Our Power Over Sin, Part 2.

Romans 6-7 tells believers how we daily become more like God. God's grace allows us to understand and apply God's Word. We can reflect God's character in our lives only to the extent that we know His Word.

Romans 6 is composed of two sections, each introduced by questions. Romans 6:1 asks, Should we make a habit of sinning? Romans 6:15 asks, Should we be battling with one particular sin? The doctrine of sanctification teaches us that God will give us increasing victory over sin during our earthly life, and when we have left the body, He will give us ultimate victory over sin.


We will look at the first of 3 main verbs in this section. Romans 6:1-10 teaches that our knowledge of doctrine gives us power over sin. Our mind must first be instructed before our heart and will are conformed to God's character.

We all battle with our residual sin nature. Our struggle with sin is directly related to how much we know (or don't know) about the Bible.

"Christian living depends on Christian learning. Duty is always founded first in doctrine. If Satan can keep a Christian ignorant, he can keep a Christian impotent."

The Content of Our Knowledge

What does Paul specifically want Christians to know in this passage? He wants us to understand the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The New Testament refers to physical and spiritual baptism. This passage is talking not about water baptism, but Spirit baptism. The Holy Spirit places us into Christ when we are born again (1 Corinthians 12:13).

"The baptism of the Holy Spirit may be defined as the work whereby the Holy Spirit places the believer into union with Christ and into union with other believers in the body of Christ at the moment of their salvation. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was foretold by John the Baptist and understood in the outworking of the day of Pentecost in Acts 2."

Through the Spirit, we receive everything that Christ has done for us and everything that God has promised us through Him. This is accomplished through the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. All believers have been baptized by the Spirit and therefore have the ability to walk in new life (Ephesians 4:1-4).

The Fruit of Spirit Baptism

Baptism by the Spirit has several effects in our spiritual life. It joins us to the local church. It actualizes the work of the crucifixion on our behalf. It gives us the ability to exercise spiritual gifts. And it enables us to maintain unity in the body of Christ.

"When I am baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ, I am in Christ and fully identified with Him. Therefore, whatever happened to Christ happened to me: When He died, I died; when He arose, I arose with Him. I am now seated with Him in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2:1-10, Colossians 3:1-3). Because of this union with Christ, the believer has a totally new relationship to sin."

This relationship is easy to see when a person is first saved. Especially if saved as an adult, a new believer immediately loses some attraction to certain temptations. That excitement often wanes as our Christian experience continues, but our joy can be sustained by further learning.

Dead to Sin

When we are baptized into Christ, we die to sin through the power of supernatural grace. We experience figuratively what Christ experienced literally. This death is conclusive and permanent.

We are not only dead to sin but also to the world. The system of living controlled by everything anti-God has no use for Christians. We exist in a new reality, and that is where our affections must be set (Colossians 3:1-3). We are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:6-10, 7:2).

Application Points

  • Does your life show a pattern of perpetual sin? Is there one particular area which tempts you regularly? The Bible will help you fight your sin patterns and particular temptations. Spirit baptism ensures believer the ability to walk away from the power of sin in your life. Have you been walking away from a pattern of sin or a particular sin that has the tendency to dominate your life?

  • Your ability to become more like Christ is completely dependent on how much you know about God's Word. How much effort do you put into studying it? Are there more opportunities you need to take advantage of? Grace Church offers many formats and resources for Bible study on your own, with another believer, or in a group. If you don't know what to do next, ask your discipler or a pastor! Refer to a copy of "The Disciple-Making Life" brochure for a list of offerings at Grace.

  • Do you consider yourself dead to sin? Do you realize that you are free of the compulsory power of temptation? How will this knowledge help you endure the next time you are tempted to sin?

  • Are your affections set above or on earthly things? Meditate on Colossians 3:1-3 and see how this enables you to live a sanctified life.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Hebrews 4:12, Isaiah 55:11 – God's Word is always effective.
  • 1 Peter 2:1-2, Hebrews 5:12-14, 2 Peter 3:18 – Growing knowledge of God's Word produces growing discernment.
  • Mark 1:8, Acts 1:5, 2:1-4 – The baptism of the spirit promised and fulfilled.
  • Colossians 3:5, Galatians 2:20, 6:14 – One who has been born again is dead to sin.
A Hymn to Encourage: "I Am His and He is Mine"

Loved with everlasting love, led by grace that love to know;
Gracious Spirit from above, Thou hast taught me it is so!
O this full and perfect peace! O this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease, I am His, and He is mine.
In a love which cannot cease, I am His, and He is mine.

Heav’n above is softer blue, Earth around is sweeter green!
Something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen;
Birds with gladder songs o’erflow, flowers with deeper beauties shine,
Since I know, as now I know, I am His, and He is mine.
Since I know, as now I know, I am His, and He is mine.

His forever, only His; Who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss Christ can fill the loving heart!
Heav’n and earth may fade and flee, firstborn light in gloom decline;
But while God and I shall be, I am His, and He is mine.
But while God and I shall be, I am His, and He is mine.