Rom 6:9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.

So may we clearly understand that while Jesus was in the flesh being tempted etc unto death, he was subject to the same law as all other men - if he sinned, he would die - permanently. Never to be raised again?

(Equally clearly, once his mission was successfully completed ('it is finished') he was raised by His Father to imperishable life. The whole 'master' thing was now redundant or made null.)

What other ramifications does this 'master' arrangement reveal about who Jesus was?

  • Death only had 'dominion' [KJV] over Jesus Christ whilst he was dead. I don't see that the text refers to the period of life prior to his death. There is nothing in the text that conveys any kind of 'dominion' or mastery during his lifetime.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 12, 2020 at 6:01
  • I would say Heb 5:7 refers to Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane as he approached the time when he knew he must yield up his life. His prayer was in respect of his necessary coming decease.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 12, 2020 at 6:22

4 Answers 4


The operative verb in Rom 6:9 is κυριεύω (kurieuó) which only occurs in seven places in the NT: Luke 22:25, Rom 6:9, 14, 7:1, 14:9, 2 Cor 1:24, 1 Tim 6:15. The words means (BDAG):

  1. to exercise authority or have control, rule, eg, Luke 22:25, Acts 19:16, 2 Cor 1:24, Rom 14:9.
  2. be master of, dominate, eg, Rom 6:9, 14, 7:1.

It is meaning #2 that applies in Rom 6:9. Interestingly, Paul uses this word to describe three things that dominate or have mastery:

  • Rom 6:9 Death is no longer master over Jesus
  • Rom 6:14 Sin shall not be master over you
  • Rom 7:1 the Law is master over you as long as you live

In the particular case of Jesus, Rom 6:9 forms part of a series of texts that Paul uses to describe what happened to Jesus during His incarnation as follows. Please bear in mind that if Person A is master over person B, then person B is subject to Person A and must be obedient.

  • Phil 2:8 - "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross." Thus, Jesus voluntarily became subject to death, or obedient to death; or put another way, death had mastery over Jesus. Compare John 10:17.
  • Rom 6:9 - "For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has dominion over Him." Following Jesus' death (as per Phil 2:8 above), Jesus was raised from the dead and thus conquered death. This means that as conqueror, death no longer had dominion/mastery over Jesus.
  • 1 Cor 15:54, 55 - As a result of Jesus conquering death, He also will grant us the same victory over death. Then all will be able to say (because the immortal has put on immortality), “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”, and "Where, O Death, is your victory?" (See also Isa 25:8, 9)
  • 1 Cor 15:57 - we will also say at that time, "thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!"


Thus we find that Jesus, though equal to God (Phil 2:5), voluntarily became human, even subject to death (V8). Having risen from the dead, He conquered death (1 Cor 15:54, 55, Rom 6:9) and shares this victory with us when the mortal puts on immortality and we will have conquered death (through Jesus) and it will no longer have mastery over us either.

  • Jesus' subjection to death was voluntary, not of necessity. 'No man taketh it from me'. It had no 'dominion' beforehand. Only at the point where he voluntarily yielded his life. But 'death could not hold him' - even when he had yielded himself to it.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 12, 2020 at 15:54
  • 1
    @NigelJ - quite right. Phil 2:8 makes this very point that Jesus became obedient to death, even death on a cross.
    – Dottard
    Jul 12, 2020 at 20:58

Rom. 5:12, 17, 19: “Through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned—. . . . By the trespass of the one man death ruled as king . . . Through the disobedience of the one man many were constituted sinners.”

Before his resurrection, death had mastery over Jesus not because he sinned, but because he was a man John 8:40,Acts 2:31; 36. If Jesus is equal to the only true God, his Father, then he would not have died to begin with (1 Timothy 1:17 American Standard Version Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen) and Jesus' prayer in Luke 22:42 American Standard Version says, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done, would not make sense. Jesus Christ affirmed his very own dependence upon the Father for his very own life. John 6:57 of the American Standard Version say As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father; so he that eateth me, he also shall live because of me and John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself, even so gave he to the Son also to have life in himself:

  • thx, I don't see the relevance of second section to 'master'.
    – Steve
    Jul 13, 2020 at 10:12
  • @user48152. I probably misunderstood your question. Thanks for your comment.
    – user35499
    Jul 13, 2020 at 11:02

What does 'master' signify?

It shows beyond doubt that Jesus was a man - just as the rest of men since Adam as myriad NT texts show without equivocation. The devil knew exactly who Jesus was - the son of God (Matt 4), he also knew who God was and he wasn't confused as to who was who. The demons knew too.

