128. Sin and Transgression

“G. H.” Rom. 5:13, 1413(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14Nevertheless 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. (Romans 5:13‑14), teaches us, that although from Adam to Moses there was no law—no definite rule laid down, and therefore no formal imputation of sin in God's governmental dealings, yet, inasmuch as there was sin actually existing, death reigned as a necessary consequence. We must distinguish between sin and transgression. In order to transgression, there must be a rule laid down; now, there was no such rule from Adam to Moses; but there was sin, and hence men died. Hos. 6:77But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me. (Hosea 6:7) should be read, “But they like Main have transgressed.” Israel was placed under a definite rule, and, like Adam, transgressed. This could not be said of any one from Adam to Moses. 1 John 3:44Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4), last clause, should be read, “Sin is lawlessness” (ανομια).