Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

Deadly Supposition


And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.  Romans 7:10


Often in our Bible translations passages appear which contain words that were added by the translators. In the King James Version the added words are in italics. The words were added to make the Scripture clear to the reader.


Romans 7:10 is one of those passages that needed some words added. The words “which was” were added in Romans 7:10 in the King James Version and several other translations. That makes the passage say that one receives life through the law. However, Paul writes in Galatians 3:21:


… if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.


Paul clearly did not believe that spiritual life and righteousness came by obeying the law.


The thought of Paul, in Romans 7:10, is “And the commandment which I supposed was to bring life, I found to bring death.”


The addition of the words, which I supposed was, brings the passage into harmony with Galatians 3:21 and with the larger passage in which it is found. Let’s read what Paul wrote in Romans 7:11:


For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.


The law not to covet activated Paul’s sin nature which resulted in a state of moral and spiritual failure that he called “death.” 


Those who witness to unsaved people know that most of the people they talk with believe that salvation is something they deserve.


Unfortunately, many Christians also suppose that their acceptance by God is the result of obeying the Bible in their own strength. However, the result is always “death.”—moral and spiritual failure because attempting to serve God in one’s own strength activates their sin nature.


After the experience Paul referred to in Romans 7:10-11, he realized his need was to experience his crucifixion, burial and resurrection.