Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Romans 6:1-11 (ESV)
Dead to Sin, Alive to God
6 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
In the Bible, the two-way covenant God made with Israel is temporary. It leads to a “one-way” covenant, where God himself fulfills all the promises for us. That is radical, free grace. That is the good news of God giving salvation to unworthy sinners. Anyone who teaches this will be criticized. People will say, “if God forgives for free, why be good?” God anticipated these criticisms of grace, and addresses them in today’s passage. The explanation is unexpected and profound. We are actually two people. The old person who was addicted to sin was baptized into Christ’s death and buried with him. Meanwhile, a new person born of the Spirit is raised with Christ. All Christians are actually two people: a soon to be dead person who is a slave to sin, and a freshly alive person who is free from sins’ temptation. God says — now that you are no longer addicted to sin, why would you even want to go back to slavery? While it is true, we can always repent after going back to sin; the problem is that we are like addicts. Addicts, in theory, can always quit. But many die because they never want to stop. So, even though there is always forgiveness for sinners who repent, why would you want to take the chance of going back to sin and forgetting to repent?