Recently Added
to Exposition of Romans:

3:9–20—Conclusion: OT confirms that humanity is under sin’s power
(January 26th 2019)
Romans 7:12–13—Sin is so utterly sinful that it used the holy law to bring death.

12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing 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.

With these two verses Paul concludes his argument in answer to the question in verse 7 whether the law is sin. First, he comments on the nature of the law, and then he restates his main point in 7–11—sin’s use of the law to bring about death.

Law is the complete opposite of sin
As God is holy and righteous and good, so is his commandment, which is a reflection of his nature. “Righteous are you, O LORD, and right are your rules” (Psalm 119:137). In no way, therefore, can the law be said to be sin, given its divine origin. Paul likely refers to the prohibition of covetousness that has been the focal point of his argument, but this specific commandment also represents the law as a whole.

In verse 13, Paul reminds us of two things about sin that would not be known if God did not introduce the law. First, sin produced death through the good law. And second, the law revealed sin to be “sinful beyond measure” or “utterly sinful” (NASB), Paul’s way of stating how sin used the law to increase man’s sin to the level of transgression or outright rebellion against God’s stated prohibition.

Sin seems to know that putting the standards of the law in front of man’s sinful nature is like waving a red cape in front of a bull. Sin’s utter sinfulness is to want man mortally gored.

Good to bad and back to good
As we see in Genesis 1, after God created the heavens and the earth and created man in his image, male and female, he pronounced everything he had made “very good.” Sin crept into this idyllic scene to use God’s “good” commandment to kill “good” man and corrupt “good” creation, stealing dominion from man.

God’s solution was for himself to become a man in the person of Jesus Christ to go to the cross and take back dominion from sin, as well as from Satan and death. Now God works all things together for the “good” of those who love him (Romans 8:28).