The expression is a strong denial of what is implied in the objection in Ro 6:1.
How shall we, etc. This contains a reason of the implied statement of the apostle, that we should not continue in sin. The reason is drawn from the fact, that we are dead in fact to sin. It is impossible for those who are dead to act as if they were alive. It is just as absurd to suppose that a Christian should desire to live in sin, as that a dead man should put forth the actions of life.
That are dead to sin. That is, all Christians. To be dead to a thing is a strong expression denoting that it has no influence over us. A man that is dead is uninfluenced and unaffected by the affairs of this life. He is insensible to sounds, and tastes, and pleasures; to the hum of business, to the voice of friendship, and to all the scenes of commerce, gaiety, and ambition. When it is said, therefore, that a Christian is dead to sin, the sense is, that it has lost its influence over him; he is not subject to it; he is in regard to that, as the man in the grave is to the busy scenes and cares of this life. The expression is not infrequent in the New Testament. Ga 2:19, "For I am dead to the law." Col 3:3, "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." 1 Pe 2:24, "Who—bare our sins—that we, being dead to sin," etc. The apostle does not here attempt to prove that Christians are thus dead, nor to state in what way they become so. He assumes the fact without argument. All Christians are thus, in fact, dead to sin. They do not live to sin; nor has sin dominion over them. The expression used here by the apostle is common in all languages. We familiarly speak of a man's being dead to sensual pleasures, to ambition, etc., to denote that they have lost their influence over him.
Live any longer therein. How shall we, who have become sensible of the evil of sin, and who have renounced it by solemn profession, continue to practise it? It is therefore abhorrent to the very nature of the Christian profession. It is remarkable that the apostle did not attempt to argue the question on metaphysical principles. He did not attempt to show by abstruse argument that this consequence did not follow; but he appeals at once to Christian feeling, and shows that the supposition is abhorrent to that. To convince the great mass of men, such an appeal is far better than laboured metaphysical argumentation. All Christians can understand that; but few would comprehend an abstruse speculation. The best way to silence objections is, sometimes, to show that they violate the feelings of all Christians, and that therefore the objection must be wrong.
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