Last time we read how Paul advised his readers to not sin more so more good will come in. In Romans 3:9-18 Paul puts Jews and Greeks all in the same boat…we are all under sin. Paul then quotes various Tanakh verses to support his point. Paul concludes with this:
Now we know that whatever the Torah says, it speaks to those who are under the Law (Torah), so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to G-d; because by the works of the Torah no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Torah comes the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:19-20
Just before these two verses Paul shows how all have sinned. We know from 1 John 3:4 that sinning is lawlessness or if you will Torahlessness. Yeshua said in Matthew 7:23 ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ Now we know that we have all sinned and we are all accountable to G-d.
If you will remember when we looked at Romans 2, Paul discussed how just having the Torah and performing it without a circumcision of the heart does you no good. Paul was simply gathering knowledge given in the Tanakh. This is not new teaching. There must be an internal obedience to the Torah.
Many times I am asked what is sin. I usually provide verses I provided above, but I think Paul does an excellent job here in verse 20. I am going to have to add this to my definition of sin. Paul says through the Torah comes the knowledge of sin. How do you know what sin is? Through the Torah. So without Torah you cannot know what is a sin. When you sin you are under the Law as Paul puts it. In other words you have a debt to pay for your sin. This is what Yeshua did for us…paid for our sin. This does not mean Yeshua did away with or fulfilled the Torah. We are to live in obedience and not in sin.
So many people want to throw out Torah yet Torah is our definition of sin. Pretty much everyone agrees that we sin. How do you know what sin is if the Torah is thrown out? How is G-d going to hold you accountable if you throw out Torah? If the Torah is thrown out, do you even sin today? Over and over again Yeshua said in one way or another “go and sin no more”. To not sin means to keep the Torah.
I hope this is clear. The amazing thought is the one whom is most quoted for getting rid of the Torah or at least following it says the exact opposite here in Romans 3.
Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!