The Law Increases Sin? (Romans 7:7)

Romans 7:7, "What then shall we say?  That the law is sin?  By no means!  Yet if it had not been for the law, I should not have known sin.  I should not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet."

These verses teach us that the law can produce neither righteousness nor sanctification.  These verses teach us that the law awakens desires that are bent toward sinning, as the law "came in to increase the trespass" (5:20).  Against this background the question arises, "Is the law sin?"  The Apostle Paul's answer in this text is a resounding, "By no means!"

It follows that the law has a sacred function to perform--to reveal to us our depravity.  It is through the law that we come to know about sin.  Instead of the law being a source of sin it reveals our own sinfulness driving us to sense our need of Christ.  "So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good." (v. 12). 

From: Romans (C.O. Rosenius )