Spurgeon Verse Expositions - Romans 6:1 - 6:23

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Spurgeon Verse Expositions - Romans 6:1 - 6:23


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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

Rom_6:1. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

This seems to be a very plausible temptation, it is one which frequently came in the apostle’s way, and therefore he very often had to denounce it. It is one of the vilest suggestions of Satan that could possibly come to men.

Rom_6:2. God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

The whole spirit of the gospel is opposed to the idea of sinning because God is gracious. It is a horrible Satanic suggestion, — “As pardon can be so easily obtained from God, let us sin the more against him.” The bare suggestion is utterly degrading and diabolical. It is to be scouted at once.

Rom_6:3. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Was not that the real meaning of our baptism? Had it any meaning whatever unless we were really dead with Christ and therefore were buried with him?

Rom_6:4. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even as we also should walk in newness of life.

There is a parallel between Christ and the true Christian. There is a likeness between the Head of the Church and the members of his mystical body. Christ died, and was buried, and his people are reckoned as dead and buried in him.

Rom_6:5-7. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.

That is, he that died to sin when Christ died is free from sin’s condemning power.

Rom_6:8-10. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

In the next verse, the parallel between Christ and Christians comes up again. As Christ died, and was buried, and rose from the dead and now lives to die no more, so is it with us who believe in him, and are in him by a vital union. In him we died, and in him we rose, and in him we now live in newness of life.

Rom_6:11-13. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

“Your members” — that is, the various parts of your body and the faculties of your mind are to be yielded up to God “as instruments of righteousness.”

Rom_6:14. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

While you were under the law, and simply heard it command you to do your duty, the command seemed to awaken all the hostility of your nature so that you remained under the dominion of sin, but now no longer does the law speak to you as it did aforetime. You are not now under the law, but another principle governs you. The grace, the favor, the love which God has shown to you in Christ Jesus, appeals to your heart, and you cheerfully yield to it the obedience which, when the law demanded it, your unregenerate spirit refused to render.

Rom_6:15. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Again the apostle is shocked at such a suggestion. There are some who have denied that the law was binding upon them in any sense, and who have therefore claimed liberty to sin, but they can find no footing anywhere within the saved enclosure of God’s Word.

Rom_6:16. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

If, then, a man lives a life of sin, he proves that he is the servant of sin, for he has obeyed its commands, and let that man know assuredly that he has nothing to do with Christ while he is living in sin. But if a man lives in obedience to Christ and seeks after righteousness, and true holiness, that man is evidently the servant of righteousness, and so the servant of God.

Rom_6:17. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

Or, as the marginal reading renders it, in harmony with the original, “whereto ye were delivered,” for the doctrine was the mould, and ye were the metal, reduced to a molten condition, and then poured into the mould to take the shape of gospel truth. God be thanked for this, — that, though ye did formerly serve sin, ye now serve it no longer.

Rom_6:18-19. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

How powerfully this plea ought to tell with any whose former life was full of positive, plain uncleanness in the sight of God! And how earnestly should the redeemed spirit cry to God to preserve the body pure and chaste before him!

Rom_6:20. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

You did not then trouble yourselves about that matter at all; you left the things of God and piety alone.

Rom_6:21. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

You had such pleasure as sin could give you, but was it worth having? You derived some profit, perhaps, from evil pursuits; but did the profit ever make up for the loss which you thereby sustained? O ye who have had experience of sin to the full, has it, after all, turned out to be the fair and lovely thing that it once seemed to be? No, the serpent had azure scales, but its fangs have poured poison into your blood. It came to you with all manner of deceivableness of unrighteousness, like Jezebel with her painted face, but it has wrought for you nothing but sorrow and suffering, and it will work your eternal ruin unless God, in his great mercy, shall prevent it.

Rom_6:22. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Oh, what wondrous changes the grace of God works! “But now.” Paul must have rejoiced to write those two words. He had dwelt upon what men were before the Lord began to deal with them in mercy, “but now” he could say, “being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”

Rom_6:23. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Rom_6:1. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

If the sinfulness of man has really given an opportunity for the display of divine mercy, then the devil’s logic would be, “ Let us commit more sin, that there may be more room for grace to work.” But Christians have learned their reasoning in another school, and to such diabolical arguments they answer in the words of the apostle: —

Rom_6:2. God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

The two terms are exactly opposite to one another. If, through grace, we are dead to sin how can we live in it ? If, sinners as we are, we come to Christ to be saved from sin, then it would be a complete misuse of language to talk of being saved from sin, yet still to continue in it. Besides, the apostle goes on to show that the ordinance, by which believers in Jesus are to be admitted into the visible Christian Church will not suffer them to continue in sin.

