Sunday, May 21, 2023

Posted on May 20 2023

Digging Deeper into Romans 6

Bible Background: Romans is Paul’s deepest letter, written to Christians who lived at the heart of the Roman empire. In chapter 5 Paul writes about how sin and death came into the world, ensnaring people. God’s free gift of grace-through the death and resurrection of Christ-is God’s solution.. In 5:20 Paul adds: “that where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” That sounds almost like a ‘license to sin!’ So in chapter 6 he explains that statement.

Digging Deeper: 1. Paul asks the rhetorical question (a question which has an obvious answer!) Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? Of course not! Paul is ‘moving’ in two different ways of thinking about life in this world: one-where sin and evil rule over our lives, and the other-where grace and new life are the realities. He wants us to know we have some choice in that!

2. Then Paul makes this link between Christ’s death and us; as in-Christ’s death and resurrection breaks the grip our sinful nature has on him and on us. So in a very real sense, Paul sees us as being ‘buried’ with Christ and being reborn so that we can walk in newness of life.

3. This means we do have choices to make! He contrasts living under the Law, vs. living under grace. God’s Law has it’s purposes, of course-to guide us in holy living, and to ‘convict’ us and drive us into the arms of God’s mercy when we are caught up in sin. But the Law of Moses (which the Jewish people strove to keep) could not make people truly free and new. Grace supplies the freedom to start over-as often as necessary, and to be the people God created us to be.

4. The theology of this passage (and the theology of Baptism) is that, in Baptism, the old, sinful, self-centered part of us is being put to death; and that each day-a new person is being raised to life. This means that Baptism is not a one-time event, but is an ongoing process…each day! On this Confirmation Day, we’re also reminded that affirming our faith is not a one-time thing, but also an ongoing part of the Christian life! Blessings as you wade through and wrestle with Paul’s deep and meaningful words in Romans!