Romans 6 has to be one of my favorite chapters in all of the Scripture. Early in my seminary education, one of my professors required us to memorize verses 1-14. Because of that exercise, this text became a launching pad for wonderful advances in my spiritual growth. I love the victory that this chapter proclaims; what a glorious truth to cling to, that the Gospel has set us free from the domination of the flesh. I love the way “May it never be!” thunders over the entire chapter. Each time I read through Paul’s rich explanation of the transforming power of our union with Christ, I am filled with hope and God refreshes my zeal for the battle against sin.
As you can probably then imagine, the margins of Romans 6 in my Bible are seriously marked up and filled. Today, as I continue my “From the Margin of…” series, I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite Romans 6 margin dwellers.
This first quote I have written next to the beginning of the chapter:
“[sin] may get into the throne of the heart and play the tyrant in this or that particular act of sin, but it shall never more be as king there.” –Samuel Bolton
This description of God’s work of liberating our sin-enslaved will fills the margin alongside verses 17 & 18:
“The will, therefore, is truly free when it is not the slave of vices and sins. Such was it given to us by God; and this being lost by its own fault, can only be restored by Him who was able at first to give it.” –Augustine
I’ve underlined the phrase from verse 4 “so that we too might walk in newness of life” and beside it I put this important reminder:
“The exceeding evil of sin is not the harm it does to us or to others (though that is great!). The wickedness of sin is owing to the implicit disdain for God.” –John Piper
I also have heavily underlined verse 12 and beside it is probably my favorite quote on the page:
“To say to the slave who has not been emancipated ‘do not behave as a slave’ is to mock his enslavement. But to say to the same slave who has been set free is the necessary appeal to put into effect the privileges and rights of his liberation.” –John Murray
What a glorious truth: we are free! However, it is so easy to fall into those old habits of slavery, isn’t it? I hope these quotes encourage you today, and if you’ve written other wonderful gems in your Romans 6 margins, I’d love to read them. By the way, if you’ve never committed this chapter to memory, I’d greatly encourage you to do so and allow your mind to be filled daily with the truth of who you now are in Jesus Christ- set free from the dominance of sin and now slaves of righteousness!