If in our reading of Romans to this point we are not asking the question “Can we continue in sin then?”, we have not understood grace yet. Grace begs that question.
The answer is “By no means!”, “Perish the thought!”, “No way, man!” Throughout the book of Romans, Paul asks a series of questions with the same answer to test understanding and lead us on in his logical progression, unfolding the marvellous gospel of grace.
In these verses we learn that grace doesn’t just deal totally with sin, but unites us with Christ in a deep way. All the things that happened to Jesus are considered to have happened to us too. Jesus died, we have died. Jesus was buried, we have been buried. Jesus rose again, we have risen again. Baptism in water (not just a quick sprinkling on the forehead as an infant!) symbolises the power of it. We go down into the water – our old self has died. We are under the water – we have been buried. We come up from the water – we have risen again into new life.
Our old self was crucified – the old has gone and the new has come as 2 Corinthians 5:17 puts it.
Therefore – we have been set free from sin and death. They no longer have the same hold on us that they did before we became Christians and got baptised.
Verse 11 shows us that these things are true of us, whether we are sure of it or not. We must consider them, true. Reckon them true – an accountancy term, for totting up some figures and writing down the answer.
That then gives us the power (by the Spirit too)…
i) for sin not to reign in our lives – it’s not a foregone conclusion that being tempted will end up in sinning yet again.
ii) for us to not use the parts of our bodies to do things they shouldn’t be doing.
Sin is not in charge. Jesus is! That is because we are no longer under the law, but under grace.