Τί οὖν ἐροῦμεν; ἐπιμένωμεν τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ, ἵνα ἡ χάρις πλεονάσῃ;
What therefore, shall we say? Shall we continue in sin in order that grace might abound?
Paraphrase: Now I know what some of you are thinking. If the grace of God is magnified all the more by the presence of our sin, then why not just sin all we want? After all, the grace of God and the power of Christ to save sinners will be all the more apparent.
cf. principle 27.
μὴ γένοιτο· οἵτινες ἀπεθάνομεν τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ, πῶς ἔτι ζήσομεν ἐν αὐτῇ;
May it never be. Seeing we have died to sin, how shall we still live in it?
Paraphrase: But that is clearly absurd. Here’s why. You know that when we believed in Jesus, we became one with Him. This means that just as Jesus is dead to sin, so are we. Now if we are dead to sin, what possible sense does it make to go on committing sin as we please? When we are dead to any person, we have nothing to do with him or her. What possible sense would it make for a person to say, “I am dead to her.” but then continue to speak with her and be friendly to her? We would see that as an obvious contradiction. So in this case.
ἢ ἀγνοεῖτε ὅτι ὅσοι ἐβαπτίσθημεν εἰς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν εἰς τὸν θάνατον αὐτοῦ ἐβαπτίσθημεν;
or are you ignorant that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
Paraphrase: or were you unaware of the fact that when you were baptized, you became one with Jesus? and this means that if you are one with Jesus then you are also one with Him in His death. That means that when Jesus died, you died as well so to speak. Let me put it this way. Is Jesus dead to sin? Are you one with Jesus? If you answer both of those questions with a “yes”, then you are dead to sin just as much as Jesus is.
συνετάφημεν οὖν αὐτῷ διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσματος εἰς τὸν θάνατον, ἵνα ὥσπερ ἠγέρθη Χριστὸς ἐκ νεκρῶν διὰ τῆς δόξης τοῦ πατρός, οὕτως καὶ ἡμεῖς ἐν καινότητι ζωῆς περιπατήσωμεν.
Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, in this manner even we in newness of life might walk.
Paraphrase: Now when we were baptized, something very significant happened. You could say, we were buried into Jesus’ death. (Col 2:12) This sounds strange but think again of your baptism. Just like you were buried in the baptismal waters, so you were buried into Jesus’ death. In a sense, God buried us together with Jesus. Now when a person is buried we do not expect to ever see him again, and so it is here. Our old life with all its sin and impurity is dead and buried, never to be heard from again. God, however, had a purpose even in our burial because now He can make all the more dramatic our exit from that grave. We were not buried so as to remain with Jesus in the grave permanently, but in order that we might be raised with Him. Who can forget what God the Father did on Easter morning! He stretched out His almighty arm in power and glory and raised Jesus so that He came out of that grave a new Man! Now that same kind of resurrection is promised to all those who are one with Jesus. God will raise us out of that stinking, filthy grave an entirely new person who will be ready and willing to live to His honor.
Baptism is the means διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσματος by which believers are brought into union or “buried” into Christ’s death. The Glory of God the Father is the agency by which we are raised out of the grave and into newness of life. For all the difficulty of this passage, Ford sees three clear realities:
- A death and a new life, in a spiritual sense—a dying to sin, and a living anew to God; compared to
- A death and a new life in a literal sense—the death of Christ, and his post-resurrection life; and illustrated by
- A death and a new life in a symbolical sense—the submersion and emersion of the Christian in baptism. source
Godwin argues that Paul cannot possibly be referring to the actual ritual of baptism here. He notes that “Little religious instruction and experience preceded the rite during the ministry of Christ and the apostles; and no special spiritual efficacy is ever by them attributed to it.” Surely Paul would have extolled baptism very highly if he thought it had some kind of spiritual efficacy. Instead, we find the opposite. “Circumcision is nothing,” he writes. “I thank God I baptized none of you but Crispus and Gaius” and Paul’s strongest statement of all, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel.” (1Cor 1:14, 17) source Robertson has a chapter where he argues that Paul was no sacramentarian.
Εἰ γὰρ σύμφυτοι γεγόναμεν τῷ ὁμοιώματι τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως ἐσόμεθα·
For if we have been united to the likeness of His death, certainly also we shall be of resurrection.
Paraphrase: Therefore, if we have been really united with Jesus such that we, in a sense, died and were buried with Him, then we can be sure that we will also be raised with Him. The question is simple; was Jesus raised from the dead? If He was, then we too have a sure promise from God that we also will be raised. Our resurrection is bound up inseparably with Jesus’ resurrection.
