Chapter 6 of Romans starts a new section in Romans, dealing with the necessity of using our faith to be conformed to the Lord’s will. We must thus strive for holiness, apart from which no man will see God. We must increase in love to establish ourselves unblameable before God and make holiness perfect in the fear of God. Paul thus makes it clear that our souls must grow or else we cannot be doing God’s will.
Some have chosen to selectively quote the first five chapters to mean that works are not necessary to life in Christ, but the rest of the Bible tells us that this is wrong. Works of the law do not justify us, but works of faith are essential. James rails against this belief, telling us that faith is not of any worth if it isn’t evidenced by works. James calls that dead, in fact. Paul tells us in Ephesians that we are made to do good works. We are certainly saved by grace alone, but we are given a faith that works through love.
Some misinterpreted the statement that where sin increased, grace increases all the more that we should sin to increase grace. Paul denies this, since we have died to sin, and sin should be antithetical to our existence. Our sinful selves died with Christ, and we must not go back to that state.
Not only did we die with Christ, but we were buried with Him in our baptism, a sort of miraculous circumcision of the heart, but made without hands. This baptism puts certain obligations on us, as well.
The closing theme is Gerard Satamian’s Chansons Sans Paroles Op. 2 Pastorale, from the album Dry Fig Trees. www.magnatune.com