Rom_6:3-4. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

You remember, my brethren and sisters in Christ, that hallowed hour when you went down into the liquid tomb, when, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, you were immersed upon profession of your faith in Jesus Christ. By that solemn act you set forth your death to sin; and when you were raised again out of the opening element, you thereby made a profession of your faith in Christ’s resurrection; and, moreover, you did there and then, seeing that you had received the grace of God in truth, profess to rise unto newness of life. How could you, then, go back to sin? That would be to make your baptism a lie; indeed, you are all of you unbaptized unless you have been baptized into Christ’s death.

Rom_6:5-6. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

God has driven the nails through the active powers of our sin, both hands and feet are fastened to the cross of Christ, and though the heart and the head may sometimes wander, yet our old man is crucified with Christ that the body of sin may be destroyed; and we are looking forward to that happy day when the old man shall be dead altogether, and we shall be made meet to enter into the inheritance of the saints in light. We believe that our old man will never die until we die, but we thank God that the death of our body will be also the death of the body of sin.

Rom_6:7. For he that is dead is freed from sin.

He can no longer live in it, for he is dead; and if we are really dead in Christ, we can no longer live in sin as we were wont to do.

Rom_6:8-11. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

If Christ could die again, then believers might lose their spiritual life, and there might be such a thing as falling from grace; but while Jesus lies, no member of his mystical body can die. His own promise is “Because I live ye shall live also.” He died unto sin once; we do the same. He lives no more to die; we also do the same. Highly privileged are they who are dead with Christ, and blessed is that ordinance in which we set forth our death and burial with him.

Rom_6:12-13. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Your legs used to carry you to the theatre; compel them now to carry you to the house of God even though you are weary. Your eyes could look long enough upon wickedness; let not their lids fall when you are sitting to hear a sermon. Let all the members of your body which once served Satan now serve God. Consider that your whole body is a consecrated temple, and be not satisfied unless the whole of it is reserved for the great God himself.

Rom_6:14-15. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace?

This is another of the Antinomian suggestions that were made in the apostle’s time, and that are still made now; and how does Paul answer it? Why, with this solemn adjuration: —

Rom_6:15-18. God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey: whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Is not that a glorious sentence, “Being then made free from sin”? Yes, the fetters are all gone; we have put up our feet upon the block, and the chains have been knocked off; we have put our hands down, and the irons have been broken in pieces. Free from sin! ‘Tis true that sin still tempts us, but it cannot prevail against us; it tries to put the bit in our mouth, and to ride us as once it did, but we no longer submit to its sway. Sin is now an enemy to fret and worry us, but not a king to trample upon us, and rule over us.

Rom_6:19-20. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servant of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

You disdained the silken bonds of piety, you said that you would never wear what you called the iron fetters of grace; you were “Free from righteousness.” So, surely, now that you are the servants of righteousness, you should seek to be free from sin.

Rom_6:21-23. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Rom_6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

The fifth chapter ends up in this way, that “where sin abounded, etc… Jesus Christ our Lord.” Then he goes on to say, “What shall we say then?” What inference shall we draw from the fact that where sin abounded, grace did much more abound? Shall we be base enough to draw a wicked inference from a gracious statement? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? It is a horrible suggestion, and yet it is one which has come into the minds of many men, for some men are bad enough for anything; they will curdle the sweet milk of love into the sourest argument for sin. “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid.” With all the vehemence of his nature, he saith: —

Rom_6:2. God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

The grace of God makes us dead to sin. This is the grace of God, which delivers us from the power of evil, and if this be so, how can we live any longer therein?

Rom_6:3. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

If we are in Christ at all, we are partakers of his death; and as his was a death for sin and a death to sin, we are made partakers of it; we are really dead because Christ died, and we are in him. Therefore we are dead to the old life, to the old way of sin. We signify that by our baptism.

