Living a New Life- Romans 6:4-14

In Romans 6:4, Paul tells believers they have died with Christ and been raised from the dead with Him in order that they may “live a new life”. The Greek word “live” here is the aorist active subjunctive of peripateo- to “walk around”. It is a term which refers to one’s lifestyle, and the use of the subjunctive here tells us it has been made possible for us to live a new lifestyle. The word “new” is kainos, which means “new in kind or character”, it has been made possible for believers to live a lifestyle of a completely different kind than their previous one. Having told us of the possibility of living in this new way, Paul then tells us how to go about doing so in the next several verses. We begin in verse 5, in which Paul tells us first that all of what follows has been made possible through our union with Christ. This is not something we can do on our own, Christ must do this through us, and Paul is about to tell us how He does so. This can be seen as a four part process, and the first part is found in verse 6-7. There we are told to “know” that our old man was crucified with Christ, that when Christ was crucified so were we. This is what is known as revelation knowledge, it is not something we can figure out logically or even fully understand, it is simply revealed to us and must be appropriated by faith. When Christ was crucified 2000 years ago, so were all who are in Him, and we must accept that and act upon it if we are to ever live this “new life”. The second aspect of this first step is then given in verses 8-10, where Paul tells us that all who died with Christ were also raised up with Him, we have died to our former lifestyle and been raised up to “walk in newness of life”. The “old man” has been crucified and buried and the “new man” has been raised up, and we must know and accept this as fact in order to live this new life Paul is explaining here. The second part is found in verse 11, where we are told to “count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus”. The Greek word “count” here is the present imperative of logizomai, which is a financial term used for deposits or credits to an account which can now be used for expenses. This term is often used, as it is here, as a synonym for faith. In the banking example, it is not enough to simply know the money is in the bank, we must write checks on the account for it to do us any good. That is what Paul is saying here, that it is not enough to simply know the old man is dead and gone, we must “count on it”, or act upon since we know it is true. So then, how do we “count on it”, how do we live it out? The answer is found in the third part of the process in verse 13, where we are told to “not offer the parts of your body to sin, but rather offer yourselves to God”. The Greek word offer here means to “put yourself at someone’s disposal”, and we are told here that there are really only two options of who we may offer ourselves to, sin or God. It must be noted here that Paul uses the word “instruments” to describe us. An instrument does nothing by itself, it must be played by someone, and what Paul is telling us here is that we are all being “played” by the one we offer ourselves to. If we offer ourselves to sin, we will be its instruments and it will use us to cause destruction. If we offer ourselves to God, we will be His instruments and He will use us to bring life and peace. So we find that the key question in all of this is exactly how do we “put ourselves at someone’s disposal”, how do we offer ourselves to someone? Paul provides us with the answer with the fourth part of the process, but only after taking a slight detour first. The use of the word instruments has brought something to Paul’s mind, and he immediately takes a detour of sorts to explain something to us which will help us further understand and implement part four. Our next post will briefly examine what Paul’s detour shows us, then proceed to Romans 8 so we may be able to understand and implement part four and truly “live a new life”.

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