Romans 4:15 – No law, no transgression04-12-2020 - Posted by Andre Piet
For the law is producing indignation. Now where no law is, neither is there transgression.
If the promise were to depend on the observance of the law, that would nullify the (unconditionality of the) promise. And with that, faith has also been thwarted, since faith with Paul precisely means that everything depends on GOD. That is what the previous verse argued and is explained here (“For…”).
The law, as it came into force at Sinai four centuries later, cannot possibly contribute to the righteousness of man. For where the law comes into force, human failure will necessarily also come to light. And because failure under the law takes on the character of “transgression,” it resulted in sanctions, punishment, and wrath. Before the law, that is, the time from Adam to Moses, 2500 years, there was sin in the world (5:13). Sin means “missing the mark.” All people are sinners, if only because they actually die (5:12). But since the giving of the law, when all the nation of Israel vowed to keep all the precepts (Ex. 19: 8), sin took on the quality of transgression. Sin was henceforth charged and punished.
Only where there is only promise, so without conditions of law, a person lives, completely free from transgression!