Tag Archive for 'Commentary'

Book Review: A Commentary on the Psalms Vol. 3 by Allen Ross

Commentary on Psalms by Ross Vol 3A Commentary On The Psalms, Volume 3: (90-150) by Allen P. Ross

Stay tuned for quotes from the commentary on this blog.

You can read the reviews of Volume 1 and Volume 2 here on the blog.

I read the exposition of Genesis by Ross entitled Creation and Blessing and became a fan of him and his style. That exposition was perfect for me and my level of knowledge, as is this commentary/exposition of the Psalms. According to Ross it’s “for pastors, teachers and all serious students of the Bible.” This commentary isn’t quite as academic as Goldingay’s, but it’s also not for new Christians. It’s very thorough, and didn’t leave me wanting. In fact, he answers some questions I didn’t know I had.

Volume 3 is longer than the other two, coming in at over 1000 pages. It covers books IV and V of the Psalter. Like Volume 2, this doesn’t have the excellent introduction that’s in Volume 1. There is an Index of Hebrew Word Studies and a very extensive bibliography at the end, which the other two don’t have. Volume 3 is exactly the same color and height as Volume 1 and 2, so they will look good next to each other on your bookshelf. The cover art is on the cover itself, so it doesn’t have a dust jacket, which I like.

The first section for each Psalm is the Introduction, which includes Text and Textual Variants, and also includes the author’s own translation along with plenty of footnotes on words, phrases, and comparisons to the Hebrew version. This is very educational, and is but one of the strengths of the commentary. I always like reading the author’s translation. To me it’s like a bonus, since I enjoy comparing translations.

Next comes Composition and Context which is basically a short introduction with any information that will be helpful in understanding the Psalm as a whole. Then there is Exegetical Analysis which might have a short comment on the genre and structure, and then a short Summary with an outline. The commentary itself is titled Commentary In Expositional Form. Sometimes he will go verse by verse and sometimes groups of verses. He will spend as much or little time on a verse as warranted. He doesn’t pick out little things on simple words if the meaning is obvious. He seems to follow C.S. Lewis’ philosophy in not using big words when he doesn’t have to. A good commentator doesn’t need to show off their vocabulary just for the sake of it.

Although he interacts with other commentators, this isn’t a commentary on commentaries, or leave you wishing you would have just read the people he’s quoting instead of the book you bought.

He treats Psalm 119 with special care, which is something I was very glad to see. He has a longer introduction to this chapter than others, and defends its literary integrity and value.

His knowledge of Hebrew is very beneficial, especially because he explains it in a way that anyone can understand. For example, he mentions that there are eight words for the law. That’s why translations use words like precepts, word, statutes, commands, etc. He also often uncovers what a word would be if it were translated literally, like the Hebrew word for “kidneys”, which “is used commonly for the internal emotional being, the soul or spirit”. (Psalm 139:13) This is just one reason why there’s no such thing as a literal translation, but that’s a different story.

I’m not one to be able to comment on any theological bent regarding the Old Testament and Psalms in particular, other than he is evangelical. (Here is a good one on Amazon.) He seems very objective and doesn’t insert any obvious biases and slants. I think this makes it a great commentary for a wide audience.

If I could write anything at all negative it would be that the font size is actually a little larger than what I like, which is a plus for many people. Like his commentary on Genesis, it’s nearly perfect for me and if you buy it, I hope you feel the same. It’s not cheap and doesn’t come in Kindle format.

If the publisher wouldn’t have provided a free copy for an unbiased review, I would have bought it.

Applications for Psalm 73 by Allan Ross

Here is a quote as promised in the review of Ross’ commentary on the Psalms. These are applications on Psalm 73, which is one of my favorites. I like what he has to say.

The applications stand out clearly. First, it is absolutely necessary for believers to seek God and not focus on the allurements of the world. And in a brief statement that also captures the main lesson of this psalm, Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8)—both in the events of this life and in glory.

