(1) What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
Paul identifies a possible objection to what he says in Romans 5:20, “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more”. Some might then ask why we don’t just sin more so that grace may be more abundant.
(2) By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
Paul provides an emphatic NO in response to the question in verse one. He also gives an initial reason which he fleshes out in the following verses. The reason for not sinning to increase grace is given as a rhetorical question, “How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
(3) Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (4) We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (6) We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (7) For one who has died has been set free from sin. (8) Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. (9) We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. (10) For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
This is the beginnings of the picture of regeneration, being born again. It is impossible for us to live a life in bondage to sin if we have shared in the cross of Christ, dying with him so that we no longer live under the rule of sin. We are a new creation that has received life and victory with the risen and ascended Lord. We are no longer bound to obey sin as we once were. Now we are free to pursue righteousness in Christ, and in doing so glorifying his victory at Calvary.
(11) So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Here is presented the key to victory over sin in the life of the Christian: simply know and act as if you are dead to sin and alive to Jesus.
(12) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. (13) Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
This means walking away from what you know is wrong at every moment of every day, and seeking to be righteous in the strength of the Lord. This may seem impossible but God strengthens us. When we fail, we must confess, forsake and trust God to forgive our sin.
(14) For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
You are able to do as Paul recommends because as a Christian, sin will have no dominion over you. If you never seem to make gains against the sinful state of the old nature then you should go back to the basics of the gospel and see if you are really saved, if you are really trusting God for forgiveness of your sin and new life in Christ Jesus.