Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleSin is Not Imputed When There is No Law
Bible TextRomans 5:13-14
Article Type Article
PDF Format pdf
Word Format doc



Romans 5: 13: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14: Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.


Read it and be sure to get what it means: “sin is not imputed when there is no law.”  God will not impute sin unless a man has been made sin under law.  God is righteous! He only judges righteous judgment!  Therefore, God only imputes what a man is in reality.  God never imputes something to a man and treats him “as if” he is something he is not.  This verse declares the reason God justly imputed sin to men who lived between Adam and Moses, even though they did not have a law and had not broken a known law like Adam, is because in Adam all have sinned (v12).  This one statement—“sin is not imputed when there is no law”—declares that God imputes what is just and what is reality. This is the word of God on how God imputes.  Let God be true but every man a liar.  God will not impute what a man has not been made under law, be it sin or righteousness.


     God imputed sin to Adam because by Adam’s disobedience he was made sin under law. (v12) God imputed sin to Adam’s posterity because in Adam all have sinned. (v12) God imputed sin to Christ because by his obedience the spotless Lamb of God presented himself to the Father, laying down his life the Just for the unjust, and “he hath made him sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Cor 5: 21)  Believer, here is the good news for us: God imputes righteousness to the believer, and will not impute sin to us, because by Christ’s obedience all God’s elect are righteous and have no sin to impute. (v19) Since our old man IS crucified with Christ so that our body of sin IS destroyed and since we ARE risen with Christ so that death HAS NO MORE DOMINION over us, God commands us not to impute it to be “as if” but God says “Likewise, RECKON [impute] YE YOURSELVES TO BE DEAD INDEED UNTO SIN, but ALIVE UNTO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.” (Rom 6: 6-11)