The Law is HOLY.
In Romans 7-12 Paul states that the law is Holy
Romans 7-12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
It is therefore asserted, by those that claim we are under the law today, that Paul affirms the law is Holy and so is binding today.
I most certainly will agree with Paul’s statement, the law is Holy. The law was given by God and so it is a Holy law. But what this doesn’t say is that the law is still binding on Christians today. Just because the law is stated as being Holy does not in any way support the claim that it is still in effect today.
We must look at the context of this verse and not simply this verse alone, in order to ascertain what Paul was actually meaning by his statement in the verse.
In Romans 7, Paul turns his attention from the church at Rome to the Israelites, the ones to who the law was given.
Romans 7- 1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
This is a vitally important point. Paul is NOT addressing gentiles here.
Paul then makes the argument that those under the law have died to the law and so that they could marry another. The Israelites were married to God through the law. Paul uses the law itself, the law that explains how a woman can remarry if her husband dies, to demonstrate his point about those that were under the law being free from the law in order that they may remarry.
Romans 7- 2For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 5For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
Paul states that we serve in the spirit and not in the letter (of the law)
Worship him in spirit.
Paul saying that those under the law, being dead to the law through Christ, were now free from the law.
Paul states in chapter 6 that we are free from sin through dying with Christ and being raised in newness of life.
Romans 6- 3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7For he that is dead is freed from sin.8Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him
Being freed from sin which is the transgression of the law. So having died to the law we are freed from sin as sin is not imputed where there is no law.
Romans 5-3 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
So if we are dead to the law and there is no law then our sin is not imputed and so our sin is not accounted upon us.
However Paul then makes the argument that although he is proclaiming that those who were under the law are no longer under it, he is not saying that the law was a bad thing, in fact the law itself was Holy.
Romans 7- 7 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.
The law as he states in verse 7 is NOT sin. Sin is the transgression of the law, not that the law itself is sin.
He explains that the law shows what sin is.
Paul then continues that it is by the law that he once was dead. The law showed his sin as sin and as such he died because of it.
Romans 7- 8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 9For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. 11For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
Romans 3-20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
And it is for this reason that Paul says the law is Holy.
Romans 7- 12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
Paul uses the word wherefore to indicate what he had just said is the reason that the law was Holy. Because it convicted a person of their sin. Sins power or strength is the law.
1 Corinthians 15-56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
The weakness is not in the law but in us. If there was no commandment then there would be no sin. Sin is the transgression of the commandment not the law (see my writing on this subject). The law imputes that sin. When sin is imputed it brings death.
The law correctly showed a person’s sin. Therefore the law was Holy. It did not falsely accuse anyone but simply imputed sin upon the person.
Paul then argues that it was NOT the fault of the law , which he says is GOOD, that brought death but sin. The law made sin sinful by imputing the sin which is the transgression of the commandment.
Romans 7- 13Was 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.
Paul again is arguing that it is not the law that is the problem but sin.
Paul even calls the law spiritual BUT in the same statement states that he is carnal.
Romans 7- 14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
Sold under sin. Paul here referring to being a slave to sin. In bondage to sin through the law.
Paul then talks of the struggle with sin. Though he wishes to do that which is right, sin dwells within him.
Romans 7- 15For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Paul further expounds upon the struggle between the mind and the body regarding sin.
Romans 7- 21I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Paul then asks who will save him (a wretched man) from death
Romans 7- 24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Paul thanks God through Jesus, Before Paul makes the distinction between the law of God which he serves with his mind and the law of sin which he serves with the body.
Romans 7 – 25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Paul’s whole argument is that the law brings death as we serve sin the law, which is Holy and good, can only bring death seeing we are sinful. Sin is made sinful through the law. The purpose of the law being to show us sin. The law having been removed by Jesus no longer stands as a witness against our sin and so our sin is not imputed. The law brings death but through Jesus we are made alive.