Understanding Romans 7:9

Q. I read your good article in answer to a question regarding pre-born babies in the Rapture. You said that children below the age of accountability belong to God, and quoted Romans 7:9. Was there a misprint in this reference? The verse does not appear to address the issue. Please elaborate. Thank you.

A. Romans 7:9 reads, “Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.”

Since Paul was obviously still physically alive when he wrote that, he had to have been talking about his spiritual life and death. Before Paul was old enough to be accountable for his sins, he had eternal life. The phrase “the commandment came” means he had reached the age where he became accountable under the law. As soon as that happened his sins became a death warrant. In order to escape death he had to become born again.

God doesn’t hold children accountable for their sins until they become old enough to under stand the sin/salvation issue. Before that time it’s as if they haven’t sinned. This is part of what Jesus meant when He said we have to become like little children to enter God’s Kingdom (Matt. 18:3), in other words not accountable for our sins. In Romans 7:15-20 Paul said that’s the case for all born again believers.

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