Jump to content

Romans 6:6


Recommended Posts

Heavenly Father,


Please bless today's study...I genuinely look forward to doing it this morning. May Your precious Holy Spirit move over the words that are written, giving them spiritual life to feed our souls, that we might know who You really are, and all You have done, because You love us.


I know that I really do love and need You.


In Jesus Name,




6. Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be annulled, that we should no longer serve sin as slaves.


Watchman Nee once again comments on several words in this 6th verse:


"Knowing" this: In Greek, knowing here refers to the outwards, objective knowledge; knowing in v. 9 and know in v. 16 refer to the inward, subjective consciousness.


"old" man: Referring to the natural life in our soul. The old man is our very being which was created by God but became fallen through sin, and it is the same as the "I" in Ga. 2:20. It is not the soul itself but the life of the soul, which has been counted by God as hopeless and has been put on the cross and crucified with Christ. Formerly, our soul acted as an independent person, with the old man as its life and personality, now, since the old man has been crucified, our soul should act only as an organ of Christ and should be under the control of our spirit, having Christ as its life.


"body" of sin: The body indwelt, occupied, corrupted, possessed, utilized, and enslaved by sin, so that it does sinful things. This body of sin is very active and full of strength to commit sins; it differs from "the body of this death" mentioned in 7:24, which is weak and powerless in the things of God. The body of sin is not the sinning person but the sinning instrument utilized by the old man to express himself by committing sins, thereby causing the body of sin to become the flesh. Hence, the body of sin in this verse and the flesh of sin in 8:3 refer to the same thing.


"annulled": Or, unemployed, jobless, inactive. Because the old man has been crucified with Christ, the body that had been utilized by him as the instrument for sinning now has nothing to do; it is unemployed, jobless. Thus, we have been freed from sin (vv 18-22) and no longer need to be under the bondage of sin to serve sin as slaves.


The rvbv writes in verse 6: "Coming to know this, that our old man was crucified with Him, in order that the body of sin might be annulled, that we might no longer be in slave service to sin. The word translated "coming to know," means, in the Greek, coming into knowledge, - a discriminating apprehension of facts. (The Greek word for "know" (gignosko) here, means to get to know, come into the knowledge of, become acquainted with the fact. It is an entirely different word from the one translated "knowing" in verse 9 *eido), meaning "a clear and purely mental conception, in contrast both to conjecture and to knowledge derived from others" (Thayer). In this latter verse the fact spoken of is a matter of common knowledge. We, by God's word here, come to know (verse 6) that our old man was crucified with Christ; whereas we know as a necessary thing that Christ, being raised, dieth no more (verse 9). This is not a fact we "come to know," as in the matter of our vital connection with His death, verse 6. The manner in which we "come to know" our old man was crucified is by faith in God's testimony to the fact!


Our old man - This is our old selves, as we were in and from Adam. It is contrasted with the new man (Col. 3:9,10) - which is what we are and have in Christ. The word 'our' indicates that what is said, is said of and to all those who are in Christ. The expression "our old man," of course is a federal one, as also is "the new man." The "old man," therefore, is not Adam personally, any more than the "new man" is Christ personally. Also, we must not confuse the "old man" with "the flesh." Adam begat a son in his own likeness. This son of Adam, as all since, was according to Adam, - for he was in Adam; possessed of a "natural mind, feelings, tastes, desires, - all apart from God. He was his father repeated. Cain is a picture before us of the meaning of the words, "the old man." Moreover, since man's activities were carried on in and through the body, he is now morally "after the flesh." Inasmuch as his spirit was now dead to God, sin controlled him, both spirit and soul, through the body. And thus we read a little later, in the Sixth of Genesis, upon the recounting of the horrible lust and violence that filled the earth, God's statement "In their going astray, they are flesh!" What a fearful travesty of one created in the image of God, and into whose Divinely formed body God had breathed the spirit of life, so that he was "spirit and soul and body" (I Thess 5:23); and with his innocent spirit able to speak with his Creator! with his unfallen soul-faculties, and with body in blessed harmony.


When we are told, for instance, in Colossians, that we have put off the old man, we know that we are being addressed as new creatures in Christ, and that the old man represents all we naturally were, - desires, lusts, ambitions, hopes, judgments: looked at as a whole federally: we used to be that - now we have put that off. We recognize it again in the words "Put away as concerning your former manner of life the old man" (Eph. 4:22).


1. First, then, our old man was crucified (Romans 6:6). That is a Divine announcement of fact.

2. Those in Christ have put off the old man.

3. He still exists, for "the old man waxeth corrupt after the lusts of deceit" (Eph. 4:22).

4. He is to be put away as belonging to our former manner of life: for we are in Christ and are "new creatures; old things are passed away; behold they are become new" (II Cor. 5:17).


Now as regards the flesh:


1. While our old man has been crucified, by God, with Christ at the cross, - the federal thing was done; yet of the flesh we read, "They that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof: (Gal. 5:24).

2. The flesh has passions and lusts.

3. It has a mind directly at enmity with God.

4. As we shall see in Chapter Seven, the flesh is the manifestation of sin in the as yet unredeemed body. "Our old man," therefore, is the large term, the all-inclusive one - of all that we were federally from Adam. The flesh, however, we shall find to be that manifestation of sin in our members with which we are in conscious inward conflict, against which only the Holy Spirit indwelling us effectively wars. Our bodies are not the root of sin, but do not yet share, as do our spirits, the redemption that is in Christ. And as for our souls (our faculties of perception, reason, imagination, and our sensibilities), - our souls are being renewed by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Not so the body. "The flesh," which is sin entrenched in the body, is unchangeably evil, and will war against us till Christ comes. Only the Holy Spirit has power over "the flesh" (Chapter 8:1).


