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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, a Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

To see more Bible study outlines go to “The Archives Page”: More Bible Study Outlines.

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DEATH BECOMES LIFE
July 31, 2016

 

SCRIPTURE: Romans 6:1-4, 12-14, 17-23

 

KEY VERSE: Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into 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. (Romans 6:4)

 

INTRODUCTION:

 

·        The believer faces two problems.

 

A. First Problem: How can I achieve victory over the old nature (the flesh, the body of sin)? (i.e., How can I live so as to please God?)

 

·        Romans 6 answers the first problem: we get victory over the old nature by realizing that we have been crucified with Christ.

 

B. Second Problem: How can I please God when everything I do -- even the “good things” -- is tainted by the old nature? (i.e., Sin is not simply an outward action; it also involves inward (1) attitudes and (2) dispositions.)

 

·        Romans 7 answers the second problem: (along with Romans 8): By showing that (1) the Christian is dead to the Law and that (2) the Holy Spirit fulfills the righteousness of the Law in us.

 

I. NEW LIFE IN CHRIST. (Romans 6:1-4)

 

A. The Grace Of God. (Romans 6:1)

 

·        What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (Romans 6:1)

 

In the past some critic has come forward with what he thinks is a clinching argument. If the gospel of grace teaches that people’s sin provides for an even greater display of God’s grace, then does it not teach that we should continue in sin that grace may be all the more plentiful?

 

A 21st Century version of this argument goes like this: “You say that people are saved by grace through faith, apart from the Law. But if all you have to do to be saved is believe, then you could go out and live in sin.” But according to this argument, grace is not a sufficient motivation for holy living. They say that people must be under the controls of the Law.

 

B. The Power Of God. (Romans 6:2-4)

 

·        God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into 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. (Romans 6:2-4)

 

What did Paul mean by the word baptize in this third verse? I do not think he refers to water baptism primarily. Don’t misunderstand me – I’m a Baptist; I believe in water baptism, and I believe that immersion best sets forth what is taught here. But actually he is talking about identification with Christ.

 

Those who trust Christ are identified with Him by the Holy Spirit in His (1) death, (2) burial, and (3) resurrection, as pictured in water baptism. The old life is buried! We can reckon it dead (Romans 6:11) and walk in newness of resurrection life.

 

INSIGHT: Romans 6:2-4 does not refer to water baptism but to the operation of the Holy Spirit in putting believers “into Christ” as members of His body. (This operation is illustrated by water baptism.) When Jesus Christ died, believers died with Him; when He was raised, believers were raised to newness of life with Him. This is the believer’s new position in Jesus Christ.

 

ILLUSTRATION: Many years ago the late Dr. William L. Pettingill was conducting a conference in the church where Dr. Vernon McGee was pastoring, and as Dr. McGee was driving him back to the hotel after a service, he said, “Dr. Pettingill, did I understand you to say there is no water in the sixth chapter of Romans?” (Dr. McGee added that Dr. Pettingill was the strongest “immersionist” he had ever met in his life.) He laughed and said, “No, that’s not exactly what I said. I said that IF ALL YOU SEE IN ROMANS 6 IS WATER, YOU HAVE MISSED THE POINT.” Dr. McGee said, “Well, if you go that far, that is wonderful for me because it confirms the great truth that is here.”

 

II. SERVANTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. (Romans 6:12-14, 17-18)

 

A. Who Is Our Master? (Romans 6:12-14)

 

·        Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. (Romans 6:12)

 

That is, don’t let sin keep on reigning in your body, that you should obey the desires of the body. Christian believers have a new Master – the Lord Jesus Christ!

 

·        Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Romans 6:13)

 

Yield is the same word as present in Romans 12:1: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God….” This is a presentation of yourself for service to God.

 

·        For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14)

 

The Law was given to control the old nature. As a believer, you are not to live by the old nature. You have a new nature, and you are to yield yourself or present yourself to God.

 

INSIGHT: Being a Christian is a matter of bondage or freedom (Romans 6:12–22). Who is our master, Jesus Christ or the old life?

 

B. Who Is Our Authority? (Romans 6:17-18)

 

·        But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. (Romans 6:17)

 

In other words, when you were in the world, when you were lost, you obeyed sin. It was natural for you to do that.

