Scripture to Memorize: Romans 7:12
So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
Day 1 Read: Romans 7:7-13
What then shall 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. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 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.
Reflect: Why does God’s good law provoke us to sin?
Consider: Is the Law sin? Paul’s response again was a vehement denial. Certainly not! The Law arouses sin (7:5) but that does not mean the Law itself is sin. In fact, Paul said later, the Law is holy (v. 12) and spiritual (v. 14). Paul went on to explain that the Law made sin known. Then to be specific, he mentioned coveting. The Law’s prohibition, Do not covet (Ex. 20:17; Deut. 5:21), makes people want to covet all the more. Paul knew sin as a principle and specifically, covetousness as an expression of it, and that knowledge came through the Law. Paul described how it worked. The indwelling principle of sin, seizing the opportunity (lit., “taking a start point” [aphormēn, a base for military operations or for an expedition]) afforded by the commandment (cf. Rom. 7:11), produced in me every kind of covetous desire.1
Respond: How are the commandments meant for life? Why would a commandment meant for life bring death?
1 John A. Witmer, “Romans,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 466.