Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Romans - Chapter Five

Chap 1: Without Excuse
Chap 2: The Law Condemns
Chap 3: There is none righteous
Chap 4: Imputation/Logizomai
Chap 5: Headship/Representation and 1st Adam - 2nd Adam, or 1st Adam - Last Adam.

Alternate Keywords:
Chap 1: The Indictment Begins (Rom 5:18)
Chap 2: (open for suggestions)
Chap 3: All have sinned, Total Depravity
Chap 4: Counted Righteous
Chap 5: Federal Headship (the theological term)

Memory Verses:
Rom 1:20
Rom 2:13
Rom 3:10
Rom 4:3
Rom 5:19

Extended Memory Verses
Chap 1: Rom 1:1, Rom 1:8, Rom 1:16-20
Chap 2: Rom 2:12-16
Chap 3: Rom 3:10-12, Rom 3:18, Rom 3:21, Rom 3:23, Rom 3:28-29
Chap 4: Rom 4:23-25
Chap 5: Whole Chapter (If I had to select only two more Rom 5:8, Rom 5:14)

As we begin to look at Romans Chapter Five, I wanted to preface with a quick discussion of Rom 5:13. I have for many years found this a tough verse to fully understand. Maybe you have it down, but I always pause on this verse to wonder exactly how it should be understood.

Rom 5:13 For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Until the Law: The Law the came through Moses, that period of time from Adam to Moses.

Sin was in the world: There was sin in the world even before Moses brought the law.

But sin is not imputed when there is no law: Sin will not be accounted against anyone when there is no law to be broken.

Some Questions:
Q. How can there be sin at all with no law? It says plainly sin was in the world.
Q. Was there no law before Moses? This verse seems to suggest that.
Q. If sin is not accounted against anyone prior to the law then why was there judgment?
Q. Isn't judgment evidence that sin is counted against those judged. For example the Flood was judgment upon all except eight souls, ie. Noah, his sons and wives.
Q. Didn't individuals evidence a work of the law in their hearts when they approved some things and disapproved others.

For proof that there was evidenced a work of the law written on the heart, not in a regenerative way but as a remnant of that stamp of God's image. As also expressed in:

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:
Rom 2:15 Which show 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;)

Consider the following instances:
Abimelech appealing to the justice of God:
Gen 20:4 But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?

Abimelech acknowledging the sanctity of marriage and the great sin of violating this union:
Gen 20:9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.

Abimelech again in the case of Issac and Rebekah, once more acknowledging the great sin of breaking the marriage union and evidencing that he does by nature things contained in the law:
Gen 26:8 And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife.
Gen 26:9 And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her.
Gen 26:10 And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lain with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us.
Gen 26:11 And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.

We could also mention the nature of Abrham's intercession for Sodom:
Gen 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

ALSO SIN was imputed upon Cain who was judged for killing Abel. Also imputed to Sodom and Gomorrah judged by God not having even ten righteous men.

Perhaps the proper understanding of Rom 5:13 is this:

Look what Adam brought! Adam stood as the HEAD of the whole human race. Death passed upon all men from Adam's representative act.

Since where no law is made, then no man would then be punished. But men were punished and therefore were considered guilty, therefore sin was imputed to them, and thus then there was some law even before Moses. Look what Adam, the Head of all mankind, has brought upon us!

Verse Rom 5:12 enforces this:
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

And Rom 5:14 takes us to the next connection, that as Adam was the HEAD of all that are in Him, he was a figure of CHRIST, who is the HEAD of all that are in HIM.

Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

I leave with you with several commentaries on Rom 5:13 so you can weigh some of the same helps I have been reviewing.

Geneva Bible Notes:

That this is so, that both guiltiness and death began not after the giving and transgressing of law of Moses, is evident in that men died before that law was given: for in that they died, sin, which is the cause of death, existed then: and in such a way, that it was also imputed: because of this it follows that there was then some law, the breach of which was the cause of death.

but sin is not imputed when there is no law. This looks like an objection, that if there was no law before Moses's time, then there was no sin, nor could any action of man be known or accounted by them as sinful, or be imputed to them to condemnation; or rather it is a concession, allowing that where there is no law, sin is not imputed; but there was a law before that law of Moses, which law was transgressed, and the sin or transgression of it was imputed to men to condemnation and death, as appears from what follows.

