God’s Law Reveals Our Sin
7 Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.”[c] 8 But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power. 9 At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, 10 and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. 11 Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. 12 But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.
13 But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.
Ok, I sometimes find Paul’s examples to be a little bit confusing and this is one particular area where I get a bit lost in what he is trying to say. I think the ultimate point is that the law in and of itself is not bad. The law clearly points out where there is sin in our lives. The law says “Do not covet” and some of us realize that we DO covet. And then we recognize what sin is and acknowledge that we are not pure.
What is interesting is that a few verses prior to this, Paul acknowledges that Gentiles may have this same sense of right and wrong written on their hearts and without knowing the law, know that they have sinned. Since I wasn’t born a Jew, but rather raised in the Catholic faith, I had a strong sense of a moral compass. I knew right from wrong. In CS Lewis’ book, Mere Christianity he talks about the fact that we are all born with an innate sense of right and wrong.