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Yellow Balloons Devotional Series: Advent

Romans 6:5-7

The Apostle Paul writes to the world-renowned believers in Rome, the center of the world at that time, in order to answer a slanderous charge made to them against Paul and his message. Paul’s detractors claim his emphasis on faith overturns the law. Paul says that ” just living by the law” does not achieve personal justice before God, while “just living by faith” does. Paul then demonstrates what a just life looks like: harmonious living with Jesus as the leader. Paul also makes clear the choice a believer has: to walk in faith and the power of the resurrection and experience resurrection life, or walk in sin and unnecessarily experience the negative consequences.


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).


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 is doubling-down on his rebuttal to the slanderous charges of the competing Jewish “authorities” in Rome. They have accused him of teaching that sinning honors God (Romans 3:8), and he is refuting the accusation. Paul reminds the Roman Christians of the foundation of our faith: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that those who believe in the gospel have been spiritually baptized (immersed, identified) with Jesus.

 

Furthermore, Paul reasons, if we Christians were united with Jesus in the likeness of His death (dying to sin), it is certain that we share the likeness of His resurrection and new life. Our old self that wishes only to please itself, was crucified (put to death) with Him when He died on the cross. Paul highlights that the reason our old self dies is to free us: in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin (verse 6). Jesus Christ did this so we might no longer be enslaved to our sinful natures. We share in Christ’s death, being made freed from sin, so that we can choose to live in a way that pleases God.

Biblical Text

For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.