Romans 6

Romans 6:1

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 more sin on our record the more God’s grace is glorified when it forgives all that sin!


cf. principle 27.


Romans 6:2

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.  Don’t we confess that as Christians we are dead to sin?  Now if we are dead to sin, what possible sense does it make to go on committing sin as we please? When we say that we are dead to any person, this means that we have nothing to do with him or her.  What would we think of a person who said, “I am dead to him” but then continues to speak with him and be friendly to him?  We would see that as an obvious contradiction.  So in this case.  We can’t profess on the one hand to be dead to sin and then go on to live in the practice of it.


οἵτινες ἀπεθάνομεν τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ is giving the reason for the following clause πῶς ἔτι ζήσομεν ἐν αὐτῇ. In this case, it is translated “seeing that he (or they)”.  See the entry for ὅστις at the very top of this page.


Romans 6:3

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:  Perhaps you need to go back and think about what happened to us when we were baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Remember what God did to His people on the day of Pentecost and what He continues to do every time a person believes in Jesus for the first time. (1 Corinthians 12:13)  By this baptism, we are brought into a powerful and saving union with Jesus Christ.  Now if this is true, then surely we are also one with Him in His death. (1 Peter 2:24)


Paul certainly did not believe that water baptism brought anyone into union with Christ (same with Peter 1 Peter 3:21); only Spirit baptism did this.  Do note, however, similar language in Acts 2:36.


Romans 6:4

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 if by this Spirit-baptism, we are made one with Jesus in His death, then surely we are also one with Him in His resurrection.  It would be a terrible mistake to think that we are one with Jesus in His death but not one with Him in all His other redemptive acts.  Let’s review this again.  First, when Jesus died, we died.  Then when He was buried, we were buried.  Now we also confess that Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 3:18).  Well then surely we also should have every confidence that we too will be raised with Him by the power of the same Spirit!   Praise God for this!  Our old way of life (1 Peter 1:18), was crucified and left behind in the grave never to be heard from again.  Then, the Spirit went on to raise us up, just as He raised Jesus out of His grave and restored Him to life again.  This same Spirit now brings us out of the grave as new persons who are dead to sin and alive to righteous living. (Romans 6:11, 13)  All of of this points to the great glory of our God and Father who causes all these things to work together for our salvation.


Baptism is the means διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσματος by which believers are brought into union or “buried” into Christ’s death, which is clearly not water baptism but Spirit baptism. (1 Corinthians 12:13)  Still, the imagery of a water baptism is likely in Paul’s mind.  For all the difficulty of this passage, Ford sees three clear realities:

  1. A death and a new life, in a spiritual sense—a dying to sin, and a living anew to God; compared to
  2. A death and a new life in a literal sense—the death of Christ, and his post-resurrection life; and illustrated by
  3. 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 good chapter where he argues that Paul was no sacramentarian.


Romans 6:5

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 our union with Jesus means that we died when He died, then we can be just as sure that when He was raised from the dead, we also were raised with Him to a new life marked by holiness.  Of course, I am not saying that we literally and physically died and rose with Jesus; it is the spiritual reality that I am speaking of.  The reality that Jesus’ death is analogous to the death of our old man, and Jesus’ resurrection is analogous to our rising to a new life.


Hodge notes that the “future ἐσόμεθα does not here express obligation, nor futurity. The reference is not to what is to happen hereafter, but to the certainty of sequence, or causal connection. If the one thing happens, the other shall certainly follow.” source


Romans 6:6

τοῦτο γινώσκοντες ὅτι ὁ παλαιὸς ἡμῶν ἄνθρωπος συνεσταυρώθη, ἵνα καταργηθῇ τὸ σῶμα τῆς ἁμαρτίας, τοῦ μηκέτι δουλεύειν ἡμᾶς τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ,

Knowing this, that our old man was crucified that the body of sin might be condemned, in order that we might no longer be enslaved to sin.