τοῦτο γινώσκοντες ὅτι ὁ παλαιὸς ἡμῶν ἄνθρωπος συνεσταυρώθη, ἵνα καταργηθῇ τὸ σῶμα τῆς ἁμαρτίας, τοῦ μηκέτι δουλεύειν ἡμᾶς τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ,
ὁ γὰρ ἀποθανὼν δεδικαίωται ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας.
εἰ δὲ ἀπεθάνομεν σὺν Χριστῷ, πιστεύομεν ὅτι καὶ συζήσομεν αὐτῷ·
εἰδότες ὅτι Χριστὸς ἐγερθεὶς ἐκ νεκρῶν οὐκέτι ἀποθνῄσκει, θάνατος αὐτοῦ οὐκέτι κυριεύει·
ὃ γὰρ ἀπέθανεν, τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ ἀπέθανεν ἐφάπαξ· ὃ δὲ ζῇ, ζῇ τῷ θεῷ.
οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς λογίζεσθε ἑαυτοὺς εἶναι νεκροὺς μὲν τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ ζῶντας δὲ τῷ θεῷ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.
Μὴ οὖν βασιλευέτω ἡ ἁμαρτία ἐν τῷ θνητῷ ὑμῶν σώματι εἰς τὸ ὑπακούειν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις αὐτοῦ,
μηδὲ παριστάνετε τὰ μέλη ὑμῶν ὅπλα ἀδικίας τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ, ἀλλὰ παραστήσατε ἑαυτοὺς τῷ θεῷ ὡσεὶ ἐκ νεκρῶν ζῶντας καὶ τὰ μέλη ὑμῶν ὅπλα δικαιοσύνης τῷ θεῷ.
ἁμαρτία γὰρ ὑμῶν οὐ κυριεύσει, οὐ γάρ ἐστε ὑπὸ νόμον ἀλλὰ ὑπὸ χάριν.
Τί οὖν; ἁμαρτήσωμεν ὅτι οὐκ ἐσμὲν ὑπὸ νόμον ἀλλὰ ὑπὸ χάριν; μὴ γένοιτο·
What therefore? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!
Paraphrase: Now let me answer a common objection. Some will conclude that since we are under grace and not under law, we may therefore sin as much as we like without any fear of the consequences, but this is a very bad conclusion to draw from this glorious truth.
ἁμαρτήσωμεν is a deliberative subjunctive asking a rhetorical question (GGBB 465).
οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ᾧ παριστάνετε ἑαυτοὺς δούλους εἰς ὑπακοήν, δοῦλοί ἐστε ᾧ ὑπακούετε, ἤτοι ἁμαρτίας εἰς θάνατον ἢ ὑπακοῆς εἰς δικαιοσύνην;
do you not know that to whom you themselves slaves to obedience, slaves you are to whom you obey. Whether sins unto death or obedience unto righteousness?
Paraphrase: We all have seen slaves, and we know that whoever owns the slave is the one to whom the slave must give his unqualified obedience. Now the we all give ourselves away to some master. That’s a given. Everyone gives themselves over to some master for better or worse. If we are so foolish as to yield ourselves to Master Sin, then we are on the path to death. If we yield ourselves to Master Righteousness, then we are on the path to eternal life.
παριστάνετε = to place a person or thing at one’s disposal. source
ἤτοι = hapax legomenon source
χάρις δὲ τῷ θεῷ ὅτι ἦτε δοῦλοι τῆς ἁμαρτίας ὑπηκούσατε δὲ ἐκ καρδίας εἰς ὃν παρεδόθητε τύπον διδαχῆς,
ἐλευθερωθέντες δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας ἐδουλώθητε τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ·
ἀνθρώπινον λέγω διὰ τὴν ἀσθένειαν τῆς σαρκὸς ὑμῶν· ὥσπερ γὰρ παρεστήσατε τὰ μέλη ὑμῶν δοῦλα τῇ ἀκαθαρσίᾳ καὶ τῇ ἀνομίᾳ εἰς τὴν ἀνομίαν, οὕτως νῦν παραστήσατε τὰ μέλη ὑμῶν δοῦλα τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ εἰς ἁγιασμόν.
Ὅτε γὰρ δοῦλοι ἦτε τῆς ἁμαρτίας, ἐλεύθεροι ἦτε τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ.
τίνα οὖν καρπὸν εἴχετε τότε ἐφ’ οἷς νῦν ἐπαισχύνεσθε; τὸ γὰρ τέλος ἐκείνων θάνατος·
νυνὶ δέ, ἐλευθερωθέντες ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας δουλωθέντες δὲ τῷ θεῷ, ἔχετε τὸν καρπὸν ὑμῶν εἰς ἁγιασμόν, τὸ δὲ τέλος ζωὴν αἰώνιον.
τὰ γὰρ ὀψώνια τῆς ἁμαρτίας θάνατος, τὸ δὲ χάρισμα τοῦ θεοῦ ζωὴ αἰώνιος ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν.