Romans 6 Bible Study And Summary
by JACK WELLMAN
Here is a Bible study on Romans chapter six that I hope can help you better understand this crucial chapter in the Book of Romans.
Romans 6:1-4 Dead to Sin
When we are saved, we’re new creations in Christ and now have the mind of Christ so the Apostle Paul asks the rhetorical question; “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death” (Rom 6:1-3) His point is that we cannot out-sin God’s grace but at the same time, a saved person should be dead to sin and so sin should not have dominion over us anymore. Further, he writes that “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4). The old man and woman was buried and died and the new creature in Christ is raised and this new walk should reflect a “newness of life.”
Romans 6:5-11 Crucified and Raised with Christ
The symbolism of being buried with Christ and raised to new life is not lost on the believer’s baptism because it’s like the old man or woman dying and being buried and then being raised out of the water to new life in Jesus Christ. I think that’s what Paul means by writing, “if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (Rom 6:5-7). A new creation in Christ will have new desires for Christ and that will look like obedience to His commands. Naturally, it won’t be perfect but it will be a life striving for perfection or maturity in Christ. This new creation that “has died has been set free from sin” meaning “death no longer has dominion over him (or her)” (Rom 6:9b) and so we“must consider [our]selves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom 6:11). Have the funeral. You’re now made new in Christ.
Romans 6:12-14 Sin’s Lost Dominion
After a person put’s their trust in Christ, sin has lost dominion. That doesn’t mean there won’t be sin but sin should not “reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions” (Rom 6:12). Since we’ve been bought with a price (1 Cor 6:20), we must “present [our] members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness” so “present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness” (Rom 6:13). It is only by God’s Spirit that we know “sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Rom6:14) and what the Law had done to condemn us, grace was given to set us free and save us (Eph 2:8-9).
Romans 6:15-20 Slaves to Whom?
Paul seems to anticipate the questions his readers might have about not being under law but saved by grace and so he writes,“Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means” (Rom 6:15). This is called licentiousness or basically, “a license to sin,” so Paul makes it abundantly clear that we “are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness” (Rom 6:16b), however Paul is confident about the Christians at Rome and writes “you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Rom 6:17-18). We are all slaves; it’s only a matter of who our master is? Is it sin or is it God and seeking His righteousness? Being confident of those at Rome, he commands them to “present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification” (Rom 6:19b) since we have now “become slaves of righteousness” (Rom 6:18b).
Romans 6:21-23 Bearing Sanctified Fruit
After we are born again or “born from above” as the Greek language indicates (John 3:3-8), we should begin to bear righteous works or fruit that consists of doing what is right. This is“the fruit you get [that] leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life” (Rom 6:22b), but this fruit is only possible because we “have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God” (Rom 6:22a) and being slaves of God we will naturally do good things which our God has sovereignly placed before us (Eph 2:10) but it will not be out of compulsion but out of love and gratitude to God from setting us free from the bondage of sin and opening the prison door and letting us out of death row, where we all once sat, condemned (Rom 6:23a).
The Book of Romans has been declared by a great number of scholars as Paul’s greatest work. It ties in the Old Testament’s gradual revelation of God to the fullest representation of God in Jesus Christ. As Jesus said, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’” (John 14:9)? They sought to know God and yet, there He was, right in front of them! The truth about our salvation is that we did not seek after God (Rom 3:11) but He drew us to Himself through Jesus Christ (John 6:44). Jesus was the Great Shepherd and sought out and then bought out His own sheep. They would have perished without Him leaving the 99 and finding the one that was lost (Matt 18:12). He finds them and then brings them home. Sheep are not smart enough to find their own way. And by the way, that lost one was each and every one of us at one time in our lives.
Take a look at this summary of the whole Book of Romans:Romans Commentary
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.