These small group studies of Romans contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications. Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.
Romans 6:1-14 Inductive Bible Study
So what is our response to this? Should we use grace as an excuse to sin?
Absolutely not! How can we who are freed from sin still practice it? Proverbs 26:11 (dog returning to its vomit)
Do you not understand that all of us who have been baptized in Jesus have been baptized into His death?
Through our baptism we have buried with Him into death, so that just as Christ raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too might walk with new life. Galatians 3:26-28 (baptized into Christ), Colossians 2:11-13, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:1-6, Galatians 5
For if His death is a symbol of our death to sin, then certainly His resurrection is also a symbol of ours,
knowing that our old self was put to death with Him, so that our sinful flesh might be discarded and we be slaves of sin no more; Ephesians 4:22, Colossians 3:9
for the one who has died is freed from sin. 1 Peter 2:16
Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
knowing that Christ, rose from the dead and never will die again; death is not master over Him.
For the death He died, He died to sin once for all; but now His life is lived for God.
In the same way consider yourselves dead to the power of sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Because of this do not allow sin to rule in our body so that you obey its evil desires, 2 Timothy 2:22
and do not continue sinning with the different parts of your body; instead give yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and let all the parts of your body serve Him in righteousness. Matthew 5:29-30
For sin shall not be master of you, for you are not subject to the law, but are under grace.
Baptism- We studied this before. Baptism is a picture that we are dead to sin and have new life in Christ. That is what the word is representing here. Remember that because of our sin we deserve to suffer the same fate Christ did. But He took that punishment for us. So baptism is a picture that we are accepting what He did for us and taking His victory of sin and death as our own. Jesus was totally changed after His resurrection. He went through walls even. So too should our lives be totally different and righteous after our new spiritual life.
Death- Some of the times in this chapter it is referring to the physical death of Christ. Other times it is referring to the death of our old self. It symbolizes the fact that we are no longer under the power of sin and Satan. The price of the sin has been fully paid for in Christ and we need not remember it anymore. Just like it says in PHP, “forgetting what is behind and pushing forward to what is ahead”.
Live- Jesus’ physical resurrection is symbolic of our new life in Him. The sin and death is gone. Christ then imparts His righteousness to us and gives us the power to live a life of victory.
Grace- Grace should not be used as a excuse to sin. For grace is only bestowed on the truly repentant. Instead God’s great love and grace to us should spur us on to serve Him with our whole hearts. As we remember His loving sacrifice for us we should be willing to thankfully give ourselves completely to His service.
3. This verse establishes the comparison between our baptism and Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
5-7. Our old body has been put to death. This doesn’t mean it has no presence in our lives. We still face a continual struggle as we fight against our old desires. But it does mean that the chains are broken. We are free from its power. We are free to do what is right. Christ gives us the power we need to have victory over the sin.
12-13. Theoretically and doctrinally speaking it is clear we are no longer slaves of sin. It has no place in our life. But practically speaking we still yield to it sometimes. This tells us what to do. We must make a firm decision, a strong choice, that we will not give in to temptation. Of course we cannot stand against it on our own strength. But we must take the strength that God gives us and refuse to give in. We should flee from the place of temptation. Not only must we not do the wrong things, we must make a whole-hearted effort to do the right things. It is not easy to do righteous things and good deeds. It takes a conscious decision of the mind and a strong will to do what is good even when it is hard.
Questions for Discussion
I am a very poor beggar on the street and some generous person gives me a lot of money so that I am now rich. Do you think I would continue to live on the street? That is what it is like if believers continue to practice sin.
How can grace increase if we continue in sin?
What is the point of baptism?
So what does it mean to be baptized into His death?
What does it mean that we are buried with Him through baptism?
Does baptism magically help us to be more holy? Then what is the point of being baptized?
In verse four is there any significance in the word “walk”?
Two main questions for us, first have you been baptized? Second, are you living a new life?
What does it mean that we will be in the likeness of His resurrection?
What does it mean that our old self was “crucified with Him”?
Are you a slave of sin? What are the negative and positive lessons we can take from this passage?
What does the Bible tell us to do when we face temptation?
Since Christ and believers are closely connected in this passage, what does Christ’s mastery over death mean for us?
How can we be “alive to God”?
What is Paul’s conclusion from the first 11 verses?
How do we keep from letting sin reign in our mortal bodies?
Is there any middle ground or neutral position we can take seen in these verses?
Application: Think of one sin you really struggle with. Write out some steps you should take to deal with the sin and kill it in your life. Write out more steps how to serve God in this area of your life.
Intro: So far we have learned a lot of doctrinal principles about sin, judgment, justification, about sin coming into the world through Adam and grace coming as a free gift through Christ. In this chapter we begin to see some of the results justification should have on the lives of believers here and now. Some criticize Christians for focusing only on the intangible afterlife in heaven rather than on this earth. There is also a saying, “He is so heavenly minded that he is no earthly good.” But the Bible makes it clear that while we are to look forward to eternal life and Jesus’ second coming, the things we learn from God’s Word are to be applied now. They are to change how we live now. This chapter shows us that after justification comes sanctification. It gives us the most important negative thing a believer should NOT be doing and the most important positive thing a believer should be doing.
1. Paul answers the possible objection that might be made to his theology, namely that because God’s grace is shown to sinners more sin means more opportunity for grace. Verse 1 might be a straw man argument that others would say Paul was making. To clear up any doubt he answers it in the strongest terms possible, using one of the strongest Greek expressions against it. It is never right to do a wrong thing so that some good may come of it. Paul’s point in the previous chapters was that God’s grace is so supreme it can overcome even the worst sins and be shown to even the worst people. This is a reason to praise God, not a reason to sin more. While true repentance will bring glory to God’s name, false repentance and brazen sin will tarnish the church and give people an excuse for not turning to God.
His thesis for the rest of this passage can be found in verse 2 “how shall we who died to sin continue to live in it.” Read cross reference including Proverbs 26:11. Does this mean that believers aren’t sinners anymore? No. We still struggle with sin everyday. But positionally we are dead to it. We are no longer under its power or control. We can have victory over it through God’s power. It’s like the example I gave before of the beggar who was adopted into the king’s family. Explain again as necessary. Another example is the Israelites defeating the countries in the promised land. God gave them the victory. They were defeated. But there were a few pockets left of resistance here and there. With God’s strength they could have completely wiped out those pockets, but they still struggled in faith and obedience to finish the job completely.
2. Baptized into Christ- This theme of identifying ourselves together with Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection continues through the rest of the chapter. It is not referring to water baptism, but is referring to the spiritual uniting with Christ that takes place when we place our faith in Him. It’s like the guy walking on the rope over Niagara Falls. If we were in the wheelbarrow being pushed by him, his death would be our death, his victory would be ours. So when we trust in Christ figuratively we are united with Christ in His death and resurrection. As He was transformed after death and resurrection so shall we be.
3. Baptized into death/our old self was crucified with Him – So what does it mean that we were baptized into Christ’s death? It means that our old self has been crucified. It means that we are dead to sin. We are no longer to be slaves of sin. We are freed from the power and consequences of sin. Christ’s death was the turning point in His life when Satan realized he lost and Christ won. The moment we make the decision to repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we face the same turning point in our own lives. At that point we no longer belong to Satan. We belong to Christ. This is the doctrinal truth. You don’t have to sin. Sin is not necessary. It is beatable. We can be victorious. You don’t have to give in to your old bad habits. You cannot say, “I had no choice.” You cannot say, “I couldn’t help it.” We do have a choice and we can help it. To some extent a beggar has to beg for money. That is who he is. But a prince doesn’t. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Don’t be satisfied with being an average Christian. You don’t have to live in defeat. Victory is ours.
I know this is nothing new to most of us. In the second or third lesson we go over with newcomers, we teaching them assurance of victory. What is the verse we use for that? 1 Corinthians 10:13. You might be thinking, I’ve heard that one before. Yeah, it’s true. We often recite it and talk about it. Why? Because it is important for us to remember this spiritual truth. All around us the world is full of filth and dirt and sin and corruption. It is so hard to live an uncompromising and holy life in this wicked place. But it is not impossible. God wants us to live sanctified lives and He makes it possible for us to do so. Don’t live like a pig wallowing in the mud. Live like a lion with your head held high because you know with God’s grace you can have victory over the worst temptations Satan throws at you. Christ didn’t die so that you could keep right on sinning. He died so that you would stop. Whenever you face temptation think of Christ’s death and the pain He went through to take the punishment for your sins.