Second, the sanctuary should be the place where this is facilitated most effectively: there, in the place of worship, people should be reminded of how the Lord has redeemed them, guides them, and will receive them in glory. A similar emphasis is found in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, in which he charts how he has been afflicted and perplexed in his service for the Lord. But what enabled him to persevere was the eternal weight of glory—he did not focus on temporal things, but eternal (chapter 4).

And third, the world with its promise of prosperity and power falls far short of the provision of God for those who trust in him faithfully. And so for all such psalms we may cite John’s words: “Love not the world, neither the things of the world” for it is passing away (1 John 2:15-17).

Book Review: Philippians (The Story of God Bible Commentary) by Lynn Cohick

philippians-commentary-cover-linkPhilippians (The Story of God Bible Commentary) by Lynn H. Cohick

The introduction gets right to the main points of what the book is about. It compels you to read the book again. There is no need to entertain theories where there is a very small minority, like whether or not Paul wrote the letter.

“This commentary examines Paul’s teachings and biographical notes always with an eye to the church today–the men and women who desire a deeper relationship with God, a stronger foundation for their walk, and a clearer vision for God’s working in the world beyond their immediate circle.” This commentary series goes beyond exegesis and to what it means for today. Since the book is only 262 pages long, it doesn’t dwell on any one subject for very long, but deals with subjects and passages in a complete and satisfying way.

Other reviewers have written about the three sections for each passage of the book. Listen to the Story has the Bible text using the NIV 2011. I like it when the translator comes up with their own translation. But since there is minimal discussion of the Greek, an existing one works fine. When she does mention Greek, it’s always something helpful, usually regarding grammar, and like a good preacher, sometimes doesn’t even need to mention the specific words, as if to show off her knowledge. Adjustments are made when the commentator likes a different word better, like ‘slave’ instead of ‘servant’ (which I strongly agree with) in Philippians 1:1. There are cross references, and a synopsis of the passage that will be exposited in Explain the Story, which I would say is more exposition that exegesis, of every 1-4 verses. Live the Story is where plenty of space is used to go into what it means for today–usually picking out a single idea from the passage and writing about that throughout. This is somewhat limiting, but at the same time, thoroughly goes into the main subject matter of a passage–something that most commentaries don’t do any of, being mainly exegesis. This makes the series good for preachers and lay people who would like to connect the original meaning with how we can understand how it may relate to contemporary living. While I believe this is largely the work of the Holy Spirit related to an individual’s circumstances, the Holy Spirit also uses gifted teachers to point things out can help us learn to make these connections. She also writes about contemporary issues within the Explain the Text portion and isn’t afraid to bring up problems in the modern church similar to those that Paul addressed, and sometimes using modern analogies to explain something. So this commentary is thorough, yet not a more technical exegesis-only type of commentary either.

She has a way of coming at the Scripture with an open mind. At the risk of sounding like she’s wishy washy, she’ll say if she thinks that Paul may be intentionally ambiguous, like the well-known “faith in Christ” or “faith of Christ” passage. She doesn’t see everything in black or white, or either or.

As far as where she comes from theologically, it’s hard to pin down, which I see as a good thing. I’m Reformed, but didn’t find anything real objectionable. There are minor things I disagreed with, but I’ll let other reviewers who are more qualified to comment on those things.

While this commentary won’t answer all of your questions satisfactorily, it’s a very good exposition for preachers and lay people to understand what Philippians is about, as opposed to a detailed exegesis of every verse. I would recommend it for those who are looking for that type of book.

This book was provided by the publisher through the Amazon Vine review program for an unbiased review.

Hardcover: 304 pages, also in Kindle format
Publisher: Zondervan (October 30, 2013)
Buy it from Amazon

Spurgeon on Psalm 116:8

I often miss the spiritual meaning in Scripture. Death here can refer to that, possibly in addition to also being delivered from human enemies. I see it more readily now than I used to. Reading commentaries has helped me a lot with this.

I had a great time reading the first half of Psalm 116 today, which is one of my favorites. At least I thought it was, because I had the title highlighted. But in the past the Holy Spirit hadn’t opened up my eyes to nearly the amount of things I learned today. I spent some time looking at dead white guy commentaries, and this is one of the many gems I found.

For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” [Psalm 116:8] The triune God has given us a trinity of deliverances: our life has been spared from the grave, our heart has been uplifted from its griefs, and our course in life has been preserved from dishonour. We ought not to be satisfied unless we are conscious of all three of these deliverances. If our soul has been saved from death, why do we weep? What cause for sorrow remains? Whence those tears? And if our tears have been wiped away, can we endure to fall again into sin? Let us not rest unless with steady feet we pursue the path of the upright, escaping every snare and shunning every stumblingblock. Salvation, joy, and holiness must go together, and they are all provided for us in the covenant of grace. Death is vanquished, tears are dried, and fears are banished when the Lord is near.

–C.H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David

The Lord is near.
Philippians 4:5b

Quick Thoughts on Walton’s Commentary on Job

I wanted to write a quick few sentences of what I thought of Job by John H. Walton over at Goodreads.com, and it ended up being a little longer, so I thought I’d post it here. It’s not a polished review with complete sentences. I will be offering a few good quotes from it soon.


This is a very complete commentary on a difficult book. I didn’t feel wanting at all. Some deep writing for being NIVAC. I feel like I have a much better understanding of the book now. The running commentary of the real ‘suffering woman’ was something that I benefitted from. I know that not everyone appreciated this in a commentary, but it would be easy to skip over. He wrote a very good part near the end on what Job is about. He wrote with a lot of clarity on a book that at first appears to have little. He also wrote about interpreting Scripture, so there are other benefits too. His theology, which has God not quite as sovereign as I would have Him, or not quite as much in control of smaller things, disagrees with mine, but that is of little significance, because I can disagree with him on some minor matters and still learn just as much.

This and the commentary on Revelation are definitely hits for the NIVAC series.

Also see:
What IS the Book of Job About?

More on Proverbs and Others by Charles Bridges

Recently I let people know about a free online commentary on Proverbs by Charles Bridges (not to be confused with Jerry Bridges) in HTML (web page) format. A couple of days ago I found a post on Pyromaniacs titled Proverbs for nothing, and your Bridges for free! I was glad to learn that this commentary is also in PDF format, which makes it easier to look up the chapters.

While reading Waltke’s commentary I’ve been referring to Bridges fairly often and like it enough to buy it in book form. In fact if I were to do it again, I might read the Bridges and refer to the Waltke. On the Pyro site, a commenter mentioned that the Banner of Truth edition is the best. This is a healthy 656 page book which is more expositional or even devotional in nature but still goes verse by verse. Some of the editions look like they are scans of the original book (I can’t say for sure if this is or not). There is an edition in the The Crossway Classic Commentary Series edited by Alister McGrath, and J. I. Packer which I’m sure is ‘regular’ text, but keep in mind this is an abridged (condensed) edition.

Then to my surprise I found out he wrote a commentary on Ecclesiastes (I love that book) and Psalm 119, one of my favorite Psalms. It just keeps getting better. I wish I would have known that when I was studying Ecclesiastes. I already have a book on Psalm 119 that I haven’t read so I won’t be getting that anytime soon but would like to in the future.

Although it looks like he wasn’t a prolific writer, these resources are very helpful and I wanted to let you know about them if you’re interested.

Recommended Free Commentary on Proverbs

A COMMENTARY ON PROVERBS by Charles Bridges (PDF File)

This commentary, written in 1847 is often mentioned positively by Bruce Waltke in his two volume commentary on Proverbs. I think it would be a good second commentary or good by itself. The chapter numbers are in Roman numerals so you have to brush up on that if your knowledge is weak like mine, but the verse numbers are as ours are (what’s the term?). This can easily be converted to an eBook if you have any kind of a reader or just save the file, which I would recommend in case it disappears.

Colossians and Philemon by Michael F. Bird

I love the book of Colossians and there are and will be quite a few more commentaries coming out on this. Someday after I’ve done some other things like looking further into the OT and reading more of Calvin I’d like to study Colossians as in-depth as I can.

