Summary of passage: The law reveals what sin is as man’s natural tendency is to break the law. The law defined sin and therefore gave birth to sin and with sin the consequence of death ensued.
6) The law reveals what sin is as man’s natural tendency is to break the law. The law defined sin and therefore gave birth to sin and with sin the consequence of death ensued. Sin uses the law to cause us to rebel more.
7) Personal Question. My answer: All sin is harmful, period. In short, sin draws me away from God. That’s the most potent consequence. The rest is varied based on the sin. You can both spiritually and emotionally harm your body, mind, and emotions. Sin reveals what God is not and does not want and magnifies His holiness. I respond by obeying Him with reverent awe.
Conclusions: 2 questions on some of the most key verses in all of the Bible.
End Notes: Paul is now answering the question raised, “Well if the law is bad, is the law sin?” Paul says, “No. The law is good because it reveals sin to us.” Sin, however, corrupts the law because of our natural tendency to break what is forbidden to us. The desire is awakened by the prohibition. Look at Prohibition in the United States. Once a law is instituted we want to break it.
The word opportunity in the original is a military term meaning a base of operations where sin is awaiting a chance to spring from.
The weakness isn’t the law–it’s us. We took something good–God’s law–and turned it to evil.
Paul was once alive because he didn’t know or understand the law like children. He had not been put to death yet because of the law. With the knowledge of law, it excited our rebellion, bringing sin and death. Paul is either referring to the time before his bar mitzvah or before his conversion where the true rigor of the law became clear to him (Luke 18:20-21; Philippians 3:6).
The law does not deceive us. It’s the sin that uses the law to cause us to rebel. The truth sets us free from the deception of the law (John 8:32).
Sin kills us. Satan tries to twist this by making sin seem like a good thing that God merely wants to deprive us of (Eve, anyone?)
There is nothing wrong with the law. The law is holy. The problem lies within man. However, because of man’s nature, sin ends up corrupting the law so we must die to both (Romans 6:2; 7:4).
The law, however, is good because it makes our sin more pronounced so we recognize it!
Sin becomes utterly sinful by hiding within God’s good laws.
Explanation on BSF’s note (Romans 7:13-25): Whether Paul is describing a Christian or non-Christian experience here has been hotly debated through the centuries.
Argument supporting non-Christian life:
- The use of the phrases such as “sold as a slave to sin”, “I know that good itself does not dwell in me” and “What a wretched man I am” which do not seem to describe a Christian experience
- the contrast between chapters 7 & 8, making it difficult for the other view to be credible
- the problem of the value of conversion if one ends up in spiritual misery.
Argument supporting Christian life:
- the use of the present tense throughout the passage
- Paul’s humble opinion of himself (vs 18)
- his high regard for God’s law (vs 14, 16)
- the location of this passage in the section of Romans where Paul is dealing with sanctification–the growth of the Christian in holiness.