Romans Chapter 6


In verse 7 of chapter 6 of Romans in the RSV CE it says For he who has died is freed from sin.

Now in reading the entire chapter and not cherry picking this verse out of context, I understand it to mean that once we are baptised into Christ’s death and resurrection we are free from sin in this life. It does not mean that once we physically die we are free from all sin. If that be the case why would there be a need for hell or purgatory, right?

I am having a discussion with my JW friend and she believes the latter, that we are all freed from sin once we die?

How can I help her to understand the truth of this verse if my interpretation is the correct one of course?

Thanks Jeanne

Hi Jeanne,
A very good post.
According to the Navarre NT commentary:
’ At Baptism the grace of Christ is given to man and frees him from sin. This sacrament joins a person to Christ; immersion in water symbolizes death and burial, taking away man’s guilt; emerging from the water symbolizes the resurrection of Christ: the person renounces sin once and for all and is born to a new life. “Our previous sins have been rubbed out by the action of grace. Now, to stay dead to sin after Baptism, a personal effort is needed, even though God’s grace continues to help us mightily”. (St John Chrysostom, *Hom. on Rom, *11, 1).’
Hope this helps with your discussion.
God Bless,

No we are not “free from sin in this life” not in the since that we will never commit a venial sin…(or even a mortal one…)…we are freed from the sins of the past and are freed from domination of sin in that by the grace of God we can avoid mortal sins in the future and remain thus alive in the life Christ gave us …

When we physically die…we are not “freed from sin” in the sense that we may not need purification or if in mortal sin do not send ourselves to hell…

We’re to die to the old self and be reborn into a new life in Christ. The New Covenant is all about Gods grace working in conjunction with-and working on-our wills, drawing without forcing us into ever greater union with His will. It’s about the orientation of our hearts, which need to be in the right place. It’s about becoming truly just-because we *will *to be so. Physical death might remove the opportunity for us to sin but it does nothing, by itself, to make us righteous. The idea that it somehow, magically, does make us righteous, is a dangerous concept resulting from a misunderstanding of human nature and the fall, and similar, for all practical purposes, to the Reformed tenet regarding “imputed righteousness”, another cop-out freeing us from the “onus” that comes from knowing we need to to live up to Gods commands.

Once we die, the debt is called. If we die in a state of grace, we are on our way to heaven. If we die in a state of sin, we are condemned. Paul’s point is that baptism terminates our contract with sin, and liberates us to live under the New Covenant. But because JW’s have such a warped theology you’ll be hard-pressed to persuade your friend on these details. More to the point is to challenge their underlying assumption that the entire church apostasized and they alone have the full truth . . . ask when this happened?

Thank you one and all for your responses. I am going to integrate them all together and the next time I see my friend I will have some interesting points for discussion.


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