Further, to clear this, he shows that sin did not commence with the law of Moses, but was in the world until, or before, that law; therefore that law of Moses is not the only rule of life, for there was a rule, and that rule was transgressed, before the law was given. It likewise intimates that we cannot be justified by our obedience to the law of Moses, any more than we were condemned by and for our disobedience to it. Sin was in the world before the law; witness Cain's murder, the apostasy of the old world, the wickedness of Sodom. His inference hence is, Therefore there was a law; for sin is not imputed where there is no law. Original sin is a want of conformity to, and actual sin is a transgression of, the law of God: therefore all were under some law. His proof of it is, Death reigned from Adam to Moses


But sin is not imputed, etc. Without the law reproving us, we in a manner sleep in our sins; and though we are not ignorant that we do evil, we yet suppress as much as we can the knowledge of evil offered to us, at least we obliterate it by quickly forgetting it. While the law reproves and chides us, it awakens us as it were by its stimulating power, that we may return to the consideration of God’s judgment. The Apostle then intimates that men continue in their perverseness when not roused by the law, and that when the difference between good and evil is laid aside, they securely and joyfully indulge themselves, as if there was no judgment to come. But that before the law iniquities were by God imputed to men is evident from the punishment of Cain, from the deluge by which the whole world was destroyed, from the fate of Sodom, and from the plagues inflicted on Pharaoh and Abimelech on account of Abraham, and also from the plagues brought on the Egyptians. That men also imputed sin to one another, is clear from the many complaints and expostulations by which they charged one another with iniquity, and also from the defenses by which they labored to clear themselves from accusations of doing wrong. There are indeed many examples which prove that every man was of himself conscious of what was evil and of what was good: but that for the most part they connived at their own evil deeds, so that they imputed nothing as a sin to themselves unless they were constrained. When therefore he denies that sin without the law is imputed, he speaks comparatively; for when men are not pricked by the goads of the law, they become sunk in carelessness. 165165 This verse, as bearing on the argument, maybe viewed rather differently. This and the following verse contain an explanation or an illustration of the last, Romans 5:12. He states in this verse two things: a fact and a general principle; the fact is, that sin, the first sin in its evident effects, (for he speaks throughout of no other sin, as to Adam, or as producing death,) was in the world before the law of Moses was given; and the general principle he avows is, that no sin is imputed where there is no law. Having made this last admission, he proceeds in the Romans 5:14 to say, that “nevertheless,” or notwithstanding, death, the effect of sin, prevailed in the world, and prevailed even as to those who did not actually or personally sin as Adam did. He takes no account of personal sins, for his object was to show the effects of the first sin. And then he says, that in is respect Adam was a kind of type, a figure, a representative of Christ who was to come; and in the three verses which follow, Romans 5:15, 16, and 17, he traces the similitude between the two, pointing out at the same time the difference, which in every instance is in favor of the last Adam. That τύπος signifies here likeness and not identity, is quite certain, whatever may be its common meaning because its import is exemplified and illustrated in the verses which follow. — Ed.

But Paul wisely introduced this sentence, in order that the Jews might hence more clearly learn how grievously they offended, inasmuch as the law openly condemned them; for if they were not exempted from punishment whom God had never summoned as guilty before his tribunal, what would become of the Jews to whom the law, like a herald, had proclaimed their guilt, yea, on whom it denounced judgment? There may be also another reason adduced why he expressly says, that sin reigned before the law, but was not imputed, and that is, that we may know that the cause of death proceeds not from the law, but is only made known by it. Hence he declares, that all became miserably lost immediately after the fall of Adam, though their destruction was only made manifest by the law. If you translate this adversative δε, though, the text would run better; for the meaning is, that though men may indulge themselves, they cannot yet escape God’s judgment, even when there is no law to reprove them.

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