Acts 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”

Luke 10:17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

James 2:19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder

Matt 8:29 And they cried out, saying, “What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”

The devil knew Jesus was the son of God and tempted him through pride to get leverage into his privileged status.

As Jesus was to be the second and last Adam (human), and die for all creation as per the plan set in motion before the world began, then he had to win a victory over the devil on just terms.

Jesus had to defeat evil as a man under the guidance and power God gave him through the spirit. Satan knew he couldn't beat God at any challenge - but he might just have a slim chance with God's human son! This was his last opportunity.

If Jesus was somehow God - immortal, unable to be tempted, the whole challenge would be declared a foul and God would be justly accused of cheating.

So, Jesus, while he was 'in the flesh' could die and was fully subject to the 'law of sin and death'. Meaning... if he sinned, he could not be raised again.

That we are told, 'he was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin', this would be totally pointless if Jesus could not sin. God cannot be tempted (James 1:13) but Jesus could be tempted.

For we do not have a high priest not being able to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one having been tempted in all things by the same way, without sin. Heb 4:15

Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things Heb 2:17

At no time or place could God (on the construct that Jesus is God) ever find Himself a slave to death or being 'mastered' by death. The idea is preposterous!

Being tempted means being able to sin

He could have sinned, otherwise the whole temptation thing was a sham. Let's be perfectly clear! If Jesus was tempted by the devil from at least the 40 days and nights (Luke 4:2); then EVERY day until his death was the potential to sin. i.e. to put his will before the Father's. This means that he was under the power of, and 'mastered' by the law of sin and death that whole time.

Not just while he was in the grave! (as some have surmised) While he was in the grave, he had already accomplished the victory! He could hardly be subject to death then and didn't have to wait till he was alive again - 'It was already finished!'

That is why he prayed to the Father with 'loud crying' to be saved from death - NOT death on the cross, but the eternal death he would be subject to should he have slipped up and put his will before God's just once!

In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Heb 5:7

Jesus was legally able to live again the moment he died - 'It is finished!' he cried.

When was death defeated?

so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death Heb 2:14

Sin and Death was defeated the moment he died - not when he was raised. (Having maintained his sinlessness to the final moment) Being in the grave was a formal matter of the 3 days and nights - to fulfil the sign as prophesied. He said, he had authority to put his life down and take it up again - only because he had accomplished his mission perfectly and death could not hold him. (Jesus did not raise himself - as we are told quite consistently in over 30 places)

He was now the master of death!

Jesus, the man appointed by God, who made Jesus both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36) born of Mary and lived to die - all according to God's brilliant plan in order to free all from the slavery of death, which he also submitted to for our sake.

Heb 2:14 Now since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity, so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil.

Jesus 'rendered powerless him who had the power of death' If he did this, it was clearly not so before hand. The devil had a power of sin and death, which Jesus was under at every moment until his death.

God is never subject to the devil - Jesus, while in the flesh, was!


It's been suggested that Jesus voluntarily became obedient to death itself.

having been found as a man, he humbled himself, having become obedient unto death -- death even of a cross Phil 2:8 Youngs

He was obedient to his Father - not death! Jesus was subject to 'the law of sin and death', while he was able to sin... then death could hold him permanently. Jesus was obedient to the Father in all matters - up to and including, death on the cross.

Remember, Jesus had his own will - which differed from the Father's will.

John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

Luke 22:42 yet not my will, but yours be done

Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. Heb 5:8


Jesus was a man who “came down from heaven”1 (obviously not just a man then) and was “born under the Law to redeem those who were under the Law.”2 Since “the power of sin is the Law,”3 for “sin is not imputed where there is no Law,”4 then death, and indeed, he who “had the power of death, that is, the devil,”5 held dominion over the Lord Jesus Christ for as long as he lived. Because Satan had the power of death, he was intent on tempting Jesus to sin.


        1 John 6:38
        2 Gal. 4:4–5
        3 1 Cor. 15:56
        4 Rom. 5:13
        5 Heb. 2:14

  • thx. re 1. James 1:17 refutes this premise - unless one thinks the 'gifts' literally descended!
    – Steve
    Jul 12, 2020 at 5:42
  • 1
    Did the gifts themselves say, “We descended?” No. Jesus, a living person, said, “I came down (descended) from heaven.” I don’t see how an unequal comparison on your part refutes anything. Jul 12, 2020 at 5:44

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