What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 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.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 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. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Let 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. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Who am I?
Have you ever thought about this question?
“Who am I?”
This, I think could be the most fundamental and important of questions that a person can ask him or herself
Who am I?
When I strip away all the clutter in my life, all the expectations, all the ambitions, all the dreams, what lies at the root of my existence?
Who am I?
I have a friend who was asked this very question, and as he thought about it, as he looked down deep into his soul, after everything was stripped away, he answered, “I am a child of God”
I don’t know if my friend knew the significance of his statement at the time – I don’t know if he knew how fundamental this was – But I do know that he was clear on it – This was not a grey area in his life – This wasn’t something that he thought twice about – This was something he believed, something he owned, something he lived – And is still living today!
Who am I?
The apostle Paul is asking us the same question, “Who are you?”
Or perhaps a better way to put it is, “Who do you think you are?”
In chapter 5 Paul is talking about the amazing power of God’s grace – The fact that sin can never out-do grace!
The grace of God is so powerful, so amazing, that it has the ability to cover any amount of sins that I commit
God’s grace can never be out-done!
And so now, he’s asking us the question, “Who do you think you are?”
Do you think of yourself as a sinner, or do you think of yourself as a child of God?
The reason I ask this question is because our lives will always follow the perception that we have of ourselves
Think about a person with low self-esteem – What does a person like this do?
When they ask themselves the question, “Who am I?” What do they answer with?
It’s usually something like, “I’m a no good person, I have nothing good to say, I’m horrible”
Then what happens?
Their lives usually show what they have concluded in their hearts – Because when they continually tell themselves that they are “no good,” “have nothing good to say,” and “horrible” they actually begin to do those things
It’s what psychologists call the “self-fulfilling prophecy”
Listen to this definition:
“The self-fulfilling prophecy is a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the original conception come true”
In other words, a self-fulfilling prophecy is me having a false idea about myself, which leads me to act differently because I have implanted that false idea in my brain, which leads to the false idea coming true
I believed a lie, and now the lie has come true
Please don’t understand me, I am not talking about “positive/negative thinking” or “name it and claim it” type things – I am only talking about false perceptions that we have of ourselves
I am talking about truth and lies – There are truths that the Bible teaches, then there are lies that Satan continually bombards us with
Are we believing truth, or are we believing lies?
Paul says, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? [LIE] 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? [TRUTH] 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 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” Romans 6:1-4
Paul is saying that if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have died to sin – Just like Jesus died to sin
The Bible teaches that Jesus had temptations just like any of us, yet he did not give in to those temptations, but instead considered himself dead to them – In fact this is exactly why he came to earth – To die for sins – To pay the penalty for sins
Hebrews 4:15 says, “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” Hebrews 4:15
Jesus had a choice to sin, but every time he was faced with that choice he always chose not to indulge in it – He always chose the right thing because he knew who he was, and he knew what his mission was
When he asked himself the question, “Who am I?” the answer was, “I am the Son of God and I have come to take away the sin of the world”
And this is precisely what kept Jesus from sinning – Because he held on to the truth and rejected lies (think about the temptations in the wilderness. Matt. 4:1-11)
What did Satan say to Jesus? – “If you are the Son of God…”
Satan was tempting Jesus to sin based on how Jesus saw himself – There is no doubt that Jesus saw himself as the Son of God, but Satan was saying, “Prove it, prove that you are the one that you think you are”
Satan was trying to get Jesus to believe a lie (this is exactly what he did to Eve)
Well, Jesus knew who he was, and he wasn’t going to fall for Satan’s schemes
And this is what Paul is telling us in Romans 6 – He’s saying, “Wake up Christians, don’t you know who you are?” – “How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
Paul is telling us who we are in Christ – He is telling us what God did for us through his Son Jesus Christ
Jesus died to sin, now we too ought to die to sin
He’s saying that because Jesus has triumphed over sin, that is why God raised him from the dead, showing to the world who he is – And now when we live for him, we become identified with him – So, just like Jesus was raised from the dead, we too will be raised from the dead
3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 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. Romans 6:3-4
What Paul is saying is, “Because we have died with Christ, we now have new life just like Christ”
Well, what does all this mean?
It means that: In Christ we have the power to overcome sin
6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, [lit. abolished] so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. Romans 6:6-7
What Paul is saying here is that those of us that have given our lives to Jesus, those of us that have accepted him into our hearts – Made him Lord and Savior – The moment we did that, we died to our old self – The old me died that day, and the new me was born
This is why Jesus said, “You must be born again” John 3:7
You see, the Bible teaches that the old self is corrupted, that’s why it’s so easy to sin – But this is exactly the reason why the old self must die, and a new self be born in its place
And Paul is telling us here that we have died, and we are now living a new life
So live the new life that is yours!
We are no longer slaves to sin, because that was part of our old self – We have been delivered from that – Now, live the new you!
Well, what does this new life look like? What are some examples?
The new life looks like a man who has been addicted to pornography but has stopped indulging in it – But he didn’t stop because the temptations went away, rather, he stopped because he continually puts to death those temptations
The new life looks like a woman who all her life wanted to be like someone else, she always struggled with envy, always comparing what she has to what they have, and then hating them because she doesn’t have it – But now she suppresses those feelings knowing that they are destructive – Instead, she begins to praise God, thanking him for what she has, and praising him for his goodness to those around her – How He blesses those around her
The new life looks like a man who all his life struggled with greed and selfishness. He never gave when people asked of him, never helped out a friend – Instead he always found an excuse not to give or to lend to them. He only thought about himself and his own well-being – But now he recognizes that all that he has is because of God, so he suppresses his natural reasoning and does away with his excuses – He begins to give and not expect anything in return
You see, what Paul is telling us is that we are no longer slaves to sin, because we have died to sin – And now we live in the power of God that has overcome sin
We have the power not to sin
This is what Jesus has done for us – He has given us new life in his Spirit and now he commands us to live the new life
Verse 10 says, “For the death he [Jesus] died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus”Romans 6:10-11
In other words, “Count, Think, Judge, Consider yourselves dead to sin – And alive to God” – “Do it, count on it, because this is the reality, this is the truth! – This is who you are!”
We have the power in Christ to overcome sin, because we have died to sin – We do not belong to sin anymore, we belong to God!
So, “Who are you?”
Are you a sinner, or are you a child of God?
Are you living in the lie that says, “I can’t help it, it’s just who I am”
Or are you living in the truth that says, “I have all the power to overcome this sin – In fact, I have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead available to me, this is the power that lives in me, yet it’s not my power, but God’s power, and He has given it to me”
Will I believe the lie, making it true – Or will I believe the truth and live in victory?