Notes on Romans 6
August 1, 2004

C. R. Oliver

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August 1, 2004

Notes on Romans 6

Romans 6:13

…present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead…" AGAIN in verse 16: "…to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin to death or of obedience to righteousness."

Although the passage addresses sexual sin, it expands to "all sin" and is remarkably tied to a great truth, "sin shall not have dominion over you." Reigning dominion of any force is to be met with the outstanding power of "being alive from the dead."

Commentators concentrate on the word "Present." A key element is this: "Present yourselves…" may be best rendered in some languages as a separate sentence. Take it as a stand alone principle and its meaning reaches beyond its immediate context. When this facet is explored, one is prompted to consider it as a "universal" truth applied to this and any other aspect surrounding the believer. In other words, "alive from the dead" is to the living believer what the resurrection is to Christ. Jesus stands before God, not as a flesh and blood earth-bound One, but as a living spirit. His dominion is assured as He stands waiting for all things that God has planned for Him to come to pass. Ask, what sin touches Him? What anguish arrives from earth to confront Him? He, who was never on the defensive, was always on the offensive and stands as He did on earth, in power and assurance.

"Alive from the dead" is not just a principle; it is a way of life—it costs one's life! It forms the basis for life decisions. "What can man do to me" rolls past the trivia of oppression. "I am more than a conqueror" becomes a state of being, beyond the trite equation of the scripture quote. Dare to "Stand before God" in prayer as "one alive from the dead" and hear oneself say, "Father, thank you for carrying me across the expanse of death to live eternally as I am now."

Treat the text exegetically and discover the energy of "ek nekroon—out of death." Alive, "out of death: ek (NT:1537) nekroon (NT:3498) note the preposition "out of." (Vincent's Word Studies of the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft).

Would this not affect the prayer life of the one practicing its power? Here the postulate of prayer begins with new certainty: those standing before Him serve only Him. They are now on a face to face basis. They are impervious of all other factors. The cares of life that once peppered their closet moments fade as something long since eclipsed. The enormity of life issues that overwhelm and seek place with fear, fall lifeless before one who presents himself to God as "one alive from the dead." Presumption pales before the reality of His person. The "can He," "will He," "would He" triumvirate of speculation is forever past. First, one would not be alive from the dead if He had not carried through His covenant promise of resurrection. Second, the fact of standing before him is proof of His grace and favor. Standing before Him in completed Holiness and Righteousness gives no prayer a "sliver of hope," Nay; it gives a guarantee of a positive answer and its companion—completion. Crown-tossing Hallelujah's remain the proper response to one thus reveling in being "alive from the dead."

Paul's application of this principle of power unleashed a world of hurt on those who felt that an "occasional lapse" didn't matter. There are no lapses to those "alive from the dead."

Many families have members who have passed from this earth—their earthly desires have ceased, they have experienced the fruition of faith, they affect nothing upon the earth nor are they affected by any earthly thing. If a tumult swept across the civilized world and reduced it to ashes and everything darling was taken from every family member and friend, it would not move them. Should the economy tank and world monitory systems foster chaotic consequences, their dwelling place continues unscathed. If starvation wrenched the stomachs of infant and elderly, what difference would that make to "one alive from the dead?" If every church closed and religion was forever silenced in the grip of a marking beast, what would this matter to "one alive from the dead?" In such a state, everything changes as it is redefined in terms of "alive from the dead."

As one considers the paltry offerings of worship that issue from congregations today, one should also consider the unleashed joy, the unrestrained jubilance of frame and spirit "of one alive from the dead."

The slovenly spirituality of the masses, under the banner of "Christian," holds no weight against the "knowing" of those "alive from the dead." Praising Him who gives wisdom, thanking Him who gives understanding, honoring Him who gives glory is the constancy of those "alive from the dead."

Paul dared to say, in essence, "This is how I live. When I died on the Damascus Road, every other aspect of my existence changed on this earth. Yes, I am aware of my surrounding, but none of these things rule or move me. I have taken authority over this world and the world can take no authority over me."

Consider verse 16, which speaks of being under the rule of holiness and righteousness. Sin and death made man their slave and man obediently consented, no matter what the demand, even to self-sacrifice and death. In other words, what obsession demanded was ultimately done.

The slave of the Lord becomes the anti-type, the very essence of what the commentator describes: "He who thus becomes the voluntary servant of holiness will feel himself bound to obey it, unto complete and eternal justification and life." (Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Perfection ,then, is no longer a matter of a "project under construction" but is to be construed as an accomplished task in the reality of "one alive from the dead." Why should perfection be an issue to those already on the "other side?" Self-effacing then perishes before the "glory" already bestowed on those "alive from the dead."

Once this principle penetrates the strata of every situation and saturates the mind and spirit of the believer, there are no longer "life circumstances;" there are only "situations" which one is to look back upon as "trivia" compared to what lies ahead. Being "Alive from the dead" gives one a perspective new and rewardingly different than anything experienced in "normal" Christian circles and certainly more than modern pulpits purvey.

Hundreds write that they are being drawn into a deeper relationship with the Lord, that they are experiencing a "drawing" in the Spirit to walk differently than ever before, to experience Scriptural understanding beyond their former capabilities. These testimonies are evidence that God's people are already "presenting themselves as alive from the dead." Physical carnage meant nothing to the prophet who stood to say, "Breathe," and bones came together. Paul was saying to a dead people, a dead religion, a sin ridden populace, "Breathe" O' dead ones…stand with me…ALIVE!

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


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