Romans 6:6 Body of Sin


Hi everyone,

I’ve heard from many Catholics about the dignity of the body because of the incarnation of Christ. Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body also touches on this.

In Romans 6:6 Paul talks about ‘the body of sin’ that before Christ was enslaved to sin.

How can we consider our body to have dignity when Paul uses such language as ‘the body of sin’? Doesn’t sin completely rob us of dignity?

I know I am missing some pieces of the puzzle here!

Thank you in advance and for your time,


I think you have to read this verse in context.

From New American Bible Revised Edition:

I’ve emphasised the passages that (I think) give context to 6:6

*Freedom from Sin; Life in God. 1 What then shall we say? Shall we persist in sin that grace may abound? Of course not! 2 How can we who died to sin yet live in it? 3 Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.

5 For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. 7 For a dead person has been absolved from sin. 8 If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. 10 As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God. 11 Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as [being] dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.*

As I read this when you’re baptised you share in Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection. So in a sense you’ve died and been resurrected - which makes it sound as if you’re a zombie. But I think what Paul means is that your resurrected (baptised) body is free of sin.


Our bodies have dignity because they were not originally made to sin. We dispose of our dignity every time we sin, but that is our own choice. We have chosen not to recognize the dignity that God has created us for.


Yes, the body provides temptations to sin-but is not sinful itself-it’s the temple of the Holy Spirit according to Scripture, in fact. And to the extent that the HS is allowed to express Himself in us, we resist sin; self-mastery is attainable again, where reason becomes master over the flesh.


Paul is talking about the “body of sin” as being the state that we were in before our Baptism. When we are Baptized, that “body” dies and is reborn by being washed in the Blood of Jesus, and transformed into a “body of holiness”. As long as we remain in the good graces of God, we continue living in holiness. When we fall back into sin (which we are all prone to do), then we need to confess our sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation to be washed clean, again. (This is what the washing of the feet at the Last Supper represents, when Jesus said that if we are clean all over (through Baptism), we only need to wash our “feet” to be made fully clean.) Of course, Paul was speaking of the “body” spiritually, not physically. He was referring to our souls.

I hope this helps.


No, not all sin robs us of our dignity. Venial sins, for example, do not even break friendship with God; they merely irritate him.

The original sin, from Adam, is inherited through the body.
The person, morally, is mortally wounded by coming into contact with original sin through the body.

However, the person is not entirely dead and their dignity is not entirely destroyed. The true loss of dignity can not happen until someone dies and is completely destroyed body and soul in hell.

So, in this life we are wounded and dying; but could be saved.
For as long as there is any life from God in us, even common grace, the dignity of being in the image of God remains (even if mortally wounded.)


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