If you’re interested and haven’t seen it, here is a review by Review by David Schrock at The Gospel Coalition Reviews of a commentary/exposition of Colossians and Philemon by Michael F. Bird

I’m still a little dizzy about the back surgery thing and haven’t been posting as much lately.

Can’t decide on an Acts commentary

I’m considering these:

F.F. Bruce is tried and true. The Peterson is new and I’m having a hard time getting a feel for it from the reviews. I like the series having commentaries on John, Ephesians, James and the epistles of John. I have one NIVAC that I don’t really like but the one on Revelation by Keener is fantastic. The one on Acts is actually longer than the one by F.F. Bruce which is a good thing. The commentary by Fernando might give more of a non-Western perspective too. I can only afford one.

Any comments?

What One Old Testament Commentary Would You Get?

If you like commentaries as I do, and you could only get a commentary on one Old Testament book other than Genesis or the wisdom literature, which one would it be and why if you care to take the time to tell.

I’m thinking Isaiah or Jeremiah and I’m leaning toward Jeremiah because there are many questions I have about it.

Also, if you would insist on recommending Psalms or Proverbs, please let me know what one(s) you like.

I have Genesis and Ecclesiastes covered and I know I want commentaries on Psalms and Proverbs. With a low budget I’m trying to decide what other one I’d eventually like to get. I think the Treasury of David is very good for the Psalms and it’s free.

“Be angry and do not sin”

Psalm 4:4
Be angry and do not sin;
on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still.

Ephesians 4:26
Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger,

Ephesians 4:26 – Be ye angry, and sin not – That is, if ye are angry, take heed ye sin not. Anger at sin is not evil; but we should feel only pity to the sinner. If we are angry at the person, as well as the fault, we sin. And how hardly do we avoid it. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath – Reprove your brother, and be reconciled immediately. Lose not one day. A clear, express command. Reader, do you keep it?

–John Wesley

The Septuagint, which is copied by St. Paul, Ephesians 4:26, translate this clause, Οργιζεσθε, και μη ἁμαρτανετε; Be ye angry, and sin not. The Vulgate, Syriac, Ethiopic, and Arabic, give the same reading; and thus the original רגזו rigzu might be translated: If ye be angry, and if ye think ye have cause to be angry; do not let your disaffection carry you to acts of rebellion against both God and your king. Consider the subject deeply before you attempt to act. Do nothing rashly; do not justify one evil act by another: sleep on the business; converse with your oten heart upon your bed; consult your pillow.

–Adam Clarke

Psalms 37:8
Refrain from anger and give up [your] rage;
do not be agitated-it can only bring harm.

Ephesians 4:31
All bitterness, anger and wrath, insult and slander must be removed from you, along with all wickedness.

Colossians 3:8
But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth.

James 1:19-20
My dearly loved brothers, understand this: everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, 20 for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.

Reflections on Psalm 19:7-10

I take this [Psalm 19] to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.

–C.S. Lewis

In memorizing the second half of Psalm 19 I wanted to get a good understanding of the terms used for God’s revelation of Himself through the many facets of his instruction to us. I don’t own a commentary on the Psalms in book form but the commentaries from Matthew Henry, John Gill, Adam Clarke, Charles Spurgeon, Keil & Delitzsch, John MacArthur (from a sermon) and Derek Kidner (from the library) more than suffice.

Even after reading through all of them I still feel like I’m still just beginning to mine the depths of what this text offers (not to mention Psalm 119!). So I would like to write down a synopsis of just these verses based on commentaries and my own thoughts and observations to further embed these ideas in my brain and cause me to ponder further.

Don’t take this as a scholarly paper. It’s just what I’m learning so far. Comments are welcome.

Psalm 19:7a (HCSB used for all)
The instruction of the Lord is perfect,

The HCSB uses the word instruction for tôrâh instead of the usual law here so as not to confuse it with only the law of Moses or the Decalogue (ten commandments). ” תֹּורָה [tôrâh] does not in itself mean the law, but a pointing out, instruction, doctrine or teaching”. (K&D) It’s a complete divine instruction of God’s will for man’s life and conduct.

