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Romans 7:9,10 – The precept for life…how?

06-04-2021 - Posted by Hans

Now I lived, apart from law, once, yet at the coming of the precept Sin revives. Yet I died, and it was found that, to me, the precept for life, this is for death.

Paul shares a personal experience here. He speaks of “I” and “me”. Apparently he means “I once lived without law” to the time before his bar mitzvah (= son of the commandment). From then on at the age of thirteen, a boy becomes personally liable to the law. It also marks the beginning of puberty. The phase in which the hormones stimulate the body and sexual desires explicitly present themselves.

Anyone who tries (certainly in that first phase!) not to covet will notice that this is a losing battle. Then it may be called “the precept for life”, but in practice one hardly has life. Sexuality is an urge of life par excellence, but if that force is not allowed to exist and one tries to suppress it, it becomes “killing”.

“The sin” that Paul is talking about here is how the commandment is understood. Very pious indeed, but that makes it all the more sinful! Because it lacks purpose! The precept is life only to those who consider it to be a promise!