Unlimited: Law and Transgression
Jul 22, 2022 142
And where there is no law there is no transgression (Romans 4:15b).
Paul is expressing a very important principle here. God does not impute guilt in the absence of the law, by which he means, in the absence of the knowledge of the law. This is only fair and right. Even in human courts, a judge will take into consideration an offender’s ability to understand right and wrong.
Yet Paul has already clearly made the points that the whole world is guilty before God, because God’s law (his will) has been universally revealed through various forms, and not only through the written revelation which the Jewish people possessed.
Paul’s statement here is highly significant. First of all, this tells us that God still has a law, for transgression is still being imputed. Secondly, it tells us that God’s judgment isn’t arbitrary.
God’s law has been universally revealed through various forms.
What Paul says here ultimately points to the truth that God has given every person sufficient light for them to make right decisions. Furthermore, God will take into consideration every person’s individual background and context in the judgment. As the psalmist writes,
“I will record Rahab and Babylon
among those who acknowledge me—
Philistia too, and Tyre, along with Cush—
and will say, ‘This one was born in Zion.’”
5 Indeed, of Zion it will be said,
“This one and that one were born in her…” (Psalm 87:4–5.)
When you consider the behaviour of the people who annoy you the most, have you considered the experiences they have gone through in their lives that have caused them to be the way they are today?