| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 52 - Page 174 of 207 Index | Zoom | |
"The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased,
grace increased all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign
through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (verses 20, 21,
6: 1 - 11.
pp. 41 - 45
It is helpful to note the key-words of these inner chapters of Romans. In chapter 5:
it is death; in chapter 6: sin; chapter 7: law; and chapter 8: spirit. In chap.5:
it is a matter of life and death; in chap.6: of sin and righteousness; in chap.7: of
law and grace; and chap.8: of flesh and spirit. The matter contained in chap.6:
arises from the doctrine set forth in 5: 20, 21 that "where sin increased (or abounded)
grace increased all the more". From this a critic of the Apostle might have said, If this is
so, why not go on sinning, so that grace may further increase? The fact is that from time
to time people have criticized the doctrine of grace set forth in Paul's epistles. They
assert that such teaching leads to laxness in conduct. Surely, they argue, if sin is to be
controlled, the best way to do it is to legislate against it. They forget that law merely sets
a standard, but gives no wisdom or power to keep it. In other words the law can never
turn sinners into saints.
We shall have to consider the Scriptural teaching concerning the law later on. For the
moment we would say the main reason for the law in the Bible is to show up sin in its
true colours. The Apostle in this section of the epistle deals with four possible objections
to his teaching and in each case he strongly repudiates it by saying "God forbid" (A.V.).
Other versions render me genoito "by no means!", "certainly not!", or "of course not!".
Then follows in each case his argument to show the falsity of the objection. The four
questions are these:
"Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" (6: 1); the repudiation and
answer (6: 2-14).
"Shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace?" (6: 15); the
repudiation and answer (6: 15 - 7: 6).
"Is the law sin?" (7: 7); repudiation and answer (7: 7-12).
"Was that which is good made death unto me?" (7: 13); repudiation and
answer (7: 13-25).
Let us consider the first objection which opens chapter 6::
"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning, so that grace may increase?"
(Rom. 6: 1, N.I.V.)
The Apostle gives a definite reply straight away: "of course not". Those that asserted
that his doctrine could be construed in this way, had a total misconception of it. As Paul
expressed it so clearly in a later epistle--"we are not saved by good works, but unto good