“ For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. “
“ For we know that the law is spiritual: “
The Greek word “ pneumatikos “ translated “ spiritual “ means non-carnal, divinely supernatural, religious, spiritual.
If you remember in my earlier study we learned that Paul called the Law holy just and good.
“ Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. “ Romans 7:12
Paul also called the Law our schoolmaster, leading us to Jesus.
“ Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. “ Galatians 3:24-26
“ but I am carnal, “
The Greek word “ sarkinos “ translated “ carnal “ means fleshly, and implies being like an animal and even unregenerate.
Notice Paul said;
“ I am carnal, “
“ I was carnal “.
This is the same Paul that said believers in Jesus are perfect;
“ Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded:... “ Philippians 3:15
but also said he was not perfect nor even had attained or arrived to perfection;
“ Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. “ Philippians 3:12
Since everything about our salvation hinges on our faith, if we keep our faith to our dying breath, we will be made perfect in Christ.
“ sold under sin. “
The Greek word “ pepramenos “ translated “ sold “ means having been sold, to traffic, to dispose of, to sell.
By legal process of the Law, sin sold us to itself and became rightful owner of us.
This is why God purchased us back to Himself through the shedding of His blood;
“ Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. “ Acts 20:28
“ Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. “ Ephesians 1:14
As I said in my earlier studies, Paul looks at sin as an entity.
Upon disobedience the Law gives sin the legal right to do what it wants with human beings.
Remember what Paul said earlier about the Law and sin;
“ But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. “ Romans 7:8
My friend, the Law is spiritual in that it makes us see our need for Jesus.
I will continue with verse 15 in the next study.
“ Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. “
“ Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. “
Paul is saying that even though the Law gave sin the legal right to condemn us to eternal hell, gave sin the legal right to own us as slaves, gave sin the legal right to deceive us and murder us... according to the verse of our study the Law is still;
“ holy, and just, and good. “
Do not ever forget the Law came from God.
Always remember what Jesus said about the Law;
“ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teachthem,the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. “ Matthew 5:17-19
Also remember what Paul said about the Law;
“ Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. “ Galatians 3:21-26
While there are a million things in the Law that are not humanly possible to do, there are things in the Law that we can do and that God expects us to do as believers and followers of Jesus;
“ Honour thy father andthymother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. “ Matthew 19:19
“ Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the secondislike unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.“ Matthew 22:36-40
“ And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
And Jesus answering said, A certainmanwent down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and woundedhim,and departed, leavinghimhalf dead.
And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and lookedon him,and passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassionon him,
And went tohim,and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gavethemto the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.“ Luke 10:25-37
“ Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. “
Paul is saying that the Law still exists and will never be destroyed.
It is the Law that makes sin what it is...sin.
“ But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; ”
The Law, being good, makes sin a horrible entity...contrary to the opinion of society.
Sin murders, deceives, corrupts, enslaves, and condemns to eternal hell anyone who does not believe in Jesus Christ.
“ that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. “
The Greek words Paul used in this phrase “ genetai kath huperbolen “ translated “ might become exceeding “ means will become exceeding great.
Jesus said sin will increase before He returns;
“ And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.“ Matthew 24:11-13
The Law is not our enemy.
Sin is our enemy.
This is one of many reasons people need Jesus.
And yes, my friend, Jesus is God.
Thomas called Jesus his Lord and his God;
“ And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessedarethey that have not seen, andyethave believed.“ John 20:28-29
Praise the name of Jesus forever!
I will continue with verse 14 in the next study.
“ And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.“
“ And the commandment, which was ordained to life,”
Paul is referring to what God said in Leviticus.
“ Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD. “ Leviticus 18:5
Here is the clincher;
“ which if a man do,“
God knew no human being could fulfill the Law.
“...which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. “
Paul is not saying that God deceived anyone by coming up with the Law.
Paul told us in Galatians that the Law was designed by God to point us to Jesus.
The Law shows us that we need Jesus in order to make it to Heaven.
“ For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.“
Paul is saying that it is not the Law that deceives people but rather it is sin that deceives people.
Though sin being deceptive, it legally by the Law can sentence a human being to eternal damnation in hell for breaking the Law...even if it is breaking only one commandment in the Law.
“ For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. “ James 2:10
The Law was not intended to deceive us but rather make us realize we cannot not live up to it.
According to the verse of our study, when Paul learned the Law and then broke it, he admitted sin, by the right of the Law, murdered him;
“...and by it slew me.“
This is one of the many differences between the Law and grace.
Now, as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, having put our inner faith in Jesus, we are no longer under the death penalty granted by the Law to sin, and condemnation granted by the Law to sin to legally condemn us to eternal hell, when we sin.
