Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 052211
How God has designed the believer to understand the mystery doctrine and to stimulate our curiosity.
The question that the apostle Paul asked as a rhetorical question that wasn’t to be answered, but was really designed to stimulate our curiosity. His questions that I’m referring to are found in ROM 11:33-36,
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. (ROM 11:33-36)
What Paul reveals was not based upon his human I.Q. because that would be a contradiction of what he taught in such passages like GAL 3:26-28.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (EPH 3:26-28)
Equal privilege and equal opportunity reveals that all of us have had to have our name written in the book of life.
For the Bible teaches us that Adam and the woman were created perfect; we were born in sin. They were in perfect environment; we are in the devil’s world.
They were objects of the personal love of God; we are fallen sinners and under the justice of God. They were under one negative mandate only.
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” (GEN 2:16-17)
They were under one negative mandate only; we are under many commands, as JAM 2:10 teaches. However, the thing we have going for us over them is that we are under the grace of God, EPH 2:8-10, COL 2:6. And grace can do more for us than love!
For example, love cannot save, grace can. In JOH 3:16, “For God so loved the world,”
However, in 2TH 2:10, they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
On the other hand EPH 2:8, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
This is why I said the justice of God can provide blessings in time which exceeds the blessings of the Garden of Eden.
If God provided the greater, blessings in time from His justice, it follows a fortiori that He can provide the less, blessings in eternity.
It is much easier for God to bless us in eternity where there is no old sin nature, no devil, no sin, and no distractions. And remember blessings in time glorify God as well as being a source of something wonderful to us.
ISA 26:15, Thou hast increased the nation, O Lord, Thou hast increased the nation, Thou art glorified;
ISA 60:21, “Then all your people will be righteous; The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified.”
In JOH 14:13 our Lord said, “And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
So, blessings in time glorify God as well as being a source of something wonderful to us. In fact, blessings in time for the mature believer are greater than what Adam had in the garden. And you will notice always who gets the credit.
There is the grace pipeline which has on one end the justice of God, and on the other end there is the imputed righteousness of God. It’s a grace process all the way. So the justice of God does something better for us then the love of God could do for Adam and the woman in the garden.
The justice of God takes the environment of the devil’s world and produces an encapsulation through the baptism of the Holy Spirit’s retro-active positional truth which produces a more secure and better environment for the imputation of blessing to the mature believer. This encapsulation is what we might also call the wall of fire!
Paul never got familiar with God’s word which allowed him and motivated as to write such things as the apostle did in;
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. (ROM 11:33-36)
ROM 5:12, Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin [the sin of Adam] entered into the world [the area in which it entered, the devil’s world], and death [spiritual death] through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned [all sinned when Adam sinned].
Then in ROM 5:13, for until the Law,
The word Law is nomou and it refers to the Mosaic Law. This refers to a certain period of history from Adam to the Law. And that includes the dispensation of the Gentiles and part of the age of the Jews. It includes man’s time of perfection in the Garden. It includes the fall of man. It goes from Adam to Abel to Enoch to Noah to Abraham to Isaac to Jacob to Joseph all the way to Moses and when the Law was given.
So it covers a certain period of human history.
ROM 5:13 for until the Law sin [that’s personal sin] was in the world;
We have the nominative singular from hamartia which refers to personal sin which is defined by the Mosaic Law.
Now remember again about personal sins. None of us are spiritually dead because of our personal sins. We are spiritually dead because Adam’s original sin was imputed to its genetic home, the old sin nature at the point of physical birth.
The point is that from Adam to Moses spiritual death still existed even when there was no Law to follow. And we sin because we have the trends of Adam that were passed down to us from Adam to our genetically formed old sin nature in the body. This simply means that spiritual death was in the world before any laws from God were given to follow.
Therefore, man’s problem was not his personal sins, since there was no law to identify all personal sins, man’s problem was inherited sin or the fact that he has an old sin nature and he was born spiritually dead.
Personal sin is the result of spiritual death not the means. And part of the Mosaic Law’s function is to define personal sin and the Mosaic law as a definer of personal sin, did not exist from Adam to Moses.
