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  • Where There Is No Law . . .

    sin cannot be imputed . . . .

    Romans 5:12-13
    Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    Now, you hear from a lot of folks that God gave the law to the children of Israel and that Gentiles were never under such law. So, my question to them then would be, how could they be judged for their sin if they were never under the law or given the law? Were those who were not under God's law not judged for their sin? After all, this passage says that sin cannot be imputed where there is no law.
    "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

    -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

  • #2
    Originally posted by VerticalReality View Post
    sin cannot be imputed . . . .



    Now, you hear from a lot of folks that God gave the law to the children of Israel and that Gentiles were never under such law. So, my question to them then would be, how could they be judged for their sin if they were never under the law or given the law? Were those who were not under God's law not judged for their sin? After all, this passage says that sin cannot be imputed where there is no law.

    You can here a lot of things but God's written law was given to all mankind. It was just delivered though the children of Isreal. Make verse 12 the bold one and notice 13-17 are in (). God punished Cain before He told him not to kill his brother. God destroyed all but Noah and his family long before "the law" was given. I think He planted guidelines within us before we were born. Some just need to see things on paper (or stone) to say it is law.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Buck shot View Post
      You can here a lot of things but God's written law was given to all mankind. It was just delivered though the children of Isreal. Make verse 12 the bold one and notice 13-17 are in (). God punished Cain before He told him not to kill his brother. God destroyed all but Noah and his family long before "the law" was given. I think He planted guidelines within us before we were born. Some just need to see things on paper (or stone) to say it is law.
      I realize all that. However, how were those folks judged after their death? Was their sin imputed to them, and by what standard were they judged? The same can be said for our judicial laws as well. You can't convict and sentence a man to prison for something if there is not a law given prohibiting it.

      The passage of Scripture given above clearly states that through one man's sin death came to us all. So, people die because that is what sin brings . . . death. So the fact that people died in the flood doesn't really show by what standard they were judged after their death.

      The Scripture says that sin cannot be imputed where there is no law, so how does that apply to folks who were never given the law?
      "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

      -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

      Comment


      • #4
        Greetings VerticalReality,

        Romans 1-2 is where I would start on this (followed by 3-4), before trying to discern what that sentence means. Have you considered the statement in light of those chapters?

        In Christ,
        Josh

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SDG View Post
          Greetings VerticalReality,

          Romans 1-2 is where I would start on this (followed by 3-4), before trying to discern what that sentence means. Have you considered the statement in light of those chapters?

          In Christ,
          Josh
          Yes. I've read them both many many times.
          "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

          -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by VerticalReality View Post
            sin cannot be imputed . . . .



            Now, you hear from a lot of folks that God gave the law to the children of Israel and that Gentiles were never under such law. So, my question to them then would be, how could they be judged for their sin if they were never under the law or given the law? Were those who were not under God's law not judged for their sin? After all, this passage says that sin cannot be imputed where there is no law.
            Paul says we shall be judged by the gospel;
            Rom 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
            Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
            2 Thess 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
            2 Thess 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by VerticalReality View Post
              I realize all that. However, how were those folks judged after their death? Was their sin imputed to them, and by what standard were they judged? The same can be said for our judicial laws as well. You can't convict and sentence a man to prison for something if there is not a law given prohibiting it.

              The passage of Scripture given above clearly states that through one man's sin death came to us all. So, people die because that is what sin brings . . . death. So the fact that people died in the flood doesn't really show by what standard they were judged after their death.

              The Scripture says that sin cannot be imputed where there is no law, so how does that apply to folks who were never given the law?

              Our law also states that "ignorance is no excuse for the law". Now although that statement is referencing the judicial courts of American law, I feel that the same rule applies in the lives of the Gentiles. The law of God was not hidden from them. They have had knowledge of God dating back to their earlier ancestors who where at least familiar with the law of Moses. Once Paul was called, he preached that the salvation of Christ is offered to Jew and Gentile and that the two would no longer be viewed through different means.

              Look at this scripture here:

              Act 9:10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I amhere, Lord.
              Act 9:11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise,and go into the street which is called Straight,and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
              Act 9:12And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
              Act 9:13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
              Act 9:14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
              Act 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
              Act 9:16For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

              It is here that the situation began to change as Jesus became the sacrificial lamb for all of mankind. So in my humble opinion, I would think that they had to have been judged based on the knowledge of the Law that they WERE privy to (primarily the 10 Commandments) prior to Paul's ability to inform them of the New Testiment Laws given to him through Jesus Christ.

              What do you all think??
              Here is where battles are won....


              I Corinthians 10:13 (my verse for a while)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by VerticalReality View Post
                I realize all that. However, how were those folks judged after their death? Was their sin imputed to them, and by what standard were they judged? The same can be said for our judicial laws as well. You can't convict and sentence a man to prison for something if there is not a law given prohibiting it.

                The Scripture says that sin cannot be imputed where there is no law, so how does that apply to folks who were never given the law?
                I guess we will have to wait and see. I know that we are compared to children regularly in the Bible and my children are not punished as much if I have not laid out the law clearly but they are still punished for things I believe they should know better than doing.

                In our legal system ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law. A young driver that violates a law is given the ticket weither he/she realized they had broken the law or not. If you go to a foreign country you will have to follow laws you may not know or pay their penalty.

