Unlimited: Sin Sprang to Life
Nov 18, 2022 288
Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died (Romans 7:9).
Paul has just stated that “apart from the law, sin was dead” (v.9). The apostle now reflects on a time before he knew anything about God’s law, which was when he was a little child. At this time, he says, he “was alive apart from the law.” Although he was a sinner, as is every human being alive, he “was alive” because God did not impute the guilt of his sin to his account (Rom. 5:13).
This is the same principle behind what Paul said in Athens:
In the past God overlooked such ignorance… (Acts 17:39, NIV. Note the KJV: the times of this ignorance God winked at...)
When the commandment came, sin sprang to life.
This doesn’t mean that there isn’t sin, evil, and death that God needs to deal with. He dealt with it all through his Son at the Cross. However, God does not condemn when there is no knowledge of the law. As Paul wrote in Rom. 5:13:
sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law.
Paul is talking about his own experience. At some point in his development, when the knowledge of the commandment came into Paul’s life, it brought with it an awareness of sin, and he found himself under the condemnation of death. It was his awareness, or his perception, that had changed.
To really understand the Gospel, it is important to understand the reality of your condition. Reflect on your own journey. Were you ever “alive apart from the law”? Did sin ever “spring to life”? Have you ever felt under the condemnation of the law? How is the reality you are living today different?