Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

Freedom from Death

What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.  Romans 6:21

The context of this passage indicates that Paul is using the term “death” in the same sense in which he had written “I died” in Romans 7:9. There he writes:

I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.

With these words Paul describes a post-conversion experience when he had turned back to legalism and lost his victory in Christian living. Paul is saying that his haunting inner sense of spiritual failure and guilt is best described with the word “death.”

When our Christian life is one of seeking to keep either biblical or man-made rules in human wisdom and strength, the ultimate result is an emotional state best described with the word “death.”

In 6:22 Paul writes:

But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.

In this verse Paul’s use of “everlasting life” refers to the highest quality of life and stands in contrast to the state of “death” mentioned in 6:21.

Paul’s use of “set free from sin” relates to what he had written in 6:14.

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 

Paul makes this statement in Romans 6:14 immediately following his list of five commands for experiencing our union with Christ. Therefore, we should understand that freedom from “death” is the result of living out that experience.

All God-loving believers who are living in the defeated state called “death” can be set free by experiencing their union with Christ in their crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.