Minnetonka Bible Study

The Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Romans

The Freedom of Justification: Free from Sin; Slaves to God

Romans 6:15-23

Romans 6:11-14
Therefore, do not let sin have dominion in your mortal bodies unto the 13 Nor obedience of its cravings. present your members to sin as tools for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as ones who are alive from the dead, and present your members to God as tools for righteousness. 14 For sin shall not rule over you, for you are not under the law but under grace.
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Interplay between Indicative & Imperative
• Do not let sin have dominion in your mortal bodies unto the obedience of its cravings. • Do not present your members to sin as tools for unrighteousness. . . . • But present yourselves to God as ones who are alive from the dead. . . . • And present your members to God as tools for righteousness. • For sin shall not rule over you, for you are not under the law but under grace. 3

Indicative

Imperative

Romans 6:14
For sin shall not rule over you, for you are not under the law but under grace.
Paul knows that, even though he precedes 6:14 with a sequence of four imperative statements, the indicative assertion of 6:14 will likely prompt a question. So he poses the question he anticipates.
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Romans 6:15-18
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the Law but under grace? No way! 16 Do you not understand that the one to whom you present yourselves as slaves to obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that although you were slaves of sin, from the heart you became obedient to the pattern of teaching unto which you were handed over, 18 and having been set free from sin, you were enslaved to righteousness.
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Romans 6:20-23
(I am speaking humanly on account of the weakness of your flesh.) For just as you presented your members as slaves to uncleanness and to lawlessness leading to lawlessness, in the same way now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit, therefore, did you reap then, from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the goal of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin and having been enslaved to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and its goal is life eternal. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is life eternal in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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Two Slave Masters
Master Sin: Leads to Death • • • • Slaves to uncleanness Slaves to lawlessness Freed from righteousness Fruit of shame • • • • Master Obedience: Leads to Righteousness Obedient to the gospel Slaves to righteousness Freed from sin Fruit unto holiness

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Slavery and Freedom
• • • • • • • • “under the law” “sin leads to death” “were slaves to sin” “set free from sin” “used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity . . . increasing wickedness” “slaves to sin . . . free from righteousness” The fruit of that course? “Death” “wages of sin is death” • • • • • • • • “under grace “obedience leads to righteousness” “wholeheartedly obeyed” “slaves to righteousness” “now you offer the parts of your body in slavery to righteousness” “set free from sin . . . slaves to God” The fruit of this course? “Holiness” “gift of God is eternal life”

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What is Human Freedom According to Paul?

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