Our old man was crucified - The matter of which we are told to take note here is the great federal fact that our old man was crucified with Christ. Perhaps no more difficult task, no task requiring such constant vigilant attention, is assigned by God to the believer. It is a stupendous thing, this matter of taking note of and keeping in mind what goes so completely against consciousness, - that our old man was crucified. These words are addressed to faith, to faith only. Emotions, feelings, deny them. To reason, they are foolishness. But ah, what stormy seas has faith walked over! What mountains has faith cast into the sea! How many impossible things has faith done!


Let us never forget, that this crucifixion was a thing definitely done by God at the cross, just as really as our sins were there laid upon Christ. It is addressed to faith as a revelation from God. Reason is blind. The "word of the cross" is "foolishness" to it. All the work consummated at the cross seems folly, if we attempt to subject it to man's understanding. But, just as the great wonder of creation is understood only by faith: ("By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the Word of God," - Heb. 11:3) so the eternal results accomplished at the cross are entered into by simple faith in the testimony of God about them.


No, it is no easy or light thing that it is announced to you and me, that all we were and all from Adam has been rejected of God. Scripture is not now dealing with what we have done, but with what we are.


And really to enter spiritually into the meaning of this awful word, Our old man was crucified, involves, with all of us, deep exercise of soul. For no one by nature will be ready to count himself so incorrigibly bad as to have to be crucified! But when the Spirit of God turns the light upon what we are, from Adam, these will be blessed words of relief: "Our old man was crucified."


Now here is the very opposite of the teaching of false Christianity about a holy life. For these legalists set you to crucifying yourself! You must "die out" to this, and to that. But God says our old man, all that we were, has been already dealth with, - and that by crucifixion with Christ. And the very words "with Him" show that it was done back at the cross; and that our task is to believe the good news, rather than to seek to bring about this crucifixion ourselves.


The believer is constantly reminded that his relation to sin was brought about by his identification with Christ in His death: Christ died unto sin, and the believer shared that death, died with Him, and is now, therefore, dead unto sin. This is his relationship to sin - the same as Christ's now is; and believing this to be his constant attitude.


Difficulty there will be, no doubt, in taking and maintaining constantly this attitude: but faith will remove the difficulty, and faith here will grow out of assiduous, constant attention to God's exact statements of fact. We are not to go to God in begging petitions for "victory," - except in extreme circumstances. We are to set ourselves a very different task: "This is the work of God, that ye believe." We may often be compelled to cry, with the father of the demoniac, "Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief!" But it is still better to have our faces toward the fow, knowing ourselves to be in Christ, and that we have been commanded to reckon ourselves dead to sin, no matter how great and strong sin may appear. Satan's great device is to drive earnest souls back to beseeching God for what God says has already been done!


"Our old man was crucified with Christ." This is our task: to walk in the faith of these words. Upon this water God commands us to step out and walk. And we are infinitely better off than was Peter that night, when he "walked on the water to come to Jesus"; whereas we are in Christ. And our erlationship to sin is His relationship! He died unto it, and we, being in Christ Risen, are in the relationship Christ's death brought about in Him, and now to us who are in Him: whether to sin, law, death, or the world.


If I did not die with Christ, on the cross, I cannot be living in Him, risen from the dead; but am still back in the old Adam in which I was born!


Christ died once - once for all, unto sin. He is not dying continually. I am told to reckon myself dead - in that death of Christ. I am therefore not told to do my own dying, to sin and self and the world: but, on the contrary, to reckon by simple faith, that in His death I died: and to be "conformed unto His death." But, to be conformed to a death already a fact, is not doing my own dying, - which is Romanism. If you and I are able to reckon ourselves dead - in Christ's death: all will be simple.


That the body of sin might be annulled - The word for "annulled" is katargeo. See note on Chapter 4:14. The meaning is, to "put out of business." The "body of sin" refers to our bodies as yet unredeemed, and not delivered from sin's rule; as Paul says in the Eighth Chapter: "If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin." Now we shall find that we have no power to deliver our body, our members, from "the law of sin". But since our old man has been crucified with Christ, all the rights of sin are gone; and the indwelling Holy Spirit can annul "the body of sin"; thus delivering us from sin's bondage. We know the Spirit is not mentioned here (as He will be constantly in Chapter Eight); but inasmuch as it is His work to apply all Christ's work to us, we speak of His blessed annulling of the power of indwelling sin. It is blessed to know that we do not have to crucify the old man: that was done in Christ's federal death at the cross. Nor do we have to "annul" the "body of sin": that is done by the blessed Spirit as we yield to Him."




Heavenly Father,


Like a friend remarked to me just this morning, perhaps with all the work I have to do on a daily basis with it being summer time...gardens, animals, etc...really is Your appointed time to slow this study down to single verse installments. There is still 370 pages to go in the rvbv book that I'm using for this study, so it's quite obvious that there is still alot to share.


Thank You for this study Father...it is exactly what I need at this moment. You were right, as usual, when You burdened my heart to put aside this time for Romans. I just continue to ask that You would bless, annoint and use, for eternal purposes, the words in these studies. May they glorify You and all that You are, because You are God and I love and need You.


That seems to be the simple desire of my heart lately...I just love You and I need You.


Help me to get the things I need to get done, today. Keep Your hand of protection over my car and my daughter, as we travel out of state Saturday and Sunday, and bring us back home safely.


In Jesus Name I pray,

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.