On a side note, the Bible isn’t just an instruction manual for us. It’s so much more than that. It’s God revealing Himself, His purposes, how He has dealt with people and His redemption story. How much more wonderful this is than a mere instruction manual.

Since God does not reside in our constraint of time, His law is timeless and includes the gospel message and all of His revealed word to us, not just the law as it was revealed up to the time of David when he wrote this Psalm. It’s somewhat prophetic in that way.

Regarding the word perfect John MacArthur says, “I remember the first time I studied Psalm 19, many, many years ago, I wanted to really know what perfect meant. So I went back and I got all the Hebrew lexicons off my shelf and I remember spending several hours chasing this word ‘perfect’ all over the place, trying to wring out of it everything that I could so I would have a grasp of it. And after many hours of study, I came to the conclusion that what it means is perfect. A bit disappointing after all the effort, but that’s exactly what it means…perfect.” He qualifies that as meaning–not as opposed to imperfect but as opposed to incomplete.

The law of the Lord is sufficient for “everything we need for life and godliness”. (2 Peter 1:3)

Psalm 19:7b
reviving the soul;

Restoring, reviving, refreshing, or converting; turning to God or back to God. In any case, transformation takes place.

Psalm 19:7c
the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy,

I think that some of the obvious examples of His testimony are what He has said audibly about Himself and His Son. But more comprehensively it is God disclosing His character, His will and His nature–who He is. (cf. 1 John 5:9)

You can know that what He says about Himself is trustworthy. Believing He is who He says he is–this is vital for trusting Him and making it through hard times. (Psalm 119:92 MSG)

But what kept me going more than anything else was my confidence in the character of God.

–Ravi Zacharias quoting Charles Cooper in the book Cries of the Heart

Psalm 19:7d
making the inexperienced wise.

The underlying Hebrew word for simple (inexperienced) means wide open, as in an open door; people who are easily led one way or another. For those who are simple, or inexperienced in the ways of the Lord, His testimony is trustworthy in making them wise for living in a manner skilled in walking in His ways and for salvation. (2 Timothy 3:15)

Psalm 19:8a
The precepts of the Lord are right,

1. In a general sense, any commandment or order intended as an authoritative rule of action; but applied particularly to commands respecting moral conduct. The ten commandments are so many precepts for the regulation of our moral conduct.

Synonyms for precepts would be commandments, decrees or statutes, which many other translations use.

All of His precepts are always right and always leading people in righteousness and in the right path. (Proverbs 8:8) They are always well meaning and for our well-being.

Psalm 19:8b
making the heart glad;

Having His precepts written on our hearts leads us to a right mind which gives us joy. They satisfy our desire for morality.

Retire and read thy Bible to be gay.

–Charles Spurgeon

Psalm 19:8c
the commandment of the Lord is radiant,

HCSB and TNIV use the word radiant, some clear, most others pure. The commandment itself is pure, not adulterated by any person. It also purifies us.

I would guess that the word radiant is used because light is pure. It may also be looking forward to the next line. (Comments?)

Psalm 19:8d
making the eyes light up.

His commandment gives us discernment to see what’s earthly and what’s spiritual; what is of the world and what is of true value. It gives us understanding not only externally but internally–showing us our own sin. (Proverbs 6:23)

Psalm 19:9a
The fear of the Lord is pure,

His instruction taken to heart causes us to fear, venerate, reverence and be in awe of the Lord. Its purpose is to purify (John 15:2-3), as purified silver or gold.

Psalm 19:9b
enduring forever;

The fear of the Lord is perpetual. The coming of Jesus does not and should not alter our fear of the Lord, even though Jesus calls us friends. (John 15:14) The fear of the Lord is in opposition to all false ways of reverencing (or not reverencing) Him.

Psalm 19:9c
the ordinances of the Lord are reliable

The ordinances or judgments of the Lord are unquestionable and need no excuse to justify them. All that He has decided is right and proper.

Psalm 19:9d
and altogether righteous.

Any one of them or all of them together are righteous. They are all alike in their righteousness. Clarke would say that, “they are truth [reliable] and righteousness united.” Spurgeon, “no exception may be taken to a single clause separately, or to the book as a whole.”

