Bible Commentaries
Romans 6

Edwards' Family Bible New TestamentFamily Bible NT

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Verse 1

What shall we say ; in view of the foregoing truths, and especially the fact that where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. Shall we continue to live in sin, that grace may the more abound?

Verse 2

God forbid ; surely not; for that would be acting not only against the abounding, but against all operations of grace-against what is professed and is most earnestly desired by all true Christians. They have looked to Christ to be delivered not only from the punishment, but from the power of sin. For them, therefore, to continue in it that grace might be displayed in its forgiveness, would be not only wicked but absurd. It would be acting against the great object of their desires and efforts.

We , that are dead to sin ; that have, from a discovery of its evil and malignant nature, heartily renounced it and separated ourselves from it.

Verse 3

Were baptized into his death ; were so united with him as to be the followers of him in his death by dying to sin as he did. See this idea more fully stated in verses Romans 6:10-11 . True Christians will never make the fact that they are saved by grace and not by works, nor the fact that the greater and more numerous their sins the more abounding the grace which saves them, an occasion or excuse for continuing in sin.

Verse 4

We also should walk in newness of life ; for our death with Christ to sin implies our resurrection with Christ to God, which is to us a new life of holiness. See on verses Romans 6:10-11 .

Verse 5

Planted together ; that is, as the original word implies, closely united, namely, with Christ.

We shall be also ; closely united with Christ. Our dying with Christ to sin, implies our rising with Christ to God. Verses Romans 6:10-11 .

Verse 6

Our old man ; our natural love of sin, and inclination to commit it.

Is crucified with him ; a repetition of the idea that we die with Christ to sin. The apostle uses the word crucified with reference to the manner of our Lord’s death; perhaps also to intimate the lingering and painful nature of the process by which the old man dies, to give place to the new man.

The body of sin ; the same as "the law of sin which is in my members," chap Romans 7:23 , which in the old man controls the body, making it a body of sin and death, chap Romans 7:24 .

Verse 7

For he that is dead ; that is, as the context shows, he that has died to sin. Compare verse Romans 6:18 .

Verse 8

Dead with Christ ; in the sense above explained-one with him in sympathy, desire, and effort as to the object of his death, the deliverance of his people from sin.

We believe that we shall also live with him ; be like him, through communications received from him, in living to God, even as the branch is like the vine. John 14:19 ; John 15:5 ; Hebrews 7:25 .

Verse 10

He died unto sin ; in reference to sin, the design of his death being to put away sin. Hebrews 9:26 . By making expiation for sin he prepared the way for its forgiveness, and thus its removal from the souls of all that believe in him.

In that he liveth ; liveth in his new resurrection-life.

He liveth unto God ; his life is devoted to the glory of God in the furtherance of the work of redemption. Before his crucifixion, Christ lived unto God also. But that was a life of humiliation leading to the death of the cross, and may here be reckoned as a part of the process of his dying unto sin. His resurrection-life, on the contrary, is a life of exaltation, in which all power is given into his hands for the glory of the Father, in the over-throw of the kingdom of Satan and the establishment of the kingdom of God in this world.

Verse 11

Likewise reckon ye ; be like Christ, in dying to sin and living to God.

Dead indeed unto sin ; dead in reference to sin, in the sense of putting it away from you, and having no more to do with it.

Alive unto God ; living a new life of holiness devoted to God’s glory, in imitation of Christ’s resurrection-life.

Through Jesus Christ ; by virtue of your union with him through faith. In this and the preceding verse, we have the key to the interpretation of the preceding comparison extended in various forms through verses Romans 6:4-9 . Faith in Christ is the means not only of justification, but of sanctification; and produces a change not of state and condition only, but of character and conduct. It leads a person to live not unto himself, but unto Him who died for him and rose again.

Verse 12

Let not sin therefore reign ; be not its slaves in being or doing wrong, but be the freemen and willing servants of Christ in being and doing right.

In your mortal body ; let not the mind be enslaved to, or polluted by the bodily propensities, appetites, or passions. Control and regulate them according to the will of God.

Verse 13

Neither yield ye your members ; let not any of your faculties or powers by employed in the service or used as the instruments of sin.

Yourselves ; body and soul with all your powers employ in the service, and to the glory of God.

Verse 14

Over you ; Christians, who have believed in Christ, and are justified by faith.

Ye are not under the law ; not under a legal dispensation, where perfect obedience to law, and freedom from all sin, are necessary to acceptance with God. The apostle had already shown that the law cannot deliver from either the guilt or the pollution of sin, but "worketh" wrath to all transgressors. Chap Romans 3:20 ; Romans 4:15 .

But under grace ; a gracious dispensation, under which men are justified, not by perfect obedience, but by faith in Christ, who died to redeem them from the curse of the law, being made a curse for them.

Verse 15

Shall we sin ; if they should thus abuse the doctrine of salvation by grace, and take occasion from it to live in known sin, it would show that they loved sin, that they were its slaves; and continuing this course, would reap its wages, eternal death. Romans 8:13 ; Galatians 6:7-8 .

Verse 16

Every person daily chooses the service of self and sin, or of Christ and holiness. One leads to life, the other to death. Both, God sets before men, and invites them to choose life by taking the way which leads to it, and promises that if they do they shall live. Deuteronomy 30:19 ; Joshua 24:15 .

Verse 17

God be thanked ; that they who were the servants of sin had forsaken it, and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 18

Made free ; from the slavery of sin.

Servants of righteousness ; by believing and obeying Christ.

Verse 19

After the manner of men ; as much as to say, In calling you the servants of righteousness, I do not mean that you are not truly free, but I use an illustration drawn from a relation with which you are familiar.

Because of the infirmity of your flesh ; your dulness, on account of your remaining carnality, in rightly apprehending divine truth.

As ye have yielded your members ; as they had heretofore employed them in the practice of sin, they should hereafter employ them in the practice of holiness. Familiar illustrations drawn by ministers from the common concerns of life with which their hearers are acquainted, are among the best modes of giving them clear conceptions of divine truth, and making a right impression upon their hearts.

Verse 20

When ye were the servants of sin ; were wholly devoted to it.

Free from righteousness ; not in any way under its control-a most miserable freedom, as the apostle proceeds to show.

Verse 21

What fruit had ye ; in that shameful, wicked course. Did it do you any good? The end of those things ; their tendency, and the result to which when continued they lead.

Is death ; temporal, spiritual, eternal.

Verse 22

Free from sin ; its condemning and reigning power.

Servants to God ; devoted to him.

Fruit unto holiness ; its results are increasing holiness, and of course increasing usefulness and happiness.

Everlasting life ; holiness, and happiness, which shall be perfect and eternal.

Verse 23

The wages of sin ; its just desert.

Is death ; endless sinning and suffering.

Eternal life ; perfect, endless holiness and bliss. The future misery of the wicked is their just desert; and the future happiness of the righteous is the gracious gift of God, through the merits of Jesus Christ.

Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Romans 6". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". American Tract Society. 1851.