Romans 7:9
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.

New Living Translation
At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life,

English Standard Version
I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.

Berean Study Bible
Once I was alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.

Berean Literal Bible
And I once was alive apart from Law; but the commandment having come, sin revived, and I died;

New American Standard Bible
I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died;

King James Bible
For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Once I was alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life

International Standard Version
At one time I was alive without any connection to the Law. But when the rule was revealed, sin sprang to life,

NET Bible
And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive

New Heart English Bible
I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But I was alive without The Written Law at first, but when the commandment came, sin lived, and I died.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
At one time I was alive without any laws. But when this commandment came, sin became alive

New American Standard 1977
And I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died;

Jubilee Bible 2000
So that without the law I lived for some time; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

King James 2000 Bible
For I was alive apart from the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

American King James Version
For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

American Standard Version
And I was alive apart from the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died;

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I lived some time without the law. But when the commandment came, sin revived,

Darby Bible Translation
But I was alive without law once; but the commandment having come, sin revived, but I died.

English Revised Version
And I was alive apart from the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died;

Webster's Bible Translation
For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

Weymouth New Testament
Once, apart from Law, I was alive, but when the Commandment came, sin sprang into life, and I died;

World English Bible
I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

Young's Literal Translation
And I was alive apart from law once, and the command having come, the sin revived, and I died;
Study Bible
God's Law is Holy
8But sin, seizing its opportunity through the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from the Law, sin is dead. 9Once I was alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10So I discovered that the very commandment that was meant to bring life actually brought death.…
Cross References
Romans 7:8
But sin, seizing its opportunity through the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from the Law, sin is dead.

Romans 7:10
So I discovered that the very commandment that was meant to bring life actually brought death.
Treasury of Scripture

For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

For I.

Matthew 19:20 The young man said to him, All these things have I kept from my youth …

Luke 10:25-29 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, …

Luke 15:29 And he answering said to his father, See, these many years do I serve …

Luke 18:9-12,21 And he spoke this parable to certain which trusted in themselves …

Philippians 3:5,6 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe …

without.

Matthew 5:21 You have heard that it was said of them of old time, You shall not …

Matthew 15:4-6 For God commanded, saying, Honor your father and mother: and, He …

Mark 7:8-13 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of …

but.

Romans 3:19,20 Now we know that what things soever the law said, it said to them …

Romans 10:5 For Moses describes the righteousness which is of the law, That the …

Psalm 40:12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: my iniquities have …

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for …

James 2:10,11 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, …

sin.

Romans 7:21-23 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me…

Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject …

and I died.

Romans 7:4,6 Why, my brothers, you also are become dead to the law by the body …

Romans 7:11 For 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 …

Galatians 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live to God.

(9) I was alive.--The state of unconscious morality, uninstructed but as yet uncondemned, may, compared with that state of condemnation, be regarded as a state of "life."

Revived.--The English version well represents the meaning of the original, which is not that sin "came to life," but that it "came to life again." Sin is lurking in the heart from the first, but it is dormant until the Commandment comes; then it "revives."

I died.--Became subject to the doom of eternal death.

Verses 9-11. - For I was alive without (or, apart from) law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived (or, sprang into life), and I died. And the commandment, which was unto life, this I found to be unto death, For sin, taking occasion, through the commandment deceived me, and through it slew me. If, in saying, "I was alive once," the writer is at all remembering his own experience, the reference may be to the time of the innocence of childhood, before he had any distinct consciousness of the behests of law. Or it may be that he is only imagining a possible state without any consciousness of law, so as to bring out more forcibly the operation of law. On the general drift of ver. 9, Calvin says tersely, "Mors peccati vita est hominis: rursum vita peccati mors hominis." In ver. 11 the conception of sin's action is the same as in ver. 8; but the verb now used is ἐξηπάτησε, with obvious reference to Eve's temptation, which is regarded as representing ours (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:3). The view of the origin of human sin presented to us in Genesis is that man at first lived at peace with God; but that the commandment," Thou shalt not eat of it, lest thou die," was taken advantage of by the "serpent" (answering to personified ἁμαρτία in the passage before us), inspiring sinful lust; and that so the commandment (i.e. law), though in itself holy, became the occasion of sin, and of death as its consequence; and further, that all this came about through delusion (ἐξηπάτησε). The thing desired was not really good for man; but the ἐπιθυμία inspired by the tempter caused it to seem so. One great purpose of regenerating grace is to dispel this delusion; to bring us back to the true view of things as they are, and so to peace with God. Thus, in part, does the apostle teach us to regard the inscrutable mystery of sin, and the remedy for it in Christ. For I was alive without the law once,.... The apostle says this, not in the person of Adam, as some have thought; who lived indeed, in a state of innocence, a perfectly holy and righteous life, but not without the law, which was the rule of his actions, and the measure of his obedience; he had the law of nature written upon his heart, and a positive law respecting the forbidden fruit given him, as a trial of his obedience; and though when he transgressed he became mortal, yet sin could not be said to revive in him, which never lived before; nor does the apostle speak in the person of a Jew, or the whole body of the people of Israel before the law was given on Mount Sinai; before that time the sons of Abraham did not live without a law; for besides the law of nature, which they had in common with others, they were acquainted with other laws of God, as the laws of circumcision, sacrifices, and the several duties of religion; see Genesis 18:19; and when the law did come from Mount Sinai, it had not such effects upon them as are here expressed: but the apostle is speaking of himself, and that not as in his state of infancy before he could discern between good and evil, but when grown up, and whilst a Pharisee; who, though he was born under the law, was brought up and more perfectly instructed in it than the common people were, and was a strict observer of it, yet was without the knowledge of the spirituality of it; he, as the rest of the Pharisees, thought it only regarded the outward actions, and did not reach to the spirits or souls of men, the inward thoughts and affections of the mind; the law was as it were at a distance from him, it had not as yet entered into his heart and conscience; and whilst this was his case he was "alive", he did not know that he "was dead in trespasses and sins", Ephesians 2:1, a truth he afterwards was acquainted with; nor that he was so much as disordered by sin; he thought himself healthful, sound, and whole, when he was diseased and full of wounds, bruises, and sores, from head to foot; he lived in the utmost peace and tranquillity, without the least ruffle and uneasiness, free from any terror or despondency, and in perfect security, being in sure and certain hope of eternal life; and concluded if ever any man went to heaven he certainly should, since, as he imagined, he lived a holy and righteous life, free of all blame, and even to perfection;

