong to God! As v18 says, having been set free from sin, [you] have become a slave of righteousness.
Consider this paraphrase of v23, one of the most famous verses of the Bible:
As a slave to sin, your wage is death.
As a slave to righteousness, your wage / God's gift is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father God, who has bought us out of our slavery to sin so that now we belong to Him;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the strength and wisdom to resist the temptation to live according to your own ideas and desires.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: