NEW TESTAMENT CONTEXTUAL COMMENTARY
Dr. Robert R. Seyda
EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS
SUMMARY OF CHAPTER SIX
In the first five chapters of Romans, Paul encourages us on the actual meaning of the Gospel. It is the power of God to bring salvation. Then in chapters 6-8, he expounds on a very critical topic: How the Gospel can change your life, especially in your battle with sin’s domination. But the central question Paul addressed in Romans 6 is found in verse 15: “What about it? Are we to continue living in sin because we are now no longer under the Law but under grace?”
This question was not raised in Paul’s mind, but in the spirit of those who heard his doctrine of Justification. If we are justified and pronounced innocent before God, and thereby are freed from any condemnation to death because of sin, then what incentive do we have to live a holy life if sin won’t kill us anymore? In other words, why can’t we have the best of two worlds – the sweetness of sin and the security of salvation?
Paul does not hesitate but takes this question on immediately. To do so, he uses a metaphor whereby sin is personified as a slave master and we as his slaves, obeying all his commands for fear of him. Then Paul does the same with righteousness. It too is personified as a servant master, and we are his willing servants, doing all that is right because we love Him. That sets up the scene that happened at conversion. We looked at what each master had to offer and accepted the invitation of Righteousness Master. We were immediately set free from chains of the slave master – sin. We then freely and excitedly put on the yoke of Christ so we could walk and fellowship with Him.
This helps us better understand Paul’s question in verse 15 of whether or not we made the right choice. In short, we can briefly describe it this way: We used to be a slave to an evil master, who intended to work us to death. But now we switched and became the servant of a good master, whose intention is to lead to the place of eternal life. This brings up another question: Why would we ever want to go back to our old sin master and give up all the benefits we have under the new one?
Believe it or not, Paul poses this question because, just like the Israelites wanted to go back into Eygpt so they could enjoy the food again, there are some believers who see no problem in going back to the world and tasting of its pleasures. Especially, when it only defiles our bodies and not our souls. They forget that sin is addictive. So why would you want to become addicted to sin again and not only let it ruin your life but be of absolutely no value to your new Master? Such can only be considered because they don’t understand the difference between the freedom grace brings and the so-called freedom offered by sin. It’s simple. Sin leads to death, grace leads to life.
That difference is illustrated in our baptism. Look at it this way. The fountain is filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins. We walk in as a dirty, abused, chained-up slave to a tyrant named Sin. When we are baptized in that blood, it cleanses us from all our dirt, heals all our wounds, breaks our chains, so when we are lifted back up, we are free to go out and serve a new Master. Sin is no longer alive to us. He was drowned in the blood. That’s why talking to sin is like talking to a dead person.
But the one to whom we now pledge our allegiance and faithfulness asks us to walk with Him. He tells about the place where we are headed. And once we get there, we will live with Him forever and ever in freedom and joy. So we should never give up, never think about going back. Not only would that be foolish, but fatal. – Dr. Robert R Seyda