Lectionary Year A
June 30, 2002
Romans 6:12-23

Step II: Disposition

A. Genre

(JFC) In this passage Paul is instructing the recipients with what to do with the threat of sin's trying to continue to dominate them. He reminds them of their liberation from sin's powers and then informs them of the fruitlessness of sinning more since they are so freed. He does that part of the message by asking a couple of rhetorical questions and, of course, as is Paul's style, answering them. Several parallel terms amplify what his main point(s) is/are. Next, he thanks God for their transformation based on the teachings he seems to be providing for them. Then he explains why he is using elementary vocabulary to get his points across. He tends, as usual, to repeat his argument before the paragraph concludes. His sentences are as complex as is typical in his writings, yet, he is quite clear about what he is saying here.

B. Personal Interaction

(JFC) First, I have to wonder whether the Romans considered themselves still struggling under the pressures of sinfulness. And/or do they believe Paul when he states that they are out from under the law and under grace alone. Now, were they complimented or offended that he would ask them whether they knew that whenever anyone serves a master of undesirability, one would then suffer under that master's edicts? Wonder how they reacted/responded to his use of elementary expressions. Sanday and Headlam, in ICC, call it an apology on Paul's part. Is it? And were they really ashamed of their former allegiances? Did they comprehend the term "sanctification/consecration"?

C. Organization

(JFC) The pressures of sinfulness get mentioned in verses 12, 13, 20, 22 and 23. The last two in the negative component. Being freed from having been under the law is stated in the 15th verse. The serving a master brought obeying that master's demands is the topic of verse16. The elementary terminology is in verse 19. Their shame is alluded to in the 21st verse. The word for "sanctification/consecration" is at the end of verse 19 and rather late in verse 22.

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