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19 April 2021


Romans 6
The Sin Nature


Chapter 5 of Romans discusses how the sin nature entered the world, and the death as a result. All humanity, since Adam, have inherited the natural disposition to sin, and sin leads to the ultimate death that the sinner will experience if there is no repentance. Chapter 6 discusses how in Christ, this death can be avoided. Note: The K. J. Bible is used for quotes, unless otherwise noted. When the importance indicates, words from the original left out by translators, are added using [brackets], while supplied words are in (parentheses). The (italic) words were supplied by translators. The attempt is to bring out the concept more clearly and to modernize the language.

Romans 6:1-2: 1. What shall we say then? Shall we continue (in) [the] sin (nature), that grace may abound? 2. [May it not be]. How shall we, that are dead to [the] sin (nature), live any longer [in it]? The Greek word en (1722), English in, indicates a fixed position, whether in time, place or thing. The idea of a fixed position indicates a stopping or resting in a time, place or thing, as - shall we continue resting in the sin nature. Paul hints at the possibility of being dead to the sin nature. Notice, the sin nature does not become dead or destroyed, but we can be dead to it - i.e. not respond to sinful self.

Romans 6:3-4: 3. Know ye not, that so many of us as were [immersed] into Jesus Christ were [immersed] into [the] death of his? 4. Therefore we are buried with him by [immersion] into [the] 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. (Baptize = Greek; English = immerse; baptize in English is a transliteration of the Greek word baptizo G907).

How are we immersed into Jesus? Is it by literal baptism into water? No, of course not - water is a symbol of thought. We are immersed into His understanding of how the cross becomes an allegory of the eternal death into which mankind has entered. By receiving Christ’s understanding of love, revealed by His ministry and the cross, we are resurrected out of the death into a new way of thinking wherein is life. Galatians 3:26-27: 26. For ye are all the children of God by [the] faith in (resting) Christ Jesus. 27. For as many of you as have been [immersed] into Christ have put on Christ (i.e. His understanding). Jesus, hanging on that cross is a picture of how we are spiritually dead because of the influence of our sin nature, which, in the animal kingdom is represented by the serpent. We are to lift up Jesus (John 3:14) in our understanding, in order to see the crooked serpent in self.

Romans 6:5-7: 5. For if we [became closely united] in the likeness [the] death of his, we shall be also in the likeness (closely united) of his resurrection: 6. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of [the] sin (nature) might be destroyed (G2673), that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7. For he that is dead is freed from [the] sin (nature). Our “old man” is the old way of understanding, and “body” is used metaphorically of the works of the sin nature, and which Paul refers to as a “body of death” (Romans 7:24). Colossians 3:5, 9-10: 5. Put to death, then, your members (that are) upon the earth - whoredom, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and the covetousness, which is idolatry.... 9. Lie not one to another, having put off the old man with his practices, 10. and having put on the new (man), which is renewed in regard to knowledge, after the image of the One creating him; (literal Greek) The body is not physically put to death, but the evil way of thinking (old man) unclean thoughts generated by the sin nature, of which members of the body are a metaphor. The new man (Ephesians 4:22-24) is a figure of a mind renewed in full, accurate knowledge (G1922) which comes only via Jesus Christ.

In Romans 6:6 the Greek word rendered destroyed is improperly translated. It should be rendered inactivated. Here is the first time it is used in the N.T.: Luke 13:7: Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbers it the ground? Think of the ground as one of the types in the parable of the sower; while it produces a character trait (fig tree), it is idle, useless or inactive in producing fruit. To destroy the sin nature is to destroy the person. The fruit of the sin nature is evil thoughts; but truth from Jesus produces a new way of thinking which puts to death the old way of thinking (old man) and eventually “inactivates” the sin nature by setting us free from its influence.

Romans 6:8-10: 8. Now if we are dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9. Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death has no more dominion over him. 10. For in that he died, he died unto [the] sin (nature) once: but in that he lives, he lives unto God. By listening to Christ and putting on His character, we are raised from spiritual death (John 5:24-25). As long as we walk in the light as He is in the light (Psalms 56:13; 89:15; John 8:12), death has no more dominion over us. When immersed in Christ, what death no longer has dominion over us? It is spiritual death, which becomes eternal for those who refuse to hear the Spirit.

