Chapter 5 left us showing the extensiveness of God's grace. Paul begins chapter six dealing with the other side of the coin—the individual's responsibility as a servant or steward of God's grace. Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? The answer is most demonstrative, God forbid. Paul clearly presents to us that though God's grace reaches farther than sin, it is not a free ticket to sin. It isn't an indulgence or license. Grace is the strength of God extended to us to enable us to do what we cannot do for ourselves. We cannot come to God because we are born in sin, but through faith in Jesus Christ we gain access into His grace. Our day is overrun by philosophies and doctrines of man that distort and abuse the grace of God. We don't continue in our sin in the folly that God's grace is just always going to go farther than our sin, and we will always find forgiveness. Grace reigns through righteousness. God's grace doesn't help us serve sin, but enables us to serve God. God's servants are to be sanctified—separated from sin and separated unto God.
How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Paul presents to us the picture of death and draws the parallel between Christ's death and resurrection and the spiritual death and resurrection of the Believer. Let us consider death itself.
Dead men don't react.
People grab a hold of concepts such as the Believer's death to sin and run with it. They say, "I am dead," but when the heat is turned on and the pressure increases beyond reason heard are the cries of self and the flesh. If we are dead then we shouldn't feel anything in regards to the temptation of sin, and shouldn't react hotly to pressure situations. Dead men don't react and don't have any feeling.
Dead men don't feed their flesh.
A dead man has no need for pizza, hamburger, or even vegetables. These are sources of sustenance, and a dead man has no life to sustain. The living man eats with the purpose of maintaining life. If we are crucifying the flesh, why would we at the same time fight to keep him alive? Starve that old nature to death, and feed the spirit man.
Dead men don't have life.
This third observation may appear oversimplified, but bear with me. A man may live a full life filled with drunkenness and all kinds of selfishness and sin, but when he dies, his spirit leaves his body and that body no longer contains life. There rests the same hands that raised the bottle, the same feet that ran quickly to mischief, but now being dead and the spirit gone it is emptied of all evidence of life good or bad. The Believer's situation is similar, but not exact. The Believer's situation is similar in that in being crucified with Christ, he no longer contains that old life (2 Cor. 4:7). All things have become new, as an infant child just born, perfect. The Believer's situation extends beyond the condition of natural death in that he is dead to sin, but alive to righteousness. This is a dual condition where an individual's flesh is crucified and his spirit is made alive to walk in newness of life. If we are dead to sin and alive to Christ then our life now has no properties similar to our old life. A magnet cannot attract aluminum because their properties are such there is no possible way for the two to interact.
"Old habits die hard," or so the saying goes. Having changed our object of servitude from sin and self to God, we must be vigilant in our effort to serve our Master faithfully. We are instructed to do some things.
Reckon yourself dead to sin, but alive to God.
Let not sin reign in your mortal body.
Yield not your members to sin—not even the smallest member. Do not volunteer the slightest aid to promoting the devil's cause.
Yield yourselves unto God—sanctify yourself wholly to God.
What fruit had ye? What is the value of your service? It is the wage you earn. You may serve sin unto death, or serve God unto eternal life. The Christian ought to be ashamed of his old life and service to sin, for sin makes a mockery of every man. We may joy in God, being now cleansed, for we shall receive an incorruptible reward.