I am very excited today because the NLT New Application Study Bible arrived in my mail. I found a great deal on the Amazon Marketplace. In a previous post I pointed out how good the study notes were. So I picked one up for myself. There is a section in the back of the study Bible called "A Christian Worker's Resource." One of the articles is about how to become a Christian. After being severely disappointed with the ESV Outreach New Testament and how it teaches bringing people to Christ, I was curious to see if there was any mention of baptism.
By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (Romans 6:2; ESV)
The answer: NO WAY! Absolutely not! God’s grace is overflowing and super-abounding through the blood of Jesus. How can we who died to sin still live in it? Notice again that sin is pictured as a place to live. The Christian is not living under sin’s power. Recall what Paul taught us in Romans 5. Sin and death were reigning. But in Romans 5:17 we learn those who receive grace reign in life through Jesus. Sin and death reigned previously, but now grace reigns through righteousness leading to eternal life (5:21). We are dead to the power of sin. We cannot live in the country of sin when Jesus has broken sin’s power and we are no longer in its grasp. Christians are people whose main characteristic is “dead to sin.” We cannot stay where we are as sinners. Paul told us that we are ungodly, sinful enemies of God. But we cannot stay in that land of sin. We are to be dead to that life and cannot live in that country or under its rule any longer. You have died to sin! You cannot live under its rule! To put this into our illustration used in verse 1, you have died to France. Thus you cannot live as a citizen in France. You cannot act like the French because you are dead to France and all of its power and rule. In the same way, Paul is saying that we are dead to the country of sin. Therefore we cannot act like those who live under the power and rule of sin.
KEY: It is important to recognize that Paul is not saying, “I never sin.” The apostle John cleaned that thought up nicely in 1 John 1:10 that if we say we have not sinned, we are liars and God’s word is not in us. Paul is not saying that Christians do not sin. Rather, Paul is saying that we are dead to the power and rule of that world. Sin is not the rule of our lives. We are not citizens of sin. Sin is not what we are living for because we are dead to that life and dead to that rule.