If you remember in my earlier study we learned that Paul said we are free from this condemnation because of the grace of Jesus Christ in whom we put our faith;
“ But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. “ Romans 6:22-23
A born again follower of Jesus Christ has no fear of physical death when the time to physically die comes. Because of our faith in Him, Jesus gives peace and assurance in our heart that we will be eternally with Him in Heaven when we draw that last breath in this earthly life...not in eternal hell.
While belonging to Jesus we are not under the legal right of the condemnation of sin given to it by the Law.
If you know anyone who fears physical death, they need Jesus in their heart.
I will continue with verse 12 in the next study.
“ For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. “
“ For I was alive without the law once: “
Notice Paul said he was once alive without “ the Law ”...not alive without sin.
Remember that Paul said by one man sin entered into the world;
“ 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:
(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 them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. “ Romans 5:12-14
Every human being is a sinner.
Technically, just as we who are spiritually dead from birth because of Adam's transgression but yet we still exist, likewise sin is dead ( but still exists ) until we knowingly break either the Law of God that He put in our heart even before the Law of Moses or break the written Law of Moses.
An infant at birth, not able to know right from wrong is not under the condemnation of the Law of Moses nor under the Law God put in the infant's heart. Since the infant does not know how to willfully choose to disobey God and commit sin - sin, though dead but yet existing, cannot “ revive “ in the infant as long as the infant does not know right from wrong and though, through the infant breaking the Law, sentence the infant to eternal damnation in hell, as Paul described what happened to him in the verse of our study, when he came to learn and understand the Law of God in his heart and the Law of Moses.
This is why babies that die during abortions, crib death, miscarriage or however they die, will automatically go to Heaven to be with Jesus.
Praise the Lord.
This is one reason Jesus said;
“ But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.“ Luke 18:16
This is precious.
If you remember in my earlier study in the book of Romans we learned that Paul said;
“ For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
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:
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;) “ Romans 2:12-15
Paul is not contradicting himself in this statement.
It confirms his statement in the verse of our study.
A person who knowingly disobeys God has committed sin. Sin revived, and by the Law sentenced them to eternal damnation in hell.
This is why Paul was referring to people who sin;
“ For as many as have sinned “
Paul was referring to people who knowingly sin, though never having heard the Law of Moses but still have the Law God put in their heart even before Moses wrote the Law, people who know right from wrong because of the Law God put in their heart.
This is why Paul said they will perish even without the Law of Moses because of the Law God put in their heart in which they disobeyed and fully had sin imputed unto them.
“ but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. “
During Paul's early life, sin was dead and was not imputed to him until he learned right from wrong.
Then, sin could do by the Law in sentencing Paul to eternal damnation in hell, legally by the Law.
And yes, even though Paul died because of sin he still existed.
It was when he put his faith in Jesus that he came back to life.
Technically, as with anyone who comes to believe in Jesus, we die again with Jesus and are resurrected with Jesus unto eternal life with Jesus.
Complicated, but Biblical.
God never ceases to amaze me.
The Lord bless you.
I will continue with verse 10 in the next study.
“ What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. “
“ What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. “
Paul was quoting Exodus 20:17;
“ Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. “
No, the Law is not sin. Just because the Law condemns us to eternal damnation in hell does not mean it is sin.
Living contrary to the Law is sin.
John said in his later epistle;
“ Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. “ 1 John 3:4
If you remember in my earlier study in the book of Romans we learned that Paul said;
“ 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: “ Romans 2:14
The reason for this statement Paul made is because God put His truth and knowledge of His righteousness and the knowledge of right and wrong in the conscience of the human race from the beginning;
“ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. “ Romans 1:18-21
Since nobody can live up to God's Law and His standard of righteousness, we need a Savior and that Savior is Jesus Christ.
“ But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. “
The Greek word “ epithumian “ translated “ concupiscence “ means longing, desire, lust.
Paul is telling us that sin, working against the truth and knowledge of God and His righteousness that God put in the conscience of the human race before the Law was written and then later put in the written Law, enticed him to commit all manner of sin and to desire sin.
Between what Paul and John said, sin is dead without the knowledge of the truth of God and His righteousness and what is revealed in the written Law.
Adam and Eve had the will to choose to disobey God.
As a result of disobedience, they became slaves to sin, condemned to eternal hell without God.
Not only Adam and Eve but all the human race is condemned to eternal hell without God.
The only way to avoid this is to believe in God's Son Jesus as Lord and Savior of our soul.
“ 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: “ Romans 5:12
“ But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. “ Romans 5:15
“ For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) “ Romans 5:17
“ For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. “ Romans 5:19
It is interesting that Paul seems to look at sin as an entity.
“ For without the law sin was dead. “
Though satan tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God, sin was not present until they disobeyed God.
I will continue with verse 9 in the next study.