Freed From Slavery to Sin
Thesis. Those made righteous by faith should not continue in sin, because at baptism we were freed from slavery to sin.
I. Since we are free from sin, Christians should not go on sinning because they died to sin (6:1- 4).
A. The question is “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may abound” (1)?
B. No; we died to sin, so we cannot any longer live in it (2).
C. No; when we were baptized into Christ, we were baptized into death (3).
D. No; when we were raised from baptism, we were enabled to live a new life (4).
II. Christians are free from sin because we are united with Christ in His death to sin and His resurrection to life for God (6:5-7).
A. Our old self was crucified with Christ (6).
B. By this crucifixion, our body of sin was rendered powerless (6).
C. Because of this crucifixion, we should no longer be slaves to sin (6).
D. Anyone who died to sin is freed from sin’s control (7).
III. Since Christians have died with Christ, we are free to also live with Him (6:8-10).
A. Since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him (8).
B. The death he died, he died to sin once for all (9).
C. The life he lives he lives to God (10).
IV. Since Christians are free from sin, we should not let sin reign in our mortal bodies (6:11-14).
A. We should count ourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ (11).
B. We should not obey the evil desires of our mortal bodies (12).
C. As Christians, we must not offer our bodies to sin as instruments of wickedness (13).
D. We should offer ourselves to God as instruments of righteousness (13).
E. Sin should not be our master (14).
F. This is all true because we are not under law, but under grace (14).
V. Although Christians are free, we are not free to sin because we are not under law but under grace (6:15-18).
A. Since sin is a transgression of the law (1 John 3:4), this means we are not to transgress the law just because we are not under law but under grace (15).
B. When you offer yourself to obey some one, you become his slave (16).
1. If you obey sin, you will be a slave to sin which leads to death.
2. If you obey the law, you will be a slave to obedience which leads to righteousness.
C. Christians used to be slaves to sin, but are now slaves to righteousness (16, 17).
1. You obeyed wholeheartedly the form of teachings to which you were committed–baptism (cf. vv. 3, 4).
2. You were then set free from sin.
VI. As Christians, we are free to choose whom we will serve (19-23).
A. Christians should offer ourselves in slavery to righteousness and holiness, just as we used to offer ourselves in slavery to impurity (19).
B. When we were slaves to sin, we were free from the control of righteousness (20).
C. When we were free from the control of righteousness, we reaped death from those things we are now ashamed of (21).
D. Now that we are slaves to God, we reap holiness and eternal life (22).
F. The wage of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ (23).
Conclusion: We conclude from the above that we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to righteousness through Jesus Christ our Lord.
© 2004, Dr. Wm. T. (Bill) Lambert
Professor Emeritus – NT Literature and Interpretation
College of Bible and Religion