The Law and Sin
What then should we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet, if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died, and the very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.
Did what is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
One of the best words to describe sin for me is “entangled.” As I read this passage, it feels like it loops back and around on top of itself and its messy (much like my headphone cord that I was trying to untie as I got to the gym this morning). Sin is a dark thing and a twisty thing that is hard to get out of. Paul point it out here as the way that sin and the law “conspire” to pull him further into deeper sin. I don’t know that I totally agree with Paul that the commandments lead us into deeper sin other than the sense that they point out clear areas that we do. I do, however, totally agree with the idea that sin just wraps and pulls us into places where its difficult to escape.