Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 052911
How God has designed the believer to understand the mystery doctrine
and to stimulate our curiosity. Part 2.
We noting one of the most important doctrines the apostle Paul could ever teach us concerning the sovereign will of God and how it relates to the free will of man in that plan given for man to understand his place in that plan.
This principle is a vital part of God’s plan for man to be totally confident and convinced of his calling and his election, both of which guarantee and promise the believer of a fantastic life in time, but most of all, for all of eternity.
Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; (2PE 1:10)
Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life [that is this life] and godliness [the spiritual life], through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
Then there’s the second half of the statement which is man’s calling and election guarantee and promise the believer of a fantastic life in time, but most of all, for all of eternity.
In 1TI 4:7-8 the Message Bible translation says, Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.
So the first subject Paul wants us to master concerning the book of life is the three-fold doctrinal principle concerning imputation.
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].
In ROM 5:13, for until the Law…
The Greek word for law is nomou and it refers to the Mosaic Law. This refers to a certain period of history from Adam to the Law. 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 also 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 the Greek word hamartia which refers to personal sin and which is defined by the Mosaic Law. 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.
We sin because we have the trends of Adam which 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. 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. And 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 why 2CO 5:19 says, 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. And remember that we are spiritually dead before we commit our first personal sin.
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. This is because 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. 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.
Now, 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. It points the way to divorce and to remarriage to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith at salvation.
This is what ROM 7:1-4 is all about.
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 exposes sin, that’s its purpose!
Because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. (ROM 3:20)
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 Law 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.
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.
This is the Gospel, 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.
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