Alive Without the Law (Part 1)Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, January 29, 2012.
Alive Without the Law (Rom 7:9) I. The purpose of this study is to provide a proper Biblical understanding of Rom 7:7-13 and to answer the following questions: 1. Was Paul referring to being spiritually alive (in possession of eternal life) when he said that he was "alive without the law once"? 2. Was Paul referring to living in sinless innocence prior to the law coming to him when he wrote "without the law sin was dead"? 3. Did Paul die spiritually when the commandment came and sin revived and slew him? 4. If not, then what kind of death was he referring to? 5. Does Rom 7:9 disprove the Biblical doctrine which teaches that mankind are conceived and born in sin which was passed to them by Adam? II. Spiritual death - the natural state of man. 1. The first man Adam was created in sinless innocence and placed in the garden of Eden (Gen 1:27,31). 2. He was given a law from God, which, if broken, would result in Adam's death the day he broke it (Gen 2:17). 3. Adam rebelled and broke God's law and he died that day spiritually, not physically (Gen 3:6-7). A. When Adam sinned, sin entered the world and death by sin, and death was passed upon all men (Rom 5:12). B. The death that was passed to all men because of Adam's sin was not only physical death, but it was spiritual death of judgment and condemnation (Rom 5:18). C. By Adam's sin, his posterity were made sinners (Rom 5:19). D. This spiritual death reigned even over those who did not sin after the similitude of Adam's sin (Rom 5:14). 4. So far reaching was the effect of Adam's sin, that it reached to man in his: A. Youth (Gen 8:21; Pro 22:15). B. Birth (Psa 58:3). C. Conception (Psa 51:5). 5. This is why the Bible says that men are sinners by nature (Eph 2:3). 6. Nature - I. 1. a. The essential qualities or properties of a thing; the inherent and inseparable combination of properties essentially pertaining to anything and giving it its fundamental character. III. "Without the law sin was dead" 1. Sin is the transgression of the law (1Jo 3:4). 2. Where there is no law, there is no sin (Rom 4:15). 3. The law doesn't cause sin, it brings knowledge of it (Rom 7:7 c/w Rom 3:20). 4. Sin is not imputed when there is no law (Rom 5:13). A. Imputed - 1. Charged (as a fault); attributed or ascribed. B. Attributed - 1. Given as an attribute or appropriate possession; ascribed as proper to. C. Ascribe - v. II. To enter into an account, to reckon, count. 5. trans. To enter (a thing) to in an account, to set it to the credit of; to assign, attribute, impute, refer as due or owing to. D. Impute v. - 1. a. trans. To bring (a fault or the like) into the reckoning against; to lay to the charge of; to attribute or assign as due or owing to E. Sin was not imputed (counted, accounted, reckoned) in the days between Adam and Moses before the law of Moses came, but it was still imparted, in that nevertheless death reigned during that time. F. Impart v. - 1. trans. To give a part or share of; to make another a partaker of; to bestow, give, communicate. i. Adam imparted sin to us, not God (Rom 5:19). ii. Christ imparted righteousness to us (Rom 5:19). iii. When we believe, righteousness is imputed to us (Jam 2:23). iv. When we break the law and sin, sin is imputed to us (Rom 5:13). 5. Thus was it the case with Paul who was "without the law" (Rom 7:9). A. Without the understanding and conviction of the law which brought the knowledge of sin (Rom 7:7 c/w Rom 3:20 c/w 1Co 15:56), sin was "dead". i. Paul's sin was not imputed to him (charged as a fault), but he was most definitely a sinner under condemnation at that time due to both Adam's and his own sin (Rom 5:12; Rom 3:23; Ecc 7:20). 1) Ignorance of sin doesn't pardon or extinguish it; it's still sin (Lev 5:15,17; 1Pe 1:14-16). 