Saturday in the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Romans 6:6-14

Sin Will Have No Dominion over You

Throughout chapters one through five, Paul has primarily been speaking of justification by faith, that is, how one is made right before God.  And this righteousness which the believer gains is one which is rendered or given unto him by God on account of his faith; that is, righteousness is credited to the believer by God.  The believer is not said to have any righteousness of his own; indeed, he is wicked and sinful and has nothing to offer God but his sins.  God therefore graciously counts the one who believes righteous on account of his faith.  But this way of explaining a believer’s righteousness elicits the question we encountered yesterday: Shall we sin that grace may abound?  In other words, is not the believer required to walk in righteousness and faithfulness himself, or does he just rely on God’s counting him righteous and live however he wishes?

And this is where chapters six through eight come in.  Having stated the fact that we have been buried and raised with Christ in our regeneration which thereby unites us to Christ (which baptism displays so very well), Paul now shows us the effect of the believer’s union with Christ.  The purpose of dying and rising with Christ is to break the dominion and power of sin which so held us fast.  By dying with Christ, we have been set free from sin; after all, dead people don’t sin.  By rising with Christ, we have been set free from death as well; neither sin nor the death to which sin leads binds the believer any longer.  The believer now may live unto God: “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

So we see that in chapter six, Paul moves from our position with God, as having been declared righteous by Him on account of our faith, to our walk before God, which may now be one of actually doing righteous deeds, and all on account of God’s initial declaration.  And please note the language Paul uses: “Let not sin reign in your mortal bodies,” “Do not present your members to sin,” “Present … your members to God as instruments of righteousness.”  In each of these phrases, Paul is assuming that believers have the power to do this (with God’s help, of course).  Before being counted righteous before God, we had no power to do good; now we do.  And why is this?  Because God has broken the power of sin over us by transferring us from the realm of law to grace.  Grace strengthens the heart and the will and grants power to the believer which he did not have before.  Commands incite us to evil, because we are evil; grace melts the heart of stone and leads to a life of love.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

Leave a Reply