Psalm 19:10
They are more desirable than gold-
than an abundance of pure gold;
and sweeter than honey-
than honey dripping from the comb.

Here obviously each idea is intensified. My mind thinks of them as being not only more valuable than money, but more money than we would know what to do with.

I haven’t done a lot of research on honey but obviously honey is sweet. Honey dripping from the comb is very different than the honey we would get at the store. Clarke says honey from the comb has, “a sweetness, richness and flavour, far beyond what it has after it becomes exposed to the air.”

God’s instruction is more satisfying than any earthly pleasure we can imagine. This is the truth. Is this my estimation of God’s Word? I pray that it will be, and more and more so.

Psalm 131:1 – What a difference a translation makes

Psalm 131:1 ESV
O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.

I don’t know what “my heart is not lifted up” or “my eyes are not raised too high” means.

Psalm 131:1 TNIV
My heart is not proud,
Lord, my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.

TNIV clarifies this by indicating that it’s about pride and haughtiness. But are we not supposed to think of great matters or strive to concern ourselves with wonderful things that may for now be too wonderful for us to understand?

Psalm 131:1 NASB
O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.

Even NASB is more clear on a couple of these things.

Psalm 131:1 HCSB
Lord, my heart is not proud;
my eyes are not haughty.
I do not get involved with things
too great or too difficult for me.

I’m kind of surprised that HCSB uses the archaic word haughty. How about arrogant or egotistical?

Psalm 131:1 MSG
GOD, I’m not trying to rule the roost,
I don’t want to be king of the mountain.
I haven’t meddled where I have no business
or fantasized grandiose plans.

This is a nice interpretation of what the meaning may be.

John Gill on v. 1b:
neither do I exercise myself in great matters; or, “walk” (m) in them; these were not the subject of his employment and conversation; he did many great things, in killing the lion and the bear that came into his father’s flock; in slaying Goliath with a sling and stone only; in leading out the armies of Israel, and slaying his ten thousands; and he exercised himself in the great things of the law, which he was careful to observe, and studied the great things of the Gospel, which he had the highest esteem of, and desired to understand; but he did not seek human greatness, or the great things of this world, for himself; he had no ambitious views, or was desirous of the kingdom he was anointed to, before the proper time; see 1 Samuel 18:18;

or in things too high for me: or “too wonderful” (n); see Job 42:3. He contemplated the wonderful make and frame of his body, the texture, symmetry, and use of each of its parts; he observed the wonderful providences of God towards him ever since he had a being; and particularly he took notice of the wonderful love of God to him, and remembered and talked of, and declared, the wonderful works of grace and redemption; but not things above his capacity, out of his reach, and which are secret, or not clearly revealed: and such things we should be content to be ignorant of, or not to have adequate ideas of, or be capable of accounting for;

Related Scripture:

Romans 12:3 HCSB For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one.

1 Corinthians 3:18-20 HCSB
No one should deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks he is wise in this age, he must become foolish so that he can become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, since it is written: He catches the wise in their craftiness — 20 and again, The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are futile.

Philippians 1:9-10 HCSB
And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, 10 so that you can determine what really matters and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ,

(Emphasis added)

Philippians 2:21 HCSB
all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

Reading the Psalms

In November I started reading one Psalm a day.

In many of our evangelical circles, people put on a happy face and sing happy worship songs. There isn’t always a lot of “realness” or honest expression of doubt, fear, frustration etc. So I wanted to turn to the Psalms as a model for worship, praise and prayer. It also gives me a dose of the Old Testament as I concentrate on the New Testament for a while.

Although I’m not studying the Psalms–just reading, pondering and praying with them, I was looking for something short to read as a good overview and to give me a little more insight into them. I came across this and want to pass it along.

Hermeneutical and Homiletical Musings on the Psalms by Randy McKinion at Expository Thoughts
Be sure to notice the link to Part 2 at the bottom of the page.

I’ve come to enjoy and look forward to my time with a Psalm each day. I highly recommend it.

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