Paraphrase:  We are sure of this; our old man was nailed to the cross and was buried with the result that our old self has been done away with.  We can be sure that we’ll never hear from him again.  Sin is no longer our cruel tyrant;  we’re not slaves to him any longer.



Romans 6:7

ὁ γὰρ ἀποθανὼν δεδικαίωται ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας.

For the one who is dead has been justified from sin.

Paraphrase:  That we will never again hear from our old man is obvious since we know that a dead person cannot sin.  His mind and will are no longer functioning so sin is an impossibility.  Now this is the condition of our sin nature or our old man; he’s dead.  He cannot rise up within us and lead us into sin any more.



Romans 6:8

εἰ δὲ ἀπεθάνομεν σὺν Χριστῷ, πιστεύομεν ὅτι καὶ συζήσομεν αὐτῷ·

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will even live with Him.




Rom 6:9

εἰδότες ὅτι Χριστὸς ἐγερθεὶς ἐκ νεκρῶν οὐκέτι ἀποθνῄσκει, θάνατος αὐτοῦ οὐκέτι κυριεύει·


Rom 6:10

ὃ γὰρ ἀπέθανεν, τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ ἀπέθανεν ἐφάπαξ· ὃ δὲ ζῇ, ζῇ τῷ θεῷ.


Rom 6:11

οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς λογίζεσθε ἑαυτοὺς εἶναι νεκροὺς μὲν τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ ζῶντας δὲ τῷ θεῷ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.


Rom 6:12

Μὴ οὖν βασιλευέτω ἡ ἁμαρτία ἐν τῷ θνητῷ ὑμῶν σώματι εἰς τὸ ὑπακούειν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις αὐτοῦ,


Rom 6:13

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.


Romans 6:14

ἁμαρτία γὰρ ὑμῶν οὐ κυριεύσει, οὐ γάρ ἐστε ὑπὸ νόμον ἀλλὰ ὑπὸ χάριν.




Moule (p171):  The whole previous argument explains this sentence. He refers to our acceptance. He goes back to the justification of the guilty, “without the deeds of law,” by the act of free grace; and briefly restates it thus, that he may take up afresh the position that this glorious liberation means not license but divine order. Sin shall be no more your tyrant-creditor, holding up the broken law in evidence that it has right to lead you off to a pestilential prison, and to death. Your dying Savior has met your creditor in full for you, and in Him you have entire discharge in that eternal court where the terrible plea once stood against you. Your dealings as debtors are now not with the enemy who cried for your death, but with the Friend who has bought you out of his power.


Romans 6:15

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).

under law = justification by way of a covenant of works; under grace = justification by way of the covenant of grace; cf John Brown, Stuart.


Romans 6:16

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 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

Rom 6:17

χάρις δὲ τῷ θεῷ ὅτι ἦτε δοῦλοι τῆς ἁμαρτίας ὑπηκούσατε δὲ ἐκ καρδίας εἰς ὃν παρεδόθητε τύπον διδαχῆς,


Rom 6:18

ἐλευθερωθέντες δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας ἐδουλώθητε τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ·


Rom 6:19

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.

Rom 6:20

Ὅτε γὰρ δοῦλοι ἦτε τῆς ἁμαρτίας, ἐλεύθεροι ἦτε τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ.

Rom 6:21

τίνα οὖν καρπὸν εἴχετε τότε ἐφ’ οἷς νῦν ἐπαισχύνεσθε; τὸ γὰρ τέλος ἐκείνων θάνατος·

Rom 6:22

νυνὶ δέ, ἐλευθερωθέντες ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας δουλωθέντες δὲ τῷ θεῷ, ἔχετε τὸν καρπὸν ὑμῶν εἰς ἁγιασμόν, τὸ δὲ τέλος ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

Rom 6:23

τὰ γὰρ ὀψώνια τῆς ἁμαρτίας θάνατος, τὸ δὲ χάρισμα τοῦ θεοῦ ζωὴ αἰώνιος ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν.

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