The point that Paul is making is that with or without the Mosaic Law, man is spiritually dead because personal sins are not the basis for spiritual death. We are spiritually dead without any personal sins on our part being involved.
Whether personal sin is defined by the law or not, the condemnation of spiritual death is there already. Condemnation from the justice of God originates from the imputation of Adam’s sin to the human race and not the imputation of personal sins. This is why2CO 5:19 says, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
ROM 5:13, for until the Law sin [personal sin] was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law or when the Mosaic Law did not exist.
This does not mean that we are not disciplined for personal sin; it simply means that it was not imputed to us. The imputation of one man’s sin, Adam’s original sin, is the basis for condemnation while the imputation of One’s righteousness, God, is the basis for justification. This means that we have one imputation to condemnation and one imputation to justification.
When you receive the first imputation, you are born. When you receive the second imputation, you are born again. Between the two imputations, the issue of personal sins was taken care of by God. All personal sins in all of human history were collected and imputed to Christ and judged. Therefore, condemnation comes to the human race at birth while justification comes to the human race at the new birth.
ROM 5:13, For until the [Mosaic] Law, [personal] sin was in the world, but [personal] sin was not imputed when the[Mosaic] Law did not exist.
Paul wrote this because some of the Jewish believers in Rome had distorted the Mosaic Law into a system of legalism. They contended that man must keep the Law to be saved or to be blessed by God. And they held the opinion that man is condemned for failure to live up to the Law’s perfect demands.
But Paul disarms these legalists by taking the Law out of their hands. In illustrating God’s actions toward sin, Paul deliberately chooses the period of history when the Law did not exist. That’s why in ROM 5:13, Paul explains that our personal sins were not imputed to us. In fact, they had not yet been committed when we were condemned.
All mankind was condemned at the same time, in Adam before any of us sinned personally. We were totally condemned at the Fall, long before personal sin was defined and categorized for the Jews at Mount Sinai.
The Mosaic Law is an indispensable part of the Word of God; it includes far more than the Ten Commandments. It defines human freedom and morality according to the laws of divine establishment. The Mosaic Law also defines personal sin, in terms of man’s failure to match up to the essence of God, and relates sin to its original penalty, spiritual death. The Law reveals man’s condemnation, denounces man’s resources as a means of reaching God, and excludes human righteousness as a claim on divine blessing.
The Law was never designed to produce self-righteousness. The Law has a limited role; it is a minor actor that entered the stage to play a minor part, as we will see in ROM 5:20. The Law actually served in the role of a marriage counselor, it tells us in no uncertain terms that we have a bad marriage to the tyrannical old sin nature. And it points the way to divorce and to remarriage to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith at salvation.
Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then if, while her husband is living, she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God. (ROM 7:1-4)
The Law served in the role of a marriage counselor telling us that we have a bad marriage to the old sin nature. It points the way to divorce and to remarriage to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith at salvation.
So, the Law ex­poses sin, that’s its purpose!
ROM 3:20, because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
Look at ROM 7:7, What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.”
The Mosaic shows us we have a problem, and reveals the solu­tion in a detailed delineation of the Gospel. But the Law itself is not the solu­tion to sin. And before the time of Moses, everyone sinned; after Moses, everyone still sins, 1JO 1:8, 10. In other words, the coming of the Law made no difference.
This also means that the Mosaic Law has nothing whatever to do with our condemnation. In fact, before the Law came on the scene, we were already totally condemned.
Personal sins, so clearly defined by the Law, are not imputed to man for condemnation. This has always been the case, long before and long after Moses climbed Mount Sinai. This is why Paul defines the Gospel specifically in terms of the non-imputation of personal sins.
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting [imputing] their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2CO 5:18-21)
This is the Gospel or the good news! David, who lived in the Age of Israel after the Mosaic Law had been given, rejoiced in the fact that personal sins are not imputed to anyone but Christ. This is the doctrine of unlimited atonement from the standpoint of personal sin.
David said in PSA 32:2, How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
In fact Paul quotes this verse also in ROM 4:6-8, just as David also speaks of the blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works: Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.
In His omniscience, God found a way to save man without compromising His own integrity.
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