Dead To Sin


Romans 6:3-7
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin.

In his commentary on Romans, Thomas Schreiner says, “…he is not exhorting believers to cease from sin (a command in the imperative mood); he is proclaiming to them the good news that they have died to sin (a statement of fact in the indicative mood).” (emphasis is the author’s) Later, “We died with Christ in baptism in that we were united with him in his once-for-all death. Because we are incorporated into Christ, his death becomes ours.”

Imperative – “It is imperative that you…”
Indicative – Indicates

Verses 11-14 shift from indicative to imperative:
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:11-14

We are no longer slaves to sin and don’t have to sin as we used to. Obviously this doesn’t mean that we won’t sin and some still won’t struggle with some habitual sins or addictions. But we are free to know that we are righteous in His sight and that we are free to grow and become what God means for us to be.

Schreiner says, “The indicative is realized in the concrete world of the imperative by which it is demonstrated that the indicative actually is a reality.” This sounds like scholarly gobbledy-gook but it makes sense when we see it as knowing what God has done and who we are in Him compels us to be obedient with the strength that He give us.

The imperative is reminiscent of Philippians 2:12-13:
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Related Scripture:
Galatians 2:20

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