07 August, 2019

Romans 7:10—“the commandment … ordained to life”

And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death (Rom. 7:10).

“Romans 7:10 states: ‘And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.’ This verse says that the ordained purpose of God’s commandments is for life. That is, God’s designed purpose in giving the law is for the good of the creature. Sin, in the creature, though, resisting the will of God, turns that which was ordained for its good into its own condemnation—a secondary by-product due to the creature’s sin. Thus, when God ‘now commands all men everywhere to repent’ (Acts 17:30), it is ordained for the life of all creatures.”


Prof. David J. Engelsma

Originally in Paradise, where the human race began, the law was designed to point out the way in which the race would live. Still today, the law points out and calls to the way of life: “Do this and live.” It is not the law’s fault that the law now condemns and damns every human. As Romans 7 clearly states, the trouble is not in the law but in us. What was originally designed to point out the way of life, now, by man’s sin, condemns to death.
The reference to Acts 17 with the erroneous explanation of the call is wrong on two counts. First, the call is not the law’s call, but the call of the gospel. The law does not command to repent, but to live a perfectly obedient life, with the threat that failure means damnation. Second, neither the law nor the gospel is ordained by God for the life of all creatures. Romans 9 teaches that God wills, or ordains, the gospel to harden some. Besides, Romans 7:10 does not use the word “ordains” with regard to the law. The KJV has the word “ordained” in italics, which shows that this word is not in the original Greek. The text says only that the law was “to life” with reference to its function originally. It showed the way of life. Even for Adam, God did not ordain the law unto Adam’s *perpetual* life. If He had, Adam would not have disobeyed. What God “ordains” happens. (DJE, 07/08/2019)



More to come! (DV)

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