What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
It might seem that Paul was critical of the Law. He had said that believers are dead to sin and dead to the Law, and this might have created the impression that the Law is evil. Paul went on to describe the important role which the Law played in his own life before he was saved. He emphasized that the Law itself is not sinful, but it reveals sin in individuals. It was the Law that convicted him of the terrible depravity of his heart. As long as he compared himself with other people, he felt fairly respectable. But as soon as the demands of God’s Law came home to him in convicting power, he stood speechless and condemned.