1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
In verse 1, Paul asks if we should continue in sin so that grace will continue to cover sin. (See Romans 5 for context). He is asking if we should sin just so that we can continue to experience the forgiveness for sin that Jesus provides.
2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
In verse 2, you can get a feel for the indignation that Paul feels towards those who act as if they can do whatever they want because Jesus will provide them forgiveness or grace. This sentence is huge in answering those who believe that all they have to do is ask Jesus to save them and they will be saved. It isn't that Jesus is some nice guy who is going to give you what you want if you ask nicely. In order to have eternal life you must first die to sin.
3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
When we accept salvation from Jesus, when we are baptized, we die to our old lives. We are determined to live for God instead of living for ourselves. We begin to move from living life focused on getting what we want or protecting ourselves and instead live a life focused on serving God and his children.
4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
It is through the death of our selfish desires and our earthly wants that we have new life. That new life is possible because Jesus provides the way. Jesus could have had anything he wanted. Jesus resisted temptation and gave selflessly of himself. This is the life we are to live. As long as we concern ourselves with getting what we think is fair, what will make us happy, or what makes us comfortable we will not live as we are called to live.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with in a resurrection like his.
When we give Jesus control of our lives, when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, when we love God, then we are united as we have eternal life. We can only have eternal life in as much as we are willing to serve God forever. This is only possible when we give up thoughts or concerns for ourselves.
6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
Am I saved? This is a question many have. Many have prayed what is called the salvation prayer. There are many variations but most include our recognizing that we are sinners, that we need Jesus to forgive us, that Jesus has said he would forgive us, and that we accept Jesus into our hearts or make Jesus our king. All of this is true. We do sin when we fail to do what I listed above. It is true that we need Jesus to provide for our salvation and to forgive us of our sin. The most important step is that many neglect to make Jesus their King or to give Jesus command over their lives. None of the rest matters if we do not allow our old selves to be crucified. In that moment, as we pray we must without a doubt give God permission to change us. Without the movement away from who and what we were there will be no change and we will continue to be enslaved to sin.
7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
If we have died to our old self then we are set free from sin. If we died with Jesus and his crucifixion then we will live within his resurrection. Many believe that we have initial salvation when we recognize that we are sinners, ask Jesus to forgive us, and choose to follow Jesus and live as Jesus has instructed us. Many also believe that a second work of grace or sanctification happens when we no longer serve Jesus because we fear for our lives or because we desire that Jesus will make us happy, but when we completely love God, obey God, love others, and make disciples of Jesus. When we initially die within Jesus we are free from sin, but often times temptation continues. It isn't that we are a failure or that Jesus has failed us. It is a part of being made new and a part of being made a disciple of Jesus. Each time we recognize an area of our lives that needs correction we give Jesus permission to work within our life to correct it. If we were to fail to give Jesus permission, then at that time we are living in sin, because we have invited and welcomed a situation where Jesus is not Lord in our lives.
9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
This passage is actually a passage of hope. If we have given Jesus permission in our life we should live without fear. Sin has no control over our lives and we are alive to God in Christ Jesus. This doesn't mean we will live without difficulty, rather it reduces our response and requirement down to one thing. Will you give God permission in your life to do anything and everything necessary to help you be who you were created to be? As long as your answer is always yes, you are a child of God. If you say no, then you no longer live in obedience to God and you can't live with God if you refuse to acknowledge God's rule over your life. Ultimately our success depends on our ability to tell God yes. If we say yes to God then we are who we were meant to be. God will provide the experiences we need to train us.