{3}          Does the Law increase our sin? (Ro 5:20)

Romans 5:20
The law was added that the trespass might increase.

Problem:

         Would God our righteous Father have given Moses the Law in order to increase the sinfulness of the people of Israel?

         Does not the Bible tell us about a God who seeks to bring his lost and fallen creation back into relationship with Himself?

Context:

         Paul presents the contrast between the consequences of sin and Godís gift of salvation in Jesus Christ (Ro 5:12-21). Sin entered the human sphere with Adamís rejection of Godís purpose (5:12). Sin was here from the start, the Law was added much later (5:13). Even without the Law, humans were alienated from Godís purpose (5:13-14).

Explanation:

         Sin can not increase beyond the separation of the whole creation from its Creator.

         The Law serves to demonstrate the reality of sin and so increases manís awareness of the Fall. All men have fallen.

         The law is regarded as a gift from God throughout the Old Testament (7:10).

         Through the Law we become conscious of sin (3:30).

         Paul later states: ďIt is not the law that leads to sinĒ but the Law shows us what sin looks like ďI would not have known what sin looks like except through the Law.Ē (7:7‑8)

         The Law was added because of our transgressions.

Application:

         Separation from God and continuance in Sin was not just an Old Testament problem. In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus admonishes us to keep the Law. Jesus too increases the awareness of sin: anyone who is angry is capable of murder (5:22), anyone who looks at woman in lust is guilty of adultery (5:28).

         Rather the Law as presented in Romans 5:20-21 increases sin by increasing our awareness of it just as Jesus in Matthew 5:17-28 reveals the sinfulness of our thoughts and attitudes. Indeed it is impossible to live apart from sin except through a righteous relationship with Jesus as afforded through his plan of salvation.