Scripture Reading: Romans 6:15 – Romans 7:6
What does it mean to us to assume a new lifestyle? Do we change houses, our jobs, our friends, our clothes, our plans? Is it just a matter of how we act in Church one day out of the week, or does it affect us every day? For most Christians, the change that comes from baptism is minimal. They may have to act a little nicer to their Christian brethren to reflect their new life in Christ, but for the most part, everything remains the same. The new lifestyle spoken of in Romans 6 involves every aspect of our lives, not just one day a week (or a few hours out of that day). We think differently, we act differently, we treat people differently, our priorities change, and things that used to be important to us no longer have significance. Our master has changed from someone who thinks only of themselves to someone who has only our best interests in mind. Our life now becomes one of giving instead of one of taking, acquiring, hoarding, coveting. Without these changes, the old man never truly died, and the new man looks just like the old man.
- In Romans 6:15-18 Paul compares both our old life and our new life, to slavery. Why is this analogy appropriate in each case? What act transforms a man from being a slave of sin to a servant of righteousness (Romans 6:17-18)?
- How does our slavery to God differ from our slavery to sin (Romans 6:19-23)? What fruit is there in sin? What is the fruit of righteousness?
- At what point does the Law of God no longer have jurisdiction over a person’s life (Romans 7:1-3)?
- What does “dying in Christ” mean in our relationship to the Law (Romans 7:4-5)?
- Contrast serving God in newness of spirit to the oldness of the letter (Romans 7:6)?
- Paul uses baptism, slavery, and marriage to illustrate the differences between our old life and our new life. What common themes are emphasized in these illustrations?
- What assurance and encouragement is Paul giving us in our struggle against sin?