Romans (6)

Read – Romans 6.1-15

‘So what are we advocating?  ‘Let’s wallow in sin so more grace may pour forth?’  Hell no!  How can we who died to sin still live in it?’   [CottonPatch version]

As Claire and I have been saying throughout this series, Romans is a BIG story of God’s plan to bring reconciliation and healing to all people, indeed to the entire cosmos.  To be a Christian is to live within this story.  No Christian can ever tell this story too frequently or know it too well, because it is the story that shapes our baptism and our continuing life of discipleship thereafter.  Through friendship, thought, prayer, and action, this story forms us into Christ-likeness.

There is a dangerous half-truth that says, ‘God accepts us as we are.’  It is true that God’s grace reaches us where we are and accepts us as we are, frail and fallible.  But grace, Paul is insisting, is always transformative.  God accepts us where we are, but God does not intend to leave us where we are.  The radical inclusivity of the gospel is to be matched by the obedience of faith (1.5).  The freedom we find in Christ leads to our genuine humanness that reflects the image of God.  This is affirmed in our baptism as we submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. 

Questions for reflection:

1      ‘Death’ is mentioned fifteen times in chapter 6.  What is the significance of that?

2      What actions does Paul call us to perform in 6.11-13?

3      How did you experience baptism?  How does it continue to influence your life? 

4      In 6.1-15, Paul asks five questions.  Think about how you would answer them.