Romans 6:5-14 deals extensively with the doctrine of sanctification in the believer’s life. Before salvation the believer was dead in his sin (Eph 2:1), but after union with Christ, the believer is now freed from sin to live as a slave of Christ.

Sanctification is the means by which believers are transformed so that they will be able to partake of eternal life.

Romans 6:5-11 links the past and future element of sanctification. At our conversion (past) we, through Christ’s death, died to sin, crucified our old self, and have been set free from sin. At our glorification (future), through Christ’s resurrection, we too will be united with Christ, be raised with Him, and live with Him.

Then, in Romans 6:10 a brief glimpse is given into the present implications of the transformation that began in our past at conversion and will be completed in our future at glorification. The present implication of sanctification is this: live your life to God, not to sin. Romans 6:12-14 therefore calls us to disobey sin, to present ourselves as slaves to righteousness, and demonstrate how God’s grace is enabling us to live differently.

Past sanctification enables present sanctification and results in eternal future sanctification. Because a believer has been united with Christ, past sanctification provides the reason for the believer to stop sinning, present sanctification provides the power to obey Christ, and future sanctification provides the eternal hope to endure in obedient living.