Reading: Romans 6: 1b-11
Verse Six: We that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with.
Paul writes today of a willingness to die to self. It is a willing choice to accept Jesus as Lord, to figuratively die with Christ, and to make the choice to kill the sins that live in our lives. It is a lot of talk about death, but to die is necessary so that the new creation in Christ can live in us. Paul was a man that did not avoid death. He was a man who died over and over again to sin in his life and who literally faced persecution and threats of death. Eventually he would be martyred, dying for the Jesus he loved.
Paul begins by reminding us that as we are baptized into Christ, we are also baptized into His death so that we can be raised to new life in Christ. Paul extends the idea of new life here as a follower of Jesus to one day being “united with Him in resurrection”. For Paul, dying to our old self first brought death to the “body of sin” that we used to occupy. With this, Paul tells us that we are no longer slaves to sin but instead “we that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with”. In Christ we are freed from the power of sin. In Christ we live free from the entanglements and guilt and shame of sin.
For Paul, when we die with Christ we also share in His mastery over death. In “dying with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him”. In rising from the grave, Christ demonstrated that death has no power over Him. Death is not the end of all ends. It is simply the end of our mortal bodies.
Paul closes this section by returning to dying to sin. Paul reminds us that Christ “died to sin once for all”. In Jesus’ sacrifice He conquered sin for all people for all time. This is the grace you and I live under. No matter what sin we fall into, we can repent and seek mercy and find forgiveness. Once for all. Sin has no power over the believer.
We find freedom in choosing to follow Jesus Christ, dying to self so that sin and death have no power over us. In this choice to follow we instead live into the joy of new life, resurrection life, and life in the Spirit. Thank you Jesus for providing the way to be “alive to God in Christ Jesus”.