Paul makes a series of profound statements; ‘We died to sin: how can we then live in it any longer…Don’t you know that all of us who were baptised in Christ Jesus were baptised into his death…We should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been freed from sin…We were buried with him in baptism and raise with him in his resurrection.
Death is the ultimate penalty for sin. We all face death and through the act of death we become free from the grip of sin. We become free from the grip of our sin and the grip of others sin. Yet death also causes us to be devoid of all life. In a broad master stroke of genius Paul makes the statement that as Christians we are dead to sin and because we are dead to sin, we should therefore stop sinning because a dead person cannot sin.
At the same time, he makes the point that we are also alive in Christ and in Christ we have the fullness of life. This means we now have a new master, and that master is life. Because sin is no longer is our master, we become the master of sin. Though death is the result of sin, we were freed from its grip in death once and for all through the life of Christ. Further more, resurrected life becomes the master of death, it triumphs over sin and death. Therefore, because we as Christians are to live in the resurrected power of Christ, we likewise have the mastery over sin and death. It’s within this framework of mastery that Paul tells us therefore to put to death any sin that easily besets us – because the reality is, in Christ we are its master, not it who masters us.