 

·        Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. (Romans 6:18)

 

We have been set free. In other words, New Master (Jesus Christ) has made it possible for us to live the Christian life. It does not mean that sin has been eradicated or removed. It does mean that now we can live for God.

 

We now must yield ourselves to the Lord. Our Lord is the most wonderful Master, and the “salary” He pays lasts forever.

 

III. CHOOSE SERVICE OVER ENSLAVEMENT. (Romans 6:19-23)

 

A. The Rewards Of Righteousness. (Romans 6:19-22)

 

·        I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. (Romans 6:19)

 

Paul explains here, I think, why he uses the term servants. He half-way apologizes in the last verse for using it. Slavery was common in the Roman Empire. Out of the 120 million people in the Roman Empire, one half were slaves.

 

Many Christians were slaves. And the little Epistle to Philemon reveals that freedom was a prized possession and difficult to obtain.

 

Now the apostle Paul uses this familiar “word picture” which he describes as “human terms”—“I’m speaking to you in human terms.” Paul doesn’t mean he is not speaking by inspiration, but he is speaking in a manner which we will understand. And we will understand by these human terms that we are actually slaves either to sin or to righteousness.

 

·        For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. (Romans 6:20)

 

That is, you didn’t think of serving Christ then; you were not interested in that. You were free from the Lord and in bondage to sin.

 

·        What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. (Romans 6:21)

 

We were not only free from Christ; we were “fruitless.” We did as we pleased. Our only fruit was shame. Actually, it was not real freedom; it was a lack of our control. Do we want to go back to the old life?

 

·        But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. (Romans 6:22)

 

Paul now sets before believers the wonderful prospect that is ours as “slaves of God.” Christian believers are freed from sin which leads to death, and we can now have fruit which will last into eternity. Life eternal is in contrast to death.

 

INSIGHT: Although God forgives the sins of His children, He may not stop the painful consequences of sin. The pleasures of sin are never compensated for by the wages of sin. Sinning is not worth it!

 

B. The Wages Of Sin. (Romans 6:23)

 

·        (Romans 6:23) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Being a Christian is a matter of rewards or wages.For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). We quote this verse as we witness to the lost, and rightly so. But the apostle Paul wrote it originally to believers.

 

A Prisoner No More
By Randy Kilgore

 

A middle-aged man approached [Randy Kilgore] after he led a workshop at his place of employment and asked this question:

 

“I’ve been a Christian nearly my whole life, but I’m constantly disappointed in myself. Why is it that I always seem to keep doing the things I wish I didn’t do and never seem to do the things I know I should? Isn’t God getting tired of me?” Two men standing next to me also seemed eager to hear the response.

 

That’s a common struggle that even the apostle Paul experienced.

 

“I do not understand what I do,” he said, “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15). But here’s some good news: We don’t have to stay in that trap of discouragement.

 

To paraphrase Paul as he writes in Romans 8, the key is to stop focusing on the Law and start focusing on Jesus.

 

We can’t do anything about our sinfulness in our own strength. The answer is not “try harder to be good at keeping the rules.” Instead, we must focus on the One who shows us mercy and cooperate with the [Holy] Spirit who changes us.

 

When we focus on the Law, we are constantly reminded that we’ll never be good enough to deserve God’s grace.

 

But when we focus on Jesus, we become more like Him.

 

I sometimes get caught in the cycle of trying harder to be good, failing, getting discouraged, and giving up.

 

Help me, Lord, to depend on Your grace and to draw near to You so that You can change my heart.

 

 -- Adapted from Randy Kilgore, Our Daily Bread, January 22, 2016

 

CONCLUSION: People who have made Jesus Christ their Master (i.e., Lord and Savior): (1) Have been given new, victorious lives in the Lord Jesus. (2) Can experience the fruits of a life of righteousness.

 

The believer’s redemption (from the bondage of sin that can lead to spiritual and emotional death) comes when they let the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ reign in their lives and no longer let sin control them.

 

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Focus on Jesus!”

 

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REFERENCES: References used in the Bible study are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.

 

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