In Chapter 6, Paul continues to refute slanderous claims about his ministry, such as the claim that he is teaching that sinning is good because it allows the grace of God to increase. Paul explains how believers in Christ have been freed from their sinful past, and are now given the power to obey God rather than their sinful desires, because they have been resurrected into a new life (through Christ’s resurrection).
Grace will always abound; God covers all sins —past, present, future. But we’ve been given a new life, raised up in Christ’s resurrection. We have the resurrection power of Jesus to live a transformed life. Why would we keep sinning?
We are now united with Christ because we have put our faith in Him. He died and was resurrected, and we who believe in Him have died to sin and have been spiritually resurrected with a new power to live without following our sinful nature. We are empowered to choose to follow God.
Paul emphasizes the reality that we have a new nature and can walk in it—we have the power to choose to live the resurrection life of Christ. We should have a mindset of being free from sin (dead to sin) and living for God (alive to God in Christ).
Since we have died to sin and share a new life in Christ’s resurrection, we have been empowered to live righteously (harmonious living, which is what God designed for humanity). Paul’s warning is simple: don’t let sin continue to lead you. Don’t obey it. Our old self, our sin nature, will always try to drag us back to our dead way of living before we had faith in Christ.
Paul dismisses the false notion that he endorses sinful living among Christians. God will always forgive our sins; we cannot out-sin His grace. Even though God will always forgive our sins, we shouldn’t consider it an advantage to sin, because there are still dire consequences for living sinfully.
Paul thanks God that the Roman believers are living out his teaching already. They have become obedient to God after believing in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. They are freed from sin and have dedicated themselves to living harmoniously as God designed.
Paul is asking the Roman Christians: What good did it do for you to live in sin? Was it really good? It kept you from righteousness, as verse 20 says. Worse yet, the outcome of sinful living is death (verse 21).