Romans 6:2 – Let it not be! How can we who died to sin still live any longer in it?
We can be certain Paul definitely believed that, once we are born of God, we are given a holy and pure nature no longer under the domination of sin (Romans 5:12-21, 8:1-9; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:9-11; and 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, 6:14-18; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 2:1-6, 4:24; and Colossians 2:11-13; 1 Thessalonians 2:12-13, 3:13, 4:3-7; and 2 Thessalonians 2:12-17, 3:3-6; 1 Timothy 1:5-11, 5:20; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; also Titus 2:11-12, 3:3-11).
The idea of having died to sin specifically speaks of an event in the past and not an ongoing process. In Romans Chapter 6, Paul goes on to teach the absolute and profound message that being raised up in newness of life, we are set free, liberated from sin, and have become the slaves of righteousness (Romans 6:18, 22). Sin is not just a power of the old man (former nature), but the activity of doing things contrary to the nature of God. These are not subjective ideas of wrong deeds, but are named numerous times by Paul (Romans 1:22-32; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 2 Corinthians 12:20-21; and Ephesians 4:17-19, 5:3-5; Colossians 3:5-8; 1 Timothy 1:9-10; Titus 3:3).
The warning against sin was something Paul probably included in most all of his messages. The message against sin is certainly found in all of His Epistles (except Philemon). Paul reasons with the saints that those who are dead to sin cannot live in it. Through the redemption in Christ Jesus, we were separated from sin through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:3-8). Through the work of grace, sin has no power to dominate or control us (Romans 6:14). Of course, this does not mean we cannot be tempted by it.
Now that we have been brought into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, we must allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us. We must yield to the wisdom He has imparted, and flee from those things that would entice and deceive us. The powers of darkness, who come shrouded by sin’s lust, continue to attempt to dominate us in a battle for our lives. However, we have been given the strength of the Lord and the power of His might to stand against all the tricks of Satan (Ephesians 6:10-18). R.A. Knox translates this verse in a very absolute fashion when he writes: “How can we who have died to sin breath its air again?”
Pastor Mark Spitsbergen