Jerry C. Brewer
For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.
When is a person is baptized into Christ, he is separated from his old life of sin which held him in bondage. He is no longer a servant of sin, but a servant of Christ.
If we will keep in mind what Paul had been saying, we will see that to crucify the old man is the same thing as to die to sin. Of himself Paul said: “I have been crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20). Paul the sinner died. What was true of him is true of every one who becomes a Christian. The old man, the body of sin, is the sinner. Every time a person becomes a Christian, a sinner dies. We die as sinners and are raised up as saints…We are then no longer the bondservants of sin. When a bondservant, or a slave, dies, he passes from under his master. His master no longer has dominion over him…If a slave of sin dies to sin, he is free from service to his master. Sin rules him no more (R.L. Whiteside, A New Commentary On Paul’s Letter to the Saints at Rome, Fourth Edition, 1955, Published by Miss Inys Whiteside, Denton, Texas).
The servant of sin is the man who allows sin to have control of his life. But the servant of righteousness is the man who stands in the Gospel system of faith. In his life, sin may enter, but as an intruder, not ruler. The servant of righteousness will control his fleshly lusts through obedience to the Gospel, and not use his liberty as an occasion to sin in order for grace to abound. Sin is a severe taskmaster which promises great things, and may deliver them “for a season.” But in the end, the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). The body of sin is destroyed in baptism and the new man rises to “walk in newness of life.” That which follows baptism into Christ is new in quality, as well as quantity, and is to be lived separate from the dominion of sin.
Their number is legion is in our postmodern world who teach that the grace of God allows men to continue living in sin and will then usher them one day into heaven. This is one of the most pernicious and dangerous teachings extant in our world. Their philosophy equates God’s grace with toleration of every imaginable sin. Consequently, they conclude that the Law of Moses demanded right living, but under the system of grace that is no longer required, but we are no longer under any law. That conclusion is the basis for much licentiousness that is practiced by the religious world and flies in the face of Paul’s statement that, “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2). The “law of the Spirit of life” is the Gospel. It is by God’s law of grace that we are delivered from the guilt and consequences of sin.