Christ died once to the sin nature, but He could not have died to the sin nature unless He had inherited one from His human mother. Hebrews 2:14-15: 14. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through [the] death he might [inactivate G2673] that [having] the power of [the] death, that is, the devil (serpent); 15. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Christ partook of the same flesh and blood as you and I. Who only has the power of spiritual death? Only you do, by the choices you make. Notice the devil (Greek - diabolos G1228) IS NOT destroyed. Diabolos is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew satan (G4567, H7854), which is equated to both the serpent and the dragon (Revelation 12:9). Think of Satan as a symbol of man’s character. 1John 3:8: The making (G4160) of the sin (nature) is of the devil (sin nature, serpent, man’s adversity to God); because from the beginning the devil sins. For this was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy (G3089) the works of the devil. [Greek] The works of the devil, or self manifests our bondage to the sin nature; and as Adam and Eve, we have all sinned from our beginning. The Greek word (lyo G3089), rendered as destroy, is properly to loose a person or thing bound. It is by receiving truth that we are loosed from the bondage of the sin nature. (G4160 = to make, do)

How could the serpent represent the sin nature, when everything God created was good? (Genesis 1:31). The curse was put on all the animals after Adam and Eve sinned (Romans 8:19-21). Genesis 3:14: 14. And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: Animals are figures of thought generated by various character traits (lion - pride; bear - under the law and refuse change; lamb - humility, etc), the serpent being a symbol of thoughts generated by the sin nature. The belly is a symbol for a mind that feeds upon the dust of death (Psalms 22:15). From the parable of the sower in Mark chapter 4, we learn that the earth, ground is a symbol of self. (Unyielding man a serpent - Matthew 23:33)

Romans 6:11-14: 11. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto [the] sin (nature), but alive unto God [in] Jesus Christ our Lord. 12. Let not [the] sin (nature) therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13. Neither yield ye your members (of the body) as instruments of unrighteousness unto [the] sin (nature): but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members (of the body) as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under (governed by) the law, but under (governed by) grace. To be in Christ is to be one with Him in thought and actions (works). Reckon self as dead to the sin nature. Will you yield from time to time? Perhaps, but that is ok. As physical strength is increased by means of exercise, so is spiritual strength increased by growing in Christ’s knowledge and continually applying it in your spiritual journey. Resist the sin nature, your’s or another’s: James 4:7: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee [by analogy vanish] from you.

Romans 6:15-18: 15. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? [May it not be]. 16. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether (the) sin (nature) unto (the) death, or obedience unto righteousness? 17. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of [the] sin (nature), but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18. Being then made free from [the] sin (nature), ye became the servants of righteousness. To be under the law is to be governed by men’s interpretations. To be governed by grace is to be governed by the love of God, His righteousness being testified to by the spiritual law (Romans 3:21; 7:14).

No matter what you believe about Satan, your focus needs to be on that character within you and how to stop responding to its whispers. There may be external influences causing us to make bad decisions, but what we think is a choice that we all make (James 1:14). These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you... (1John 2:26). The better informed, the better decisions we are able to make. Will you be a servant to the serpent within you? Or, will you yield to the still small voice of the spirit of Christ? How can you not serve the sin nature if you do not know how to identify it? The poison of the serpent is manifest by the tongue (James 3:8). Listen and obey from the heart the teaching of the Spirit - hear ye Him (Matthew 17:5).

Romans 6:19-21: 19. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity (weakness) of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity (lawless acts) unto iniquity (lawless acts); even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20. For when ye were the servants of [the] sin (nature), ye were free from righteousness. 21. What fruit (outward acts) had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. The weakness in humanity’s flesh is the sin nature. It is the spiritual light revealed by the event of the cross that will remove the blindness of anyone having ears to hear. 2Corinthians 11:3: But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted (by the serpent) from the simplicity that is in Christ. Corrupted thinking is personal within each individual, and so is temptation from within the person (James 1:14). Therefore, the serpent represents something within you - it is the sin nature in your flesh causing anger to rise up, creating unholy desires, or allowing pride to rule your thoughts.

Romans 6:22-23: 22. But now being made free from [the] sin (nature), and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting (G166) life (G2222). 23. For the wages of [the] sin (nature) is (the) death; but the gift (G5486) of God is eternal (G166) life (G2222) through Jesus Christ our Lord. The Greek word charisma (G5486) was discussed in chapter 5:15-21. The gift is contained in God’s graciousness - It is His righteousness (pure thoughts), that is eternal life, which He gives by means of His only begotten Son.

Dozens of times, I have had quoted to me the wages of sin is death as proof that the penalty of the law is death. However, wages, pertaining to a soldier’s stipend (Luke 3:14), are used metaphorically of pay for sin. “Pay” puts the responsibility on us, whereas “penalty” implies God is going to punish you for your mistakes. The natural result of yielding to the sin nature leads to death, payment for relying on self instead of God, which is eternal life. How the sin nature relates to the law will be discussed in the study on Chapter 7. 1John 3:9: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. Amen.

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