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.” 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. 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, and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. (Romans 7:7-11 NLT)
Romans 7:12 says, “But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.” (NLT)
After reading this section, here’s the question that comes to my mind: “Isn’t it better, then, to live without the knowledge of the law?” If the law empowers sin in my life; if the law’s purpose is to show me my sin, then isn’t it better not to have the law? But then we read vs 12 and I think Paul is trying to play with our minds.
But here’s the underlying principle that helps us to understand this passage: what is the result of sin? Separation from God. Are you still living in sin even if you don’t know it by the law? Yes. The law doesn’t create our separation from God, it reveals it. So without the law, people would not know they are separated from their creator.
Action: Think about your childhood. What were things that you did and that were done to you that revealed your separation from God? When was the first time you recognized that you were separated from God? What led you to that realization?