Romans 6 - Gift Of Eternal Life

INTRODUCTION: The gift of eternal life makes a change in the inner being of each Christian, and that is implemented by the Holy Spirit to bring newness for the remainder of our life in this mortal body. Though the body is still subject to death, our soul has been given new life. We are no longer a slave to sin, because we have been transformed to be servants to the Lord. This chapter of Romans is in my own paraphrase, to some extent in an amplified style, prepared by examining several translations, and with some use of a Greek lexicon.

NOTE: Verses in the comments are from the 1769 King James Bible.


A - WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE

Romans 6 "1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live in it any longer? 3 Don't you know that all who were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 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 now also may live in newness of life. 5 For if we have been joined together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that we should no longer be servants of sin. 7 For anyone who is dead is freed from sin."

COMMENTS: God's grace is in abundant supply with no possibility of ever being depleted or consumed: it will be available for all who will receive it by faith to overcome the power of sin in their lives. This certainly does not mean that believers should continue to sin just to prove there is an inexhaustible supply of grace. Death means that what had been active is no longer productive because death brings an end: so the Christian should associate with the death that Christ took upon himself in our behalf, to bring an end to the influence of sinful activity in our lives.


B - ALIVE UNTO GOD THROUGH CHRIST JESUS

Romans 6 "8 Now if we are dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead can not die again; death has no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he lives, he lives unto God. 11 Likewise also consider yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

COMMENTS: The Christian has identification with Christ in his death that paid for our sin, and in his resurrection to life that has removed the sting of death and has cancelled the victory of the grave, as his resurrection fulfilled prophecy about the gift from God. Hosea 13 "14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes."

In an earlier Letter to believers, Paul used that passage as part of his explanation of the promise of a new body, and the sound reason to serve the Lord now, and to no longer serve sin since we have been set free. 1 Corinthians 15 "53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? 56 The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law. 57 But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."


C - BE A SERVANT OF OBEDIENCE UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS

Romans 6 "12 Therefore, Don't let sin reign in your body which is subject to death, by submitting to lustful desires. 13 And don't give up or surrender your mortal body to become an instrument of unrighteousness unto sin: but submit yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your body as an instrument of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then does this imply? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Don't you know, that to whom you surrender or submit yourself to obey as a servant, you then are the servant to that one; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"

COMMENTS: Paul wanted his readers to realize that allowing themselves to give in to lustful desires would make them a servant to sin. If we have died to sin as partakers of the death of Christ , then we should submit our bodies as instruments of righteousness to serve God. Paul has already said we do not continue in sin to see grace abound, and likewise being freed from the law certainly does not make it reasonable to continue to sin. Our Lord Jesus has brought us into a new life, and we should share in the admonition of Joshua when Israel had a new beginning. Joshua 24 "14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD."

Jesus directed us to realize that we cannot succeed if we try to serve two masters. Luke 16 "13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Mammon can represent money, or various forms of desired gain in this world: and allowing the temporal things of this world to be our motivation in life will not allow us to truly serve God, who can supply all that we need according to his riches in glory.


D - THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH CHRIST

Romans 6 "17 But our thanks is due to God, that you were the servants of sin, but you have now obeyed from the heart the teaching of principals which were presented to you. 18 Being then made free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak in the manner used commonly by men because you have not become fully firm, resolute, unwavering in your thinking, but remain in the infirmity and weakness of your flesh: for as ye have previously yielded or surrendered your bodies as servants to uncleanness, wickedness, gross immorality, and to harmful deeds; even so now offer your bodies as servants to purity and righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness. 21 What benefit do you have in those things whereof you are now ashamed, for the end of those things is death? 22 But now being made free from sin, and having become servants to God, you can have productive services unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

COMMENTS: Paul offered thanks to God that those who had accepted in their heart the teaching of salvation in Christ had been set free from being servants to sin, and had become servants of righteousness. Paul used the illustration of being a servant under two radically different masters to help the Roman believers understand the change that needed to be evidenced in their manner of living, because continuing in the shameful practices of sin leads to death, forever apart from God. But righteous living that is productive for holiness leads to everlasting life. Later, Paul expressed similar thoughts to the believers at Ephesus. Ephesians 4 "21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." those who serve sin will earn death as their final payment, but God gives the gift of eternal life to those who are servants of Christ Jesus our Lord.

--- REFLECTIONS IN PRAYER ---

Thank you Lord for the abundant grace that was available to cover all of my sin when I placed my faith in Christ Jesus. Now that I am identified with your death to defeat sin, I do not want to consciously commit sin with a consideration that abundant grace will simply negate it for me. I want to remember that if I have truly identified with your death on the cross that has set me free from being a servant of sin; I now should serve only the righteous master who gives eternal life. I also thank you Lord for freeing me from the law which I could never keep perfectly, so that I may live in the resurrection of Christ, and continually seek to submit my body as an instrument of righteousness as guided by your law. I want to serve you, my gracious, loving master and Savior as I look ahead to eternal life with you in your kingdom because of your gift. Amen.

Published 10 April 2016