Saturday 21 Apr 2018
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Psalm 1: 2-3

Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

The Law of Sin and Death

Saturday, 07 August 2010 00:31 Bolaji Theo Douglas
Print PDF

But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me -Romans 7:22.

Because through Christ, the law of the Spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death - Romans 8:2.


The law of sin and death came into existence when man fell from grace due to his disobedience to the instructions of God, the instruction not to eat of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. It was a law that was unleashed upon the physical nature of man with such power, that it made the quest to have his physical needs attended and met, become such a compulsive and so overpowering force such that it leaves him with little or no ability to resist it. It was compulsive enough to ignore and override whatever the spirit of God in him desired and instructs, a condition which sadly, would lead him to repeatedly disobey and contravene the instructions of his Creator, thereby resulting in the breakdown of the fellowship between the man and God.

Talking about the breakdown in fellowship between man and God, the law effectively saw to it and continued to ensure that as long as it remains operation, man would never be in the position to enjoy this fellowship and as a result, would never enjoy the benefits which this fellowship was meant to bring to him. The law was able to achieve this because what it demands of man runs contrary to what his Creator and Benefactor demands. The law went on further to turn man into the enemy of his Creator, leaving man with no way to end the hostility by his own choice. The law also ensured that through the process, the state of this conflict would be a protracted and a very long one. The ultimate aim of the law of course was to create a permanent state of conflict between man and God his maker.

The law ruled over the physical nature of man, controlling him through all of his physical attributes which include; his senses, his sight, his mental faculty and his mind.

So I find this law at work; When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner mind, I delight in God's law, but I see another law at work in the members of my body waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am. Who will deliver me from this body of death - Romans 7:21-24.

The law runs and places its demands on every aspect of man that his physical nature can easily relate to and handle while ignoring the inputs from his spirit, creating in the man, the following false impressions or should I say the illusions some of which are listed below;

  • That man could go it all alone and does not need any input or help from his Maker to achieve this.
  • That man could find purpose, fulfilment and joy within himself and outside of the will of his Maker.
  • That man was the sole determinant of his own destiny and is answerable to no one but himself.
  • That the best thing that could ever happen to man was to do away with the instructions of his maker.
  • That there is no purpose for man outside of the ones he creates for himself.
  • That man is accountable to no one but himself.


This was the position that the law wanted to put man and it succeeded in the effort. The questions that need be ask, why does the law want man to be in this position? Well the answer, this is the position where this law is able to exercise total dominance and complete control over man. You see the law succeeded in putting man in a vulnerable position by selling him these illusions. The law in the process, succeeded in cutting man away from his Creator, the one to whom he could run to for help, the one to whom whether he accepts it or not, he is accountable to, and the One from whom he derives meaningful purpose for his existence on earth. The law succeeded in turning man and his descendants into its slaves whom it now controls by exercising this dominion over them via their physical nature.

Apostle Paul captured this scenario very well for us by the use of these words in his letter to the Romans;

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? - Romans 6:16.

But by the time man saw his fate in the hands of the law of sin and death, coupled with the disaster that followed in its wake; it was too late for him to turn back to his maker as he had already crossed the line of no return. You see man had taken on a sinful nature and there was no way he could come into the presence of God his maker with this nature, it was a filthy garment, such as worn by the guests that were thrown out from the wedding feast in the parable told by Jesus. You see the nature of God demands that only those who are pure and undefiled can approach his Holy presence.

We can see this from the picture that was painted in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve tried to hide from God because they were conscious of their sinful nature, a condition which Adam referred to as being naked. Also, subsequent descendants of Adam's all crossed the line on many fronts having inherited not only the sins of their parents but their sinful nature as well. David reflected on this tragic truth in Psalm 51;

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. -Psalm 51:5.

Perhaps the most significant thing being; the descendants of Adam could no longer obey God in their physical nature having yielded their body to the control of the law of sin and death (Romans 6 :16-18). And just like their forebears did in the Garden, the descendants of Adam also continued in their vain attempt to hide and run farther away and as far as possible from God their maker.  

Left in this state, mankind was in no position to save himself, because he could not, he simply does not have the capacity nor the resources to do so. The reason for this was because he was too far gone in into debt of sin and he could not pay the price that the law of sin and death demanded in return for his freedom, this price was death (Romans 6:23).

The law of sin and death had mankind where it wanted them, in a hopeless and helpless situation, in a position where it had them totally under his control and is able to make them continue to live in disobedience to God thus making him the enemy of his own creator. (Romans 5:6, Ephesians 2:1-3,12). Cut off from his creator also meant being cut off from receiving the blessings of his creator, incurring instead his wrath.

The law of sin and death is the very opposite of the law of the Spirit of life, you see as stated earlier, the law of sin and death sets out to alienate mankind from the very best that God created him for and it sets out to destroy the very thing in creation that brings the most pleasure to God, which are obedience and compliance to the laws of God, the very laws through which His perfection is made to bear on creation, the very laws that enables his glory to be seen. The law of sin and death although it was unleashed upon mankind, yet, it remains an attempt by the kingdom of darkness to attack the Sovereignty of God by attacking and taking away in bondage the man that God created in his own image and created to have fellowship with and lavish his affection upon in the process.

If the law of the Spirit of life was God's answer to the requirements for setting mankind free from bondage, then the law of sin and death was Satan's plan to put man in eternal bondage. Therefore in order to be able to fully appreciate what the law of the Spirit of life accomplished in us as believers, there is the need to see what this law sets out to overcome in the first place in order to accomplish God's salvation plan in those who believe and trust in the name of Jesus.

1. The reign of the law of sin and death over man originated from the sin of the first man, Adam and this nature was bequeathed to his descendants. The problem of sin lies deep down in the human nature:

Therefore just as sin entered the world through one man - Romans 5:12.

2. The law of sin and death brought distortion to the original nature of man -  He was declared mortal by his maker.
Then the Lord said 'My spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, they will live no more than 120 years' (Genesis 6:3).

3. The law of sin and death brought man under the controlling power of sin through the sinful nature.
For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners.. -Romans 5:19.

So I find this law at work; When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner mind, I delight in God's law, but I see another law at work in the members of my body waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am. Who will deliver me from this body of death - Romans 7:21-24.


4. The law of sin and death brought man under condemnation and judgement as a result of the sin and the sinful nature (The curse of hardship and death);
Therefore just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin - Romans 5:12.

Cursed is the ground because of you, through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow, you will eat your food until you , return to the ground since from it you were taken, for dust you are and dust you will return -Genesis 3:17 -19.


And the Lord God said 'The man has now become like one of us knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat and live forever' - Genesis 3:22.

5. The law of sin and death brought enmity between man and God.
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled - Colossians 1:21.

6.The law of sin and death denied mankind, the blessings of his Creator.
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. -Ephesians 2:3.
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world - Ephesians 2:12.


7. The only law that can defeat, overthrow and overturn the operation of the law of sin and death, is the Law of the Spirit of life. Only the law of the spirit of life that is available through Jesus, has the power and comes equip to do the job. And the law comes into operation through faith in Jesus, when we accept him as our Lord and saviour.
Because through Christ, the law of the Spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death -Romans 8:2.


Last Updated on Saturday, 01 October 2011 14:55
1 Corinthians 15:55-57
“?Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com.