The New Realm And Rules Of The Christian Life: Romans 6:1-14 -- By: James R. Congdon

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 26:51 (Autumn 2013)
Article: The New Realm And Rules Of The Christian Life: Romans 6:1-14
Author: James R. Congdon

The New Realm And Rules
Of The Christian Life:
Romans 6:1-14

James R. Congdon

Senior Pastor

Topeka Bible Church
Topeka, Kansas

I. Introduction

No passage in the Bible is more central to the doctrine of spiritual life—or more liberating for the Christian who struggles with sin—than Romans 6. For the Apostle Paul, the Christian life is founded on one fundamental fact: not only did Christ die for the Christian (5:6-8), but the Christian died with Christ and was resurrected with Him to a new life (6:1-10). Through this “salvation history,” the believer was liberated from the realm and rule of sin and placed into the realm of God and righteousness. Sanctification takes place as the Christian believes this truth (v 11) and acts upon it (vv 12ff).

Romans 6 is the center of spiritual life, but not its circumference, for Paul makes no mention of the Holy Spirit until he brings the readers to realize their desperate need for help in fulfilling God’s requirements (7:24).

The chapter is divided into two sections: vv 1-14 and vv 15-23, with v 15 plainly recalling the “what then?” (ti oun) and the rhetorical question of v 1. The former section declares our deliverance from the old realm of sin; the latter explains our new life of service to God.

But there is another significant break at v 11, where imperatives replace the indicatives of vv 1-10. This middle section (vv 11-14) introduces two imperatives which control the chapter:

1. “Reckon yourselves to be dead” (v 11), and

2. “present yourselves to God” (vv 12-14).

Verses 11-14 are the fulcrum of chapter 6, with “reckon” in v 11 looking back to the preceding verses and “present” in vv 12-14 governing the subsequent ones. These appear to be the two fundamental imperatives of the spiritual life in Romans. In chapter 7 the author will write in vivid terms of the believer’s agonizing failure to present himself to God, and in chapter You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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