|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1,2 The apostle is very full in pressing the necessity of holiness. He does not explain away the free grace of the gospel, but he shows that connexion between justification and holiness are inseparable. Let the thought be abhorred, of continuing in sin that grace may abound. True believers are dead to sin, therefore they ought not to follow it. No man can at the same time be both dead and alive. He is a fool who, desiring to be dead unto sin, thinks he may live in it.
Verse 2. - God forbid! (Μὴ γένοιτο: St. Paul's usual way of rejecting an idea indignantly). We who (οἵτινες, with its proper meaning of being such as) died (not, as in the Authorized Version, "are dead." The reference is to the time of baptism, as appears from what follows) to sin, how shall we live any longer therein! The idea of dying to sin in the sense of having done with it, is found also in Macrob., 'Somn. Scip.,' 1:13 (quoted by Meyer), "Mori etiam dicitur, cum anima adhuc in corpora constituta corporeas illecebras philosophia docente contemnit et cupiditatum dulces insidias reliquasque omnes exuit passiones."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
God forbid,.... By which he expresses his abhorrence of such a practice, and that this was a consequence which did not follow from the premises, and was far enough from his thoughts, and which he had in the greatest detestation: and he further argues against it by asking,
how shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? There is a death for sin, a death in sin, and a death to sin; the latter is here mentioned, and persons may be said to be "dead to sin", both as justified and sanctified: justified persons are dead to sin, inasmuch as that is not imputed to them to condemnation and death; they are discharged from it; it cannot hurt them, or exert its damning power over them; it is crucified, abolished, and made an end of by Christ: sanctified persons are dead to sin; sin is not made their business, it is not their course of life; it is no longer a pleasure to them, but is loathsome and abominable; it is looked upon, not as a friend, but an enemy; it does not reign, it has not the dominion over them; it is subdued in them, and its power weakened; and as to the members of the flesh, and deeds of the body, it is mortified: to live in sin, is to live after the dictates of corrupt nature; and persons may be said to live in it, when they give up themselves to it, are bent upon it; when sin is their life, they delight in it, make it their work and business, and the whole course of their life is sinful: now those who are dead to sin, cannot thus live in it, though sin may live in them; they may fall into sin, and lie in it some time, yet they cannot live in it: living in sin, is not only unbecoming the grace of God revealed in the Gospel, but is contrary to it; it is detestable to gracious minds, yea, it seems impossible they should live in it; which is suggested by this question, "how shall we?" &c. The thing is impracticable: for, for a gracious soul to live in sin, would be to die again, to become dead in sin, which cannot be; he that lives and believes in Christ shall never die, spiritually or eternally.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. God forbid—"That be far from us"; the instincts of the new creature revolting at the thought.
How shall we, that are dead, &c.—literally, and more forcibly, "We who died to sin (as presently to be explained), how shall we live any longer therein?"
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