Dead To Sin, Romans 6

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. 8 Now 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. 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 transformation by grace and 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” not “baptized by the Spirit into) to Christ’s death (He instead of the elect for whom He died) that frees the justified elect from guilt.

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3 Comments on “Dead To Sin, Romans 6”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    T.L Donaldson, Israel serves as a representative sample for the whole of humankind. within Israel’s experience, the nature of the universal human plight–bondage to sin and to the powers of this age– is thrown into sharp relief through the functioning of the law. The law, therefore, cannot accomplish the promise, but by creating a representative sample in which the human plight is clarified and concentrated, it sets the stage for redemption. Christ identifies not only with the human situation in general, but also with Israel in particular….

    “The Curse of the Law and the Inclusion of the Gentiles”, NT Studies 1986, p105

    cited in S.M. Baugh in Galatians 5:1-6 and Personal Obligation, p268, in The Law Is Not Of Faith, P and R, 2009

  2. markmcculley Says:

    Lee Irons: I now think that telos should be taken in a teleological sense, meaning “goal” or “aim.” I would now translate the verse as follows: “The object of the Law is realized in Christ, so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” My main reason for changing views is that my old view did not provide a reasonable explanation of the second half of the verse. How does Christ’s being the termination or abrogation of the Mosaic Law result in righteousness being (available to everyone who believes?) It doesn’t.

    mark…..being already earned for the elect alone, so that Christ is entitled now to these elect being justified…..

    Sin shall not have dominion over you because the Spirit in you causes you not to love sin, NOT what Romans 6 teaches. Because you are not guilty and condemned anymore.

    Which takes us back to what Lee Irons is saying about Romans 10:4, it’s not about “as a covenant of works” and now “not as a covenants of works”, and it’s not about being in a different redemptive time now, ie, now in the new covenant we are able by the Spirit to do it, NO, it’s that Christ has brought in righteousness by satisfying the law with His death. Christ got his righteousness and life by His death by Law, but we will never get life except by God’s imputation of Christ’s death to us

  3. markmcculley Says:

    Justification is a declaration, not a transformation. Justification is a declaration based on Christ’s death as law-satisfaction. Justification is a declaration not based on our transformation, because justification is not a declaration based on a fiction.

    sin loses its power when there is no more law guilt credited to us

    I Cor 15: 56
    Now the sting of death is sin,
    and the power of sin is the law.

    Colossians 1;13-14 God has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”

    Revelation 12–The salvation and the power
    and the kingdom of our God
    and the authority of His Messiah
    have NOW COME
    BECAUSE the ACCUSER of our brothers
    has been thrown out:
    11 They conquered the ACCUSER
    by the blood of the Lamb
    and by the word of their testimony,
    for they did not love their lives
    in the face of death

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