Believers Are Dead to Sin, Alive to God
1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2Far from it! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Should the Christian continue in sin so that grace may abound? God forbid. Aided by their natural minds, some in Paul’s day made it a habit of using grace as a cloak for sin. Paul argues against this mindset as he refutes those who charged him with preaching antinomianism—the belief that the gospel absolves any obligation to keep moral law. In this sermon on Romans 6:1–2 titled “Dead to Sin,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones contends that anyone who lives according to that belief has not yet begun to understand basic biblical doctrines. Instead of rightly living by grace, there were some in Rome who lived in depression as they sulked in their continual failures. Dr. Lloyd-Jones applies the timeless text in Romans to the many Christians who suffer from a sin-laden depression today. In this Palm Sunday sermon, he shows that the beautiful remedy for such a miserable depression is a true understanding of the cross of Christ and the union of the believer with Christ. Everyone is either in Christ or they are not. They have either been crucified with Christ and died to sin, or stand condemned in their sin.
- The apostle Paul knew that many Christians were raising the question "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" in response to his teaching on grace and imputed righteousness.
- Paul rejects this notion with horror. Grace does not incite one to sin but rather makes sin impossible and delivers us from it.
- Many Christians experience spiritual depression and a lack of victory over sin due to a failure to understand their relationship to Christ's death.
- To understand Christ's death, we must understand the biblical doctrine of the covenant between God the Father and God the Son.
- According to this covenant, God gave certain people to the Son to be redeemed. These people are united to Christ.
- Everything that happens to Christ also happens to those united to Him. When Adam sinned, we sinned in him. When Christ died, we died in Him.
- We were crucified with Christ, died with Him, were buried with Him, and have risen with Him.
- We are dead to sin, dead to the law, and dead to the world. Our old self was crucified with Christ.
- We are never called to crucify ourselves. That has already been done in Christ. We only need to realize this fact.
- The old sinful man we were in Adam is dead. We are new creatures in Christ.
- The law that condemned us is no longer over us. There is no condemnation for those in Christ.
- We no longer belong to the realm of sin or the dominion of Satan. We have been translated into Christ's kingdom.
- When Christians sin, it is not the new self that sins but rather the sin that remains in our flesh. The new self has died to sin.
- We must stand on the truth of our co-crucifixion with Christ and consider ourselves dead to sin but alive to God. This is how we battle the sin in our flesh.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.