but when the commandment came; not to Adam in the garden of Eden; nor to the Israelites on Mount Sinai; but into the heart and conscience of the apostle, with power and light from above:

sin revived; it lift up its monstrous head, and appeared in its ugly shape, exceeding sinful indeed; it grew strong and exerted itself; its strugglings and opposition, its rebellion and corruption were seen and felt, which show that it was not dead before, only seemed to be so; it was in being, and it lived and acted before as now; the difference was not in that, but in the apostle's sense and apprehension of it, who upon sight of it died away:

and I died; he now saw himself a dead man, dead in sin, dead in law, under a sentence of death which he now had within himself; he saw he was deserving of eternal death, and all his hopes of eternal life by his obedience to the law of works died at once; he now experimentally learnt that doctrine he so much insisted afterwards in his ministry, and to the last maintained, that there can be no justification of a sinner by the deeds of the law, since by it is the knowledge of sin. 9. For I was alive without the law once—"In the days of my ignorance, when, in this sense, a stranger to the law, I deemed myself a righteous man, and, as such, entitled to life at the hand of God."

but when the commandment came—forbidding all irregular desire; for the apostle sees in this the spirit of the whole law.

sin revived—"came to life"; in its malignity and strength it unexpectedly revealed itself, as if sprung from the dead.

and I died—"saw myself, in the eye of a law never kept and not to be kept, a dead man."7:7-13 There is no way of coming to that knowledge of sin, which is necessary to repentance, and therefore to peace and pardon, but by trying our hearts and lives by the law. In his own case the apostle would not have known the sinfulness of his thoughts, motives, and actions, but by the law. That perfect standard showed how wrong his heart and life were, proving his sins to be more numerous than he had before thought, but it did not contain any provision of mercy or grace for his relief. He is ignorant of human nature and the perverseness of his own heart, who does not perceive in himself a readiness to fancy there is something desirable in what is out of reach. We may perceive this in our children, though self-love makes us blind to it in ourselves. The more humble and spiritual any Christian is, the more clearly will he perceive that the apostle describes the true believer, from his first convictions of sin to his greatest progress in grace, during this present imperfect state. St. Paul was once a Pharisee, ignorant of the spirituality of the law, having some correctness of character, without knowing his inward depravity. When the commandment came to his conscience by the convictions of the Holy Spirit, and he saw what it demanded, he found his sinful mind rise against it. He felt at the same time the evil of sin, his own sinful state, that he was unable to fulfil the law, and was like a criminal when condemned. But though the evil principle in the human heart produces sinful motions, and the more by taking occasion of the commandment; yet the law is holy, and the commandment holy, just, and good. It is not favourable to sin, which it pursues into the heart, and discovers and reproves in the inward motions thereof. Nothing is so good but a corrupt and vicious nature will pervert it. The same heat that softens wax, hardens clay. Food or medicine when taken wrong, may cause death, though its nature is to nourish or to heal. The law may cause death through man's depravity, but sin is the poison that brings death. Not the law, but sin discovered by the law, was made death to the apostle. The ruinous nature of sin, and the sinfulness of the human heart, are here clearly shown.
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