Christ Already Paid For Some: He Became a Slave Under Law Instead of Some Slaves To Ransom Those Same Slaves From Under Law
Romans 6 is about Christ the public representative of the elect first being under condemnation, sin and death.
Romans 6:7 “For one who has died has been justified from sin. 8Now since we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death NO LONGER has dominion over him. 10For the death he died HE DIED TO SIN once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
Christ was never under grace and is still not under grace. But Christ was under the law because of the imputed sins of the elect. Romans 6 is about Christ’s condemnation by the law and His death as satisfaction of that law. Christ after His resurrection is no longer under law.
The death of the justified elect is that VERY SAME legal death. The resurrection of the justified elect in Romans 6 is the result and evidence of that justification from being under law.
Christ was never under the power of sin in the sense of being unable not to sin. Christ was always unable to sin. The only way Christ was ever under the power of sin is by being under the guilt of sin. The guilt of the elect’s sin was legally transferred by God to Christ.
Christ’s death to sin was death to the guilt of sin, and since the elect are united with a death like his, the death of the elect is also a death to the guilt of sin. And this is what Romans 6:7 teaches: “For one who has died has been justified from sin.”
Yet many commentators tell us that “set free from sin” must mean the elect’s sanctification by the Spirit so that the justified elect cannot habitually sin (or that their new nature cannot sin) They tell us that justification was in chapter five and that chapter six must be about something more if it’s to be a real answer to the question “why not sin?”.
But Christ was never under the power of habitual sin or any sin, and the death of the elect is like His death.
Romans 6:10, “For the death He died He died to sin.” When the elect consider themselves dead to sin and alive to God, they think of themselves as dead to the guilt of sin. Death to the guilt of sin means legal life before God.
Romans 6:14 does not say, For sin shall not be your master, because the Holy Spirit has changed you so that you cannot habitually sin, but only occasionally and always with repentance. Romans 6:14 says, “For sin shall not by your master, because you are not under law but under grace.”
Christ also died to purchase every blessing, including the giving of the Spirit and our believing the gospel. But it is not believing which frees the elect from the guilt of sin. It’s being legally joined (Romans 6 says “baptized into” but not “baptized by the Spirit into) to Christ’s exclusive death (He instead of the elect for whom He died) that frees the justified elect from guilt.
II Corinthians 5: 15—“And He died for all, that those who live would no longer live for themselves, but for Him who for their sake both died and was raised.”
Who are the all? Is the verse talking to everybody? If Christ did not die for a person, how in the world could that person be commanded to live for Him who died for Him.?
Those who teach an universal atonement (which then fails to atone!) use II Corinthians 5:15 to try to prove that Christ died for everybody. They assume that that we want to tell everybody to live for Christ. The false gospel tells us that, in order to tell everybody what to do, we first need to tell them that Christ died for them.
II Corinthians 5:15 is about an exclusive substitution: the same all for whom Christ died is the all who died. This death is not the new birth. This death is death by imputation, legal union with Christ.