Rom_6:4. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Our baptism, solemn as it was, was a great acted falsehood, a living pretense, unless we are dead to our former way of living, and have come to live unto God in a new life altogether, by virtue of the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

Rom_6:5. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

If we have partaken of his death, we partake also of his rising power. We live because he lives, and we live as he lives, not after the old manner, but in newness of life.

Rom_6:6. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

We are to regard ourselves as persons that have been dead. We are ourselves, it is true; and yet in another sense we are not our own selves. We are not to look upon ourselves as though we owed any kind of service to the power which we obeyed before we knew the Lord. We are new people, we have got a new life, and have entered upon a new existence — the old man is crucified with him

Rom_6:7-8. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

There was no getting free from the power of sin, except by dying to it; but, being dead to it, we are free from it; and, now being dead that way, we have entered into a new life that we might live as Christ lives.

Rom_6:9. Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

So we, being raised from our former death, shall die no more; death hath no more dominion over us. That is to say, sin cannot reign in us again; we are dead to it, we are brought into a new life that can never end, even as our Lord Jesus Christ is. There is a parallel between us and Christ, even as there is a union between us.

Rom_6:10. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

And so do we; we have died unto sin once, but now that we live, we live unto God.

Rom_6:11-12. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

It is in the body that it tries to reign. These poor things, these mortal frames of ours, have so many passions, so many desires, so many weak-messes, all of which are apt to bring us under the dominion of sin, unless we watch with great care.

Rom_6:13. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin” — neither eyes, nor ears, nor hands, nor feet, neither suffer any of these to become the tools of sin, “but yield yourselves unto God.” He is ready to use you, lay all the powers of your nature out as tools, for him to use. “Yield yourselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead.” He is not the God of the dead; he cannot use the dead, but he is the God of the living, and as you profess to have received a new life in Christ, yield up all the faculties of this new life unto the living God, “and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”

Rom_6:14. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

When you were under the law, sin did get dominion over you; that law which was ordained to life, worked towards death. The evil concupiscence of your nature revolted against the command, and led you astray. But now, beloved, it is of love and grace, and now sin cannot get in: stronger motives shall hold you to holiness than ever held you before, and the grace of Go itself, like a wall of fire, shall guard you from the dominion of sin.

Rom_6:15. What then? shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

That must not be. Again the evil spirit crops up, trying to turn the grace of God into licentiousness, and to make us feel free to sin because of God’s love — that must not be.

Rom_6:16. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

It is a wonderful heart-searching text, is this: let us put ourselves under its power. Whatever you obey, that is your master: and if you obey the suggestions of sin, you are the slave of sin: and it is only as you are obedient to God that you are truly the servants of God. So that, after all, our outward, walk and conversation are the best test of our true condition. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord, nor can. he have any reason to believe that he belongs to God.

Rom_6:17. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

Or into which you were delivered. God has taken you, melted you down, and poured you into a new mold. God be thanked for flint; you are not what you used to be. Although you are not what you hope to be, yet you have reason to bless God you are not what once you were-you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine into which you were delivered.

Rom_6:18. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

The fetters are struck off, the lusts of the flesh do not hold us any longer. We are the Lord’s free men, and out of gratitude for this glorious freedom, we become the willing servants of the righteous God.

Rom_6:19. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

It wants no explanation. In the days of our sin, we sinned with all our power. There was not one part of us but what became the willing servant of sin: and we went from iniquity into iniquity, and now the Cross has made us entirely new, and we have been melted down, poured out into a fresh mold. Now, let us yield every member of our body, soul, and spirit to righteousness, even unto holiness, till the whole of us, in the wholeness and consequently the holiness of our nature, shall be given unto God.

Rom_6:20. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

You did not care about righteousness then. When you served sin you felt it was utterly indifferent to you what the claims of righteousness might be. Well, now that you have become the servant of righteousness, be free from sin, let sin have no more dominion over you now, than righteousness used to have when you were the slaves of sin. “What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed?” What profit did they ever bring you? There was a temporary delight, like the blossom on the tree in spring, but what fruit find you? Did it ever come, to anything? Is there anything to look back upon with pleasure in a life of sin? Oh no, those things whereof we are now ashamed were fruitless to us, “for the end of those things is death.”

Rom_6:22-23. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.