6:2 are dead to sin. This should be read “have died to sin.” There are eight references to the believer’s death in Christ, in Romans 6:1-11, and all are stated in a tense that speaks of action completed in the past. That is, since our sins were placed on Christ, and He paid the price of redemption by His death for those sins, we died with Him. We also live with Him in His resurrection, and our daily lives should reflect these great truths.
6:2 live any longer therein. One who has truly been redeemed by faith in Christ’s death for his sins may occasionally slip into a sin, but he cannot live therein!
6:4 buried with him by baptism. The references to baptism in Romans 6:3-5 clearly imply immersion, as no other mode could picture the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Likewise, immersion also portrays the death of the believer to his old life and his resurrection to a new life, with the “old man” (Romans 6:6) “dead indeed unto sin,” but with the new man “alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11). There is nothing in the baptismal waters themselves, of course, which produces this miracle, but rather the “washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5) which is accomplished by the baptism of the Holy Spirit into Christ Himself (I Corinthians 12:13). Nonetheless, the immediate submission of the new believer to the ordinance of baptism, thus identifying himself publicly with Christ and the other local believers, with all the impressive pictorial symbolism in the immersion itself, should—and normally does—produce a tremendous impact and change in his life.
6:4 should walk. The modifier “should” is better rendered “shall” (same in Romans 6:6).
6:6 old man. The term “old man” is used also by Paul in Ephesians 4:22 and Colossians 3:9, referring to the old, unregenerate nature and its sinful ways.
6:6 is crucified. This phrase should be translated “was crucified.” See note on Romans 6:2.
6:7 is dead. This phrase should read “died” instead of “is dead.”
6:7 freed. “Freed” is the same word as “justified.” The believer is never completely freed from the possibility of sinning in this life (though he cannot live in sin— Romans 6:2), but he is justified from sin—that is, “declared righteous” in Christ.
6:10 died unto sin once. The Greek ephipaz, translated “once” here, actually means “only once” or “once for all.” It is used just four other times, always with this specific meaning. “Five hundred brethren” saw the resurrected Christ “at once” (I Corinthians 15:6). We are sanctified through the offering of the “body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10). See also Hebrews 7:27; 9:12.
6:11 reckon. We are not told to try to die unto sin, but rather to realize that, in Christ, we have died to sin! This is the greatest incentive to godly living. The grateful knowledge that we have been saved by grace, through Christ’s death for us, transforms the life and attitude in a way that fear of the law’s curse could never do.
6:11 alive unto God. If this command seems unrealistic, remember that God’s commands always imply God’s ennablings.
6:20 servants of sin. Contrast Romans 6:22. The unsaved man is a “slave” to sin. Upon being redeemed from sin, purchased by the shed blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7), he rightly becomes a slave to God (see notes on Romans 12:7,11).
6:23 wages of sin. Again the apostle emphasizes that the coming of death into the world resulted directly from the coming of sin into the world (note Romans 5:12, et al.). God warned Adam that this would happen, and it did (Genesis 2:17; 3:17-19). There was thus no death in the world before Adam; otherwise, it would be meaningless to say that death is the price of sin. It would also be pointless for Christ to die for the sin of the world, if death already was pervasive throughout God’s creation before sin came in. Those who accept the geologic-age system, with its supposed characteristic of billions of dead and fossilized animals in a groaning world of suffering and decay, are in effect accepting the concept of a sadistic God (or else no God at all), for the loving and wise God of the Bible would never create such a world as that. Evolutionists claim that some such system of suffering and death brought man into the world, but God has made it emphatically clear that man brought suffering and death into the world by his sin. He has also made it clear that Christ’s suffering and death were accepted by God in payment for the sin of the world, a marvelous act of love whereby all suffering and death will eventually be eliminated from the world (Revelation 21:4-5).
6:23 gift of God. The “gift” is better rendered “free gift.” Although the death of His Son cost both Father and Son infinite pain, it is all offered to us as a free gift, by His grace. It only becomes a gift in reality if it is accepted, of course, and the tragedy is that most people will never accept it.