4. Walk in newness of life/Likeness of His resurrection/live with Him – We just looked at the doctrine that we are dead to sin. We don’t have to keep on doing evil. The opposite side of this coin is that we can live like Christ. Part of having spiritual life, means having the ability to live a holy and victorious life like Christ. When Christ died, that wasn’t the end. He didn’t cease to exist. Instead He was raised. He had new life. The same is true for us. When we die to sin, we don’t cease to exist. We have a new nature capable of righteousness (of which we were incapable before).
Walk is a very ordinary word. It is normal speed, not fast, not slow. It denotes everyday activity. It shows there is a destination. It takes effort (not like sitting), but it is very doable. You can walk by yourself or together with others (fellowship). Walking in newness of life shows us that our lives have been transformed. John 3 calls it being born again. We are an entirely new person, like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon. The old has gone the new has come. Read cross-references.
Again we are familiar with this concept. We know that our lives are to be different than before. But the world is not easy to live a different life in. Everywhere you go the world is trying to press you into its mold, into its way of living and way of thinking. Parents pressure their kids to pursue money above everything else. Government launches massive propaganda telling us that the one child policy will bring paradise. Teachers parrot the latest theories about evolution and atheism. Co-workers tell of their boy and girl friends they live in and ask why we don’t have one or why we don’t live together or why we marry so young. Bosses require us to work loads of overtime, etc. So the question is,are our lives different than before? When people look at you, can they tell you are a new person or do you just look like the same old Moses, Sarah, David? If they can’t tell a difference, why not? Shouldn’t our lives be different to the extent that others can tell we have changed? Has anyone told you you have changed since becoming a Christian? Do your friends think you are weird or normal? Discuss together.
5. Consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. – Consider here means unreserved confidence in what you know to be true. It doesn’t mean we trick ourselves into thinking we aren’t sinners. It means that God has revealed the truth to us that believers in Him can be victorious. Christ has already paid for our sin. We are to claim this truth as our own and take God at His word. It is true. We are to live in light of this truth and not keep going back to our old way. It’s like telling someone who is married, but who keeps forsaking his responsibilities to his wife and family to enjoy the ‘single’ life, “Look. You are married. You need to accept this fact and live like it. Your bachelor days are over. You have a new and better life. Enjoy it and start acting maturely.”
6. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body. Up until verse 11 Paul was teaching the doctrine of where we stand, not really the practical application. But in this verse he says “therefore”. This signals a turning point. It means that based on the knowledge of what he has taught to this point, we are to make application in our own lives. It is not enough to go away today and know we are dead to sin. We are to take specific actions to live like it. In my example just now, the married guy knew he was married, he just didn’t live like it.
We learn a negative and a positive. The negative is to not allow sin to reign in our body or present the parts of our body as instruments of unrighteousness to sin. This implies first of all that we have a choice. God sanctifies us, but He doesn’t free us from human responsibility. We have a responsibility to apply His godly principles to our lives. The second implication is that even for believers, or at least professing believers, sin can reign in our bodies. If you don’t take the way of escape in 1 Cor, then the sin may control you. Just because we are believers doesn’t mean that victory over sin will come automatically or easily. We still have to work at it.
So what should we to ensure that sin is not reigning in us? Is any sin reigning in your life? Think about what area you just can’t seem to surrender to God’s control. When I mentioned that, what popped into your mind? You don’t have to say it out, but that is what you need to work on. We need to be merciless towards sin just as Samuel was to Agag. Kill it before it can grow and spread and infect other areas of our lives.
7. Present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead. This is the positive of what we are to do. We are to think how we can serve God. Our bodies our temples of the Holy Spirit and belong to Him. Our souls also belong to Him. When you make a presentation, you will normally do your very best, put on your best clothes practice, and give your best performance. We are to present the very best that we have to God each and every day. We are to do it as someone who is alive from the dead. What does that mean? I know if a person almost died, but was saved, he feels as if life is a gift. He is full of energy and grateful for each and every breath. He treasures life more than before and he treasures each and every minute he has. He will likely begin doing all those things he wished he had done when he thought he was going to die. Looking at him, others would say he is a new man (for example Scrooge in the Christmas Carol). That is what others should say about us when they look at our lives.