2) The wages of sin is still death, regardless of a man's knowledge of it (Rom 6:23). ii. Sin was dead to him in the sense of not being active in condemning him through his conscience. iii. Dead - III. Without animation, vigour, or activity; inactive, quiet, dull. 16. a. Without vigour or animation, lifeless. iv. It is in this sense that this death of sin (sin being dead) is to be understood because the sin that was dead later revived (Rom 7:9). v. Revive - 1. To return to consciousness; to recover from a swoon or faint. vi. Paul's sin was not dead in the sense of "That has ceased to live; deprived of life; in that state in which the vital functions and powers have come to an end, and are incapable of being restored " (OED I.1 definition), but rather it was unconscious without animation. vii. Job gave an illustration of this from nature (Job 14:8-9). IV. "Alive without the law" 1. It was before proved that Paul was not spiritually alive from the time of his birth until he consciously sinned, because he inherited Adam's sin (Rom 5:12). A. Paul was a sinner by nature who was born dead in his sins (Eph 2:1-3). B. Nature n. - I. 1. a. The essential qualities or properties of a thing; the inherent and inseparable combination of properties essentially pertaining to anything and giving it its fundamental character. 2. Paul's being "alive" without the law CANNOT refer to eternal life because in the same verse he said "...but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died" (Rom 7:9). A. Eternal life is just that: it's eternal. B. Eternal - 1. a. Infinite in past and future duration; without beginning or end; that always has existed and always will exist: esp. of the Divine Being. 3. a. Infinite in future duration; that always will exist; everlasting, endless. ¶The New Testament expressions eternal life, death, punishment, etc. are here referred to sense 3, this being the sense in which the adj. in such contexts is ordinarily taken. (OED) C. Jesus said of His sheep, "And I give unto them eternal life; AND THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH, neither shall any man pluck them our of my hand" (Joh 10:28). D. Never - 1. At no time, on no occasion. E. Temporary eternal life is an oxymoron!!! F. Therefore, since Paul "died" after being "alive", the being "alive" that Paul wrote of had to be life that was something other than eternal life (spiritual life). 3. Paul's being "alive" without the law CANNOT refer to physical life because, once again, in the same verse he said "...but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died" (Rom 7:9). A. Nowhere in the Bible do we read of Paul being physically resurrected, and since he was alive when writing of his "death" in the past, it stands to reason that he was not speaking of physical death. B. This point is so obvious that it is unnecessary to make. 4. Therefore this being "alive without the law" must refer to something other than physical or spiritual life, as will be shown in the next section. V. When was Paul ever "without the law"? 1. Paul was born a Jew (Phi 3:5; Act 22:3). 2. He was brought up and taught at the feet of Gamaliel (Act 22:3). A. Paul was educated in the law from his childhood. B. Bring - 27. bring up. a. To bring into a higher position; to elevate, raise, rear, build up; to raise to a point or amount, etc. See senses of up. b. To rear from childhood; to educate, breed. C. Gamaliel was a reputable doctor of the law and a wise man (Act 5:34-39). 3. Paul was a Pharisee after the most straitest sect of the Jewish religion (Act 26:5). 4. He was the cream of the crop, more zealous than most (Phi 3:4-6). 5. He advanced, progressed, and grew in the Jews' religion more than many of his peers (Gal 1:14). A. Profit v. I. 1. intr. To make progress; to advance, go forward; to improve, prosper, grow, increase (in some respect). B. Prosper - 1. a. intr. Of a person, community, etc.: To be prosperous, fortunate, or successful; to flourish, thrive, succeed, do well. 6. Paul kept the law blamelessly (Phi 3:6). 7. He had lived in all good conscience (Act 23:1; Act 24:16; 2Ti 1:3), even when persecuting the church (Act 26:9). 8. He was confident in his flesh (Phi 3:4). 9. Paul was never without the law in the sense of not being in possession of it and knowing it, but he was without it in the sense of being without the understanding of how it condemned his sin and convicted him. 10. It was in this sense that he was "alive without the law". A. He was confident in his own righteousness, unaware of his sin, and his conscience was not condemning him. He was living! B. Alive - 1. a. In life; in the living state; living.
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