Paul dealt with Justification in Romans 1-5, how God rescues us from eternal destruction to eternal life. As we study Romans 6-8, we discover that Paul wants us to understand how God expects spiritual Holiness to become a part of our daily life. So, are we “holy”? That is not a trick question, but it can be a challenge to give a thorough answer.
A short review: From the Bible, we learn that God is intrinsically (look it up) holy – not only devoid of any form of sin or wrongdoing, but also not able to do wrong and even further, not able to be in the presence of wrongdoing. God’s holiness leads Him to require a judgment and penalty for sinfulness. Because of this essential character of God, Adam and Eve were judged for their sin and banished from the Garden where they had been enjoying close daily fellowship with their Creator. From that moment to this day, man has been hopelessly lost in sin, totally incapable of pleasing God or being in His presence, bent on selfish rebellion against the One True God.
Remarkably, this holy God who sent man, the pinnacle of His creation and the deepest pleasure to His heart, away from His presence and immediately embarked on a campaign of Redemption which would offer sinful man a way to re-establish holiness and recover fellowship with Him. That plan for Redemption ultimately led God to offer His only Son on the Cross as a final payment for our sin. Now, based on our faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the Cross, we are Redeemed, declared righteous in Christ, and empowered to walk in holiness. So, are we holy?
Who – me? Having established our standing before God as righteous in Christ (Romans 6:1-14), Paul now takes the important step in his teaching that this great spiritual truth (God declared us righteous) should have practical and clearly visible results in our life. Note the question that he begins with in v15. Comparing it to his question in v1, this question is different. In v1, “shall we go sinning”, that is, shall we continue to be a lost sinner? Now in v15, his question is “shall we sin”, looking at individual acts of sin. This last half of Romans 6 takes the principle stated in 6:13 (instruments of righteousness) and “puts it in human terms” (6:19 NAS). As a result of properly understanding “how Grace works” (the overarching theme of Romans 6-8) we begin to demonstrate, per v22, the “results of sanctification”. Yes, you!
Warning: Study Questions Follow! Be prepared with Bible Study Journal and ready to make notes!
- When Paul asks rhetorical questions, he usually comes right back with the expected answer. What answers does he provide in 6:1 & 15, and how are they different?
- We have died to sin (Rom. 6:1-14), we are not under the Law – so is sin no longer “an issue”? How does 6:16-18 answer that? Hint: From 6:2, we died to sin, but sin didn’t die.
- What does obedience refer to in 6:16? What does it result in? In v17, what kind of obedience is needed? What type of teaching is needed?
- Because v16 refers to us having been slaves to sin, v18 seems to make sense suggesting the serious Christian should be slave to righteousness. But how do we do that?
- Romans 6 is summarized by four action verbs for us to apply – in 6:6, 11, 13, 19. Write them down, explain how you’re showing each in your life.
- Romans 6:23 is a key verse for the “Romans Road” plan of salvation. What does this verse emphasize to the unsaved sinner?
- How is 6:23 an effective concluding point for this passage emphasizing living righteously?
Here’s an idea – copy this little template into an email and enter thoughts you get from your Bible study. Then send it to yourself as a reminder to be living the truths you learn from God’s plan.
1. Is there a truth or principle in this passage you need to apply to your life?
2. What specific actions can you take this week to start applying it?
3. How can you check up to see how well you’re doing on this?