This Is Me, A Sinner Saved By Grace
We've probably read Romans 6 dozens of times, heard messages preached on it, had verses from it read at baptisms and done Bible studies on sin, death and grace. Paul's words stand just as strongly today as they did when they were written so many generations ago.
So you've read this passage, but have you ever read it backwards? There are certain words in Scripture that should jump out at you and make you wonder why they're there. Words like therefore, for, likewise, neither and then should always point you back to the verse right before it. Then it's like a road map back to the original thought.
So, for example, let's start with Romans 6:14 - For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
This is a popular verse, one that people will quote as a stand-alone verse, but the word "for" being used twice should make you stop and think. For what? For often means "because," so because of something, sin will not have dominion over you. For what? Back up a verse to see.
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Romans 6:13
So the choice to sin or not to sin is yours. When you yield yourself to God, each and every part of you becomes a tool that God can use for His will. When verse 14 says sin will not have dominion over you, this is why - because you've submitted yourself to be used for God and God alone.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Romans 6:12
Continuing backward, Paul writes again that sin can't reign in you anymore because your obedience is to God now, not the devil of this world. But there's a "therefore" in this verse, so let's go back another verse and find out what it's there for. (See what I did there?)
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:11
Dead to sin sounds amazing, doesn't it? It's not a fairy tale, but the truth of the saving power of Jesus Christ. It's because of this being alive to God that makes it possible to preventing sin from having reign in you. Without Him, you won't have the strength or endurance to keep temptation to sin at bay.
For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Romans 6:10
Salvation gives you new, eternal life and the opportunity to spend the rest of your life serving the God who gave that life to you. It's that blessing that continues through the verses we've already read: because of the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, we are given the power to obey God and not the sin and temptation that surrounds us every day. But there's another "for" in there, too.
Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. Romans 6:8-9
What powerful words of faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ! Our faith rests in what He did during those three days, taking back the keys to hell and death so there would be no more dominion of anyone or anything over the Lord. Not even death. And there's another "now."
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Romans 6:5-7
Being dead with Christ means you are freed from the bondage of sin and death, knowing that the opposite of eternal death is eternal life. Now that you are saved, sin is no longer a habit, but a choice you make to turn away from moment by moment. The old woman is crucified, dead and gone.
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3-4
Walking in newness of life. Again, you have put off the old woman so there is room to move and grow and life a new life. This life is the exact opposite of the old, sinful life. It's about walking where God wants you to walk and going where He wants you to go. Praise God for using His glory to raise Christ - and you - from the dead!
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Romans 6:1-2
And finally, the beginning of this chapter reminds you that God didn't forgive you of your sins just so you can keep committing them and get forgiveness. It's not a get out of jail free card. It's a tremendous responsibility to live for Him every day of your life, for as long as you live.
I encourage you now to go back on your own and read Romans 6:1-14 in your Bible, in the usual order. It is my prayer that this backwards look at some familiar verses will give you new insight into living as a sinner saved by grace. Praise the Lord!