Watchtower View on Romans 6: 7 Examined
The Watchtower teaches that the opportunity to be born again and enjoy complete Justification with God ended in 1935, having been limited to only 144K since Pentecost. So, it is very surprising that the Watchtower embraces the death that is described in Romans Chapter 6, since this is the very death that is required to be born again…… which is denied to Watchtower members!
Romans Chapter 6, verse 7 is about saying goodbye to the old personality, the “old man” in the King James Version. (the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience) Remember, the bible teaches there are Three of You in One Person at 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
Romans 6: 7 understood in context:
The old personality must die, he cannot be fixed. The old personality is characterized by dominance of the flesh. However, when a believer is born again he gets a new spirit, which cannot sin. (See 1 John 3: 9) It is with this new spirit that we worship God in spirit and truth. The death spoken of in Romans 6: 7 is described in detail throughout the chapter as a death of the spirit, - in vs. 4, “buried with him by baptism”, vs. 2 says that we are “dead to sin”; vs. 6 says we are “crucified with Christ”; vs. 11 says we are to recon ourselves “dead unto sin”, vs. 18 says that this makes us “free from sin” and are now servants of righteousness.
In other words, because a Christian has given up the rights to himself and given them to Christ he has died to his own authority; a new spirit is now operating in the born again believer. Christ is now in control of the individual. (See Gal. 2:20) We are dead to sin but made alive through Christ. (See Col. 3:3 & Romans 8:10)
But the Watchtower isolates Romans 6: 7 which says, “he that has died has been freed (“acquitted” in NWT) from sin” and tries to create a doctrine of self-atonement that states that when a person's body dies, they automatically get a clean slate and have paid their own sin debt to God and so they are self justified - able to be legally resurrected and not condemned.
The following 17 scriptures contradict the Watchtower’s doctrine of self-atonement. These must all be spiritualized away or ignored in order to keep this very troubling and out-of-context interpretation:
1. John 3: 18 - He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. - If a person gets a new slate when they die and they can pay for their own sins by dying, then nobody is really condemned.
2. John 5: 29 - And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. - If a person gets a new slate when they die and they can pay for their own sins by dying, then why will there be a resurrection of damnation?
3. Rev. 20: 5 - But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. - The WT says this scripture is “spiritual” and not literal. But, they believe the next verses 6-9, are literal (the Final Rebellion). But, the ones after that, verses 10 & 11 are spiritual. (They wave away the verses that teach that there will be a literal judgement after you die, like in Hebrews 9: 27)
4. Rev. 20: 12 - And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. - If a person gets a new slate when they die and they can pay for their own sins by dying, then why resurrect the dead to judge them by their works?
The reality is that Christians are judged at Calvary Hill along with Christ as deserving of death. Others who reject the New Covenant Blood Covering and the work that Jesus did must now be judged by their own works, having rejected the work of Christ, his grace and New Covenant.
5. Matt. 12: 41 - The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. - If a person gets a new slate when they die and they can pay for their own sins by dying, then why will the men of Nineveh be resurrected to testify that they were able to repent having far less miraculous signs to go on than the men in Jesus’ day had? This sounds like a real trial with real witnesses. All this must be spiritualized by the WT to fit their narrative.
6. Matt: 10: 15 - Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city. - If a person gets a new slate when they die and they can pay for their own sins by dying why will the people in Jesus’ day receive a heavier judgement than those from Sodom & Gomorrah?
7. Matt. 11: - 21 – 24 - Then began he to upbraid [chastise] the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. - Why will it be more tolerable for the residents of Tyre, Sidon, Sodom & Gomorrah at judgment day, than for the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, & Capernaum if a person can pay for their own sins by dying & get a new slate after they die?
8. Is. 2: 12 - For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning, Against everyone who is proud and lofty. And against everyone who is lifted up, That he may be abased. - Why has the Lord reserved a day to condemn the proud and lofty if a person can pay for their own sins by dying & can get a new slate after they die?
9. Hebrews 9: 27 – it is appointed unto man once to die, and then judgement - Why will there be a personal judgement after you die if you already have a new slate and paid for your sins when you died?
10. Rev. 11: 18 - thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged - Again, why will there be a personal judgement after you die if you already have a new slate and paid for your sins when you died?
11. Romans 3: 28 - For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. - Being Justified means there is no debt. Why is there a need to eliminate our sin debt by faith if we get a clean slate (justified) simply by dying? If we have already paid our debt by dying, why does anyone need to be justified? It makes a works vs. faith consideration totally irrelevant. Why not just die and be done with it?
12. Romans 5: 1 - Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ - Why do we achieve peace with God through faith if it is actually by our own death?
13. Habakkuk 2: 4 - Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith. - Why do we live again by faith if it is simply by dying that we will live again?
14. Gen. 15: 6 - And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. - Why did Abraham need to get declared righteous by believing God if all he had to do is die and get resurrected during the Millennial Reign?
15. Gal. 2: 16 - Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ… , for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Why worry about faith or works if a person justifies himself by dying and wakes up during the Millennium Reign with no sin debt?
The truth is that Justification is very important and determines where you will spend eternity. And, it is achieved only one way, by faith; and not by works or by simply dying.
16. Matt. 12: 36 - But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. - Why will careless things that people say be brought up against them on Judgment Day if a person gets a clean slate after they die?
17. 2 Peter 2: 9 - The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust
unto the day of judgment to be punished:
- Why is the Lord reserving unjustified mankind for judgement and punishment if they are given a
clean slate when they die?