                Bottom line, I believe the penalty for any sin is bodily death. The penalty for not accepting you are a sinner and accepting the gift of salvation thru Jesus Christ-spiritual death. I don't know how but I believe everyone from every time has or will be given the opportunity to repent and be saved.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The first law:

                  Gen 2:16 The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;
                  Gen 2:17 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 will surely die."

                  Adam and Eve broke this law, and all their offspring inherited guilt, shame, and condemnation. We could say it's not fair that we inherit this, when we did not specifically participate in the breaking of the law; I could also say it's not fair that I inherited hazel eyes.

                  A newborn child is indeed accounted innocent in that it does not even know the law. But still it is born condemned. When it is old enough to understand "yes" from "no," it becomes guilty (and accountable) (see Romans 7).

                  The Law existed before the foundation of the world, as it is a reflection of God's righteousness. It was defined, redefined, and expanded on for mankind as we came, in our fallen state, to know God better. It was most expanded on at Sinai to a "model" people who would demonstrate to the world that it could not ever be kept without a Redeemer, Who would reverse the curse.

                  As for sin being in the world before the law (was given), Satan had already conceived sin and fallen from Heaven, later to appear to Eve in the Garden.
                  Phl 4:11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by VerticalReality View Post
                    sin cannot be imputed . . . .



                    Now, you hear from a lot of folks that God gave the law to the children of Israel and that Gentiles were never under such law. So, my question to them then would be, how could they be judged for their sin if they were never under the law or given the law? Were those who were not under God's law not judged for their sin? After all, this passage says that sin cannot be imputed where there is no law.
                    Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
                    15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another

                    And Romans 1:18 ff tells why God can judge every one. He himself has made himself known to each of us...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bjones View Post
                      Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
                      15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another

                      And Romans 1:18 ff tells why God can judge every one. He himself has made himself known to each of us...
                      So can we conclude then that the unbeliever will not be judged by the law necessarily but by what they knew by their conscience was right and wrong? For example, we will use marriage since it is being debated at length here recently. Does an unbeliever know all of God's law concerning marriage? If an unbeliever does not fulfill God's law concerning marriage, will they be judged by such a law? Will a person living in darkness to God's law be judged by it? It is stated throughout Scripture that many folks just do things that are wrong in ignorance. Many times in ignorance people do things that are sin. These are things that even their conscience didn't inform them was right or wrong. For example, Scripture says that a wife is bound to her husband for as long as he lives . . . no exceptions. Yet, today many women divorce their husbands because they are abusive and go on to marry another man. This is indeed unlawful, and a believer should know that. However, what must the unbeliever do when they come to the knowledge of this law? Will they be judged for what they did before they knew or understood God's law concerning marriage? In 1 Corinthians 7:15 Paul makes it seem as though a believer is no longer in bondage to an unbeliever if the unbeliever departs from their marriage? Why is the unbeliever not expected to uphold God's law concerning marriage? What if this unbeliever eventually gets saved and they realize they did not fulfill God's law concerning their marriage? What then?
                      "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

                      -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by VerticalReality View Post
                        So can we conclude then that the unbeliever will not be judged by the law necessarily but by what they knew by their conscience was right and wrong?
                        Yes. And just as with the law, when they are guilty by one point of their conscience, they are guilty of their whole conscience.

                        When they find out what is right by hearing God speak to their conscience then they should obey him. But they should not dive back into the law.

                        I can trust God to lead them into obedience even if they had no access to the scriptures. So I can certainly trust Him to lead them when they do have access.

                        I cannot trust many well-intentioned Christians to not lead them back under the burden of the law.

                        Will they be judged for what they did before they knew or understood God's law concerning marriage?
                        How much judgment is enough? All of us have been judged already and been found deserving of hell. Will knowledge of one more 'unknown' sin make any difference? How could it possibly matter if they have a full accounting of each and every nuance of sin in their lives, or not?

                        When God makes you aware of sin in your life, repent of it, make restitution where possible, change the behavior so you don't do it anymore, thank Him for forgiveness, and have full confidence that He has "forgiven your sin AND cleansed you from ALL unrighteousness"... even the stuff you still don't realize you did.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Been checking the commentaries...

                          What Paul is saying here is that before the giving of Mosaic Law, death reigned, which shows that sin WAS imputed, which shows that there WAS law present.

                          This is a human-condition-issue, not a Jewish/Gentile issue. It is a confirmation of inherited sin through Adam.
                          Phl 4:11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SIG View Post
                            Been checking the commentaries...

                            What Paul is saying here is that before the giving of Mosaic Law, death reigned, which shows that sin WAS imputed, which shows that there WAS law present.

                            This is a human-condition-issue, not a Jewish/Gentile issue. It is a confirmation of inherited sin through Adam.
                            I'm not sure of 'inherited' sin in tis case. A guilty conscience is not inherited. Paul says their guilty consciences condemned them and that death is the evidence that they were all guilty just like all the Jews were guilty under the law.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The Law had always existed.

                              His people i.e. Israel + those that are of their strangers.... who abide by his Laws, can become his, because of Christ.

                              God Married the Israelite family, and then he divorced them. The Law states, that the only way for her i.e. the woman (Israel) to be free from the law, was for HE i.e. GOD (Yahweah - Jesus) to actually Die. So that she (Israel) can Marry Again a Clean and Pure Bride. Other wise she'd be polluted with all her whoring and being divorced... God being a lawkeeper, Came to Pay for her Redemption so that He could keep his promises to Her in the OT then now fulfilled in the new, and working in progress to find those that want his laws in their hearts fulfillment of Hebrews.

                              Chachynga

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