Augustine was sitting in a garden when he heard a boy saying “tolle legi” – “take up and read”. The scroll of Romans was nearby and so he read and the light dawned. Some time afterward, a woman he had lived with saw him and he ran away. She ran after him calling “Augustine, it is I”. He replied “But it is not I.”
To answer the question posed the other day – what did we do to “die to sin” – Paul’s thesis is NOTHING. It is not something that we did. Rather it is something that has been done for us. It is God’s act of transferring us from Adam to Christ (the kingdom of His Son). It is because of that that we are no longer to continue in sin. Because God did it is unthinkable for us to rise from the dead and continue sinning.
So if it has been done for us, what should we do then? That is what we will look at now and for the next few days. Paul has some practical advice as to what we do. That advice is tied up in the verbs that Paul uses in the next verses.
Paul begins by saying “knowing this, knowing that”.
knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be nullified, so that we no longer serve sin. For the one that died has been justified from sin. But if we died with Christ, we believe that also we shall live with Him,
knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death no longer lords it over Him. For in that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in that He lives, He lives to God. [Literal Version]Romans 6:6-10
When we KNOW that we have died with Christ and the body of sin is nullified so we no longer serve sin.
When we KNOW that death no longer lords it over us and we live to God, REALLY KNOW IT, we are free.
Notice that “know” is a participle – i.e. knowing. It is not a verb that stands on its own. What does it connect to? That is your job to find where the connection is? I am sure you are getting the message by now that to do good Bible Study you need to find the connections of meaning and sense. That is half your battle. What is this writer really saying? How are his ideas connected together?
Well now I am giving you some homework to do: where does “knowing this – knowing that” connect to? Have fun!
God give me the peace to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.Reinhold Niebuhr
God give me the peace to accept the people I cannot change, and courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s ME.Sidney Mohede