There are people who say the law did not “enter”, it was always there. παρεισηλθεν has to mean “enter” plus carry the dimension of “alongside”. I’d rather not hear the explanation because this is straightforward: it’s an amen or a naymen. A lengthy explanation is bound to be from a bad place. In addition to law “entering alongside” we also learn that sin was not always defined by law. “Before the law” means before the law and that was a time when sin was rampant and destructive but not recorded against the individuals.
For prior to the Law sin was already in the world; only it is not entered in the account against us when no Law exists. Romans 5:13
What indeed would be the point of a law that proscribed behaviours and situations that could not be imagined. A law for whom? Angels? Yes, if they are the beneficiaries of a divine law, but they have no property, wives, children, and there was no competing entity militating to take God’s place.
Grace Takes the Reins
The purpose for this is to establish divine accountability. The magnification of sin, the guilt of humanity and the futility of trying to pay for our sin.
so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21
The outcome has nothing to do with the benefits or the effect of the law. God’s righteousness is not based on any law. Every person who is familiar with Bible history – the facts, I mean – knows that Law is a 13-dollar bill for people who hate the idea that God loves and forgives.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
Neither reforming Germans nor fundamentalist and commandment-keeping Christians can change the glorious gospel.
For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift…
This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
All the debate and commentaries are barking up the wrong tree. Gospel does not mention sin except to pardon, but the sorry legalists still push the law in the face of God’s loved ones, as if they are now making one guilty, as if they are the convicting Holy Spirit. Gospel says nothing about law except that it is fulfilled, it is a good riddance ex (former spouse), and it has no authority. The gospel says nothing about prophets or Moses because John the Baptist ends their practical uses for the kingdom of God. Gospel says “God is looking for you, has an inheritance with your name”. If you like bondage, confusion, and futility, hitch your wagon to this mule: law and grace.