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Can I Get Another Witness?

October 23, 2006

“Dead to sin” in Romans 6:2 means dead to the guilt of sin, the condemning power of sin, and refers exclusively to justification. 

The word “justified” in Romans 6:7 should be translated as “justified” and not as “freed”.

So say I and Robert Haldane and… (drum roll, please)….John Stott! (ht: Mark_5)

And Piper agrees with the translation “justified” in verse 7 and insists on the importance of seeing the connection between justification and freedom from slavery to sin.  However, he emphasized deliverance from guilt as the key to breaking the bondage, whereas I see that as still too subjective and put the spotlight on union with Christ as the connection between justification and freedom from slavery to sin.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 23, 2006 1:25 pm


  2. egana permalink
    October 23, 2006 6:12 pm

    While I am no hard core Biblical scholar… (your exegesis and the witness of the Spirit are more than enough as I medtitate on the scriptures)… I am confused how this apparent mistranslation can continue. Your argument seems pretty tight…

    Have you considered writing a letter of petition to the translating committee? Of course, they probably recieve many of these, with most of little value (how many feet lonf WAS the Ark, anyway?)…

    But this seems to be so central to the Gospel… the Good news that it is all God and none me… it is so Christ exalting to stop inspecting myself and instead trust in what He has already done and that I merely wait to see played out in the sequence of my days… sems like this is important enough to flex some muscle about… or at least the mighty weight of a few well placed words…

    Today I listened a couple times to your sermon. I find that although I am being washed by the word as I strive to believe it, it is not a let go adn let God sort of experience. I strive to hold on to my belief, my trust in God. So, although Paul gives no admonition other than believe, I find that today I have to strive after my continued belief… And this striving takes on various practical forms:

    -memory work
    -reminding myself that it is really true, and that I am not an idiot for believing it…
    -consoling myself that even if I am an idiot, God is still trustworthy, and so it makes good sense to continue to believe Him
    -listening to the sermons again
    -talking with others about this super-abounding grace
    -blogging about it before I make dinner for my starving hordes…

  3. October 26, 2006 10:48 am

    I see this passage as being translated in more of a dynamic way rather than literal as the reason for the discrepancy. The great thing is that since we have the benefit of history behind us we have subscripts and marks to refer us to the difference so, if we are reading closely, we will get both reading ‘freed’ and ‘justified’.

    The flow of bondage and slavery brings us to ‘freed’ being chosen rather than ‘justified’ with ‘being freed’ from sin the result of justification.

    Look at Calvin’s notes here: “Take justified for freed or reclaimed from bondage; for as he is freed from the bond of a charge, who is absolved by the sentence of a judge; so death, by freeing us from this life, sets us free from all its functions.”

    I agree with the forensic application – our freedom results from being declared just

    I need more coffee

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