What is sin? It is the breaking of the law (Ten Commandments)
1 John 3 “4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. “
Paul said that he did not sin before the law came. He was spiritually alive before the commandment came.
Romans 7 “7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.”
Read that again, Paul died spiritually when he tried to obey the Law.
In the time of Paul, the entire world was under the Law and guilty of sin, being dead spiritually.
Romans 3 “19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.”
The Law demanded perfect obedience and therefore the Jews were guilty of breaking the Law in Romans 7.
But what about the Gentiles? How were they guilty of breaking the law if they were not under the law?
Colossians 2 “13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. “
The Gentiles were spiritually dead because they were not circumcised. They were guilty of not being part of the covenant of Abraham.
Genesis 17 “10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised…. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
So the Jews were spiritually dead for breaking the Ten Commandments despite being circumcised.
Gentiles were spiritually dead for not being circumcised and being outside the Law covenant.
So you see why the Law brought spiritual death to all men.
When Jesus died on the cross, He canceled the ceremonial law, so that Gentiles/uncircumcised people could receive the Holy Spirit by grace through faith and not works, just like the Jewish believers (See Acts 10)
But the moral law did not end on the cross, and that is why the believers were commanded to fulfill the law by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
Romans 13 “8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. 11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”
They had to obey the moral law to be saved because Jesus was going to judge the world by the works of the same ten commandments at His 2nd coming in AD70
Romans 2 “6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.….This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.”
But Jesus did not return in AD70.
He did not judge the world.
The Law passed away in AD70.
Hebrews 8:13 “13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.”
This proves that God never wanted to judge the world. He was making a point that nobody deserves heaven or hell because nobody kept the law perfectly – not even believers!
Today the Law does not exist. The judgment never happened.
Romans 4 “5 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.”
Therefore nobody is spiritually dead. There are no sinners today.
We are all spiritually alive just like Adam was before he sinned.
There is no law to condemn us / kill us spiritually. We cannot sin anymore.
Thanks to Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, the law ended and it was removed in AD70.
Thanks to Jesus, all people are forgiven and righteous without works.
This is the unconditional love of God.