Romans 7:11
For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
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(11-13) The cause of this miscarriage lay not with the Law but with Sin. Sin played the tempter, and then made use of the Commandment to condemn and destroy its victims. All this time the Law (i.e., the whole body of precepts) and the Commandment (i.e., the particular precepts included in the Law) remained perfectly good in themselves. They could not be otherwise, having come from the hand of God Himself. Sin was the fatal power. The Law and the Commandment were only passive instruments which it wielded for the destruction of man. But at the same time Sin itself was exposed by them in all its ever-increasing enormity.

7:7-13 There is no way of coming to that knowledge of sin, which is necessary to repentance, and therefore to peace and pardon, but by trying our hearts and lives by the law. In his own case the apostle would not have known the sinfulness of his thoughts, motives, and actions, but by the law. That perfect standard showed how wrong his heart and life were, proving his sins to be more numerous than he had before thought, but it did not contain any provision of mercy or grace for his relief. He is ignorant of human nature and the perverseness of his own heart, who does not perceive in himself a readiness to fancy there is something desirable in what is out of reach. We may perceive this in our children, though self-love makes us blind to it in ourselves. The more humble and spiritual any Christian is, the more clearly will he perceive that the apostle describes the true believer, from his first convictions of sin to his greatest progress in grace, during this present imperfect state. St. Paul was once a Pharisee, ignorant of the spirituality of the law, having some correctness of character, without knowing his inward depravity. When the commandment came to his conscience by the convictions of the Holy Spirit, and he saw what it demanded, he found his sinful mind rise against it. He felt at the same time the evil of sin, his own sinful state, that he was unable to fulfil the law, and was like a criminal when condemned. But though the evil principle in the human heart produces sinful motions, and the more by taking occasion of the commandment; yet the law is holy, and the commandment holy, just, and good. It is not favourable to sin, which it pursues into the heart, and discovers and reproves in the inward motions thereof. Nothing is so good but a corrupt and vicious nature will pervert it. The same heat that softens wax, hardens clay. Food or medicine when taken wrong, may cause death, though its nature is to nourish or to heal. The law may cause death through man's depravity, but sin is the poison that brings death. Not the law, but sin discovered by the law, was made death to the apostle. The ruinous nature of sin, and the sinfulness of the human heart, are here clearly shown.For sin - This verse is a repetition, with a little variation of the sentiment in Romans 7:8.

Deceived me - The word used here properly means to lead or seduce from the right way; and then to deceive, solicit to sin, cause to err from the way of virtue, Romans 16:18; 1 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 11:3, "The serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty," 2 Thessalonians 2:3. The meaning here seems to be, that his corrupt and rebellious propensities, excited by the Law, led him astray; caused him more and more to sin; practiced a species of deception on him by urging him on headlong, and without deliberation, into aggravated transgression. In this sense, all sinners are deceived. Their passions urge them on, deluding them, and leading them further and further from happiness, and involving them, before they are aware, in crime and death. No being in the universe is more deladed than a sinner in the indulgence of evil passions. The description of Solomon in a particular case will apply to all, Proverbs 7:21-23.

"With much fair speech she caused him to yield,

With the flattering of her lips she forced him.

He goeth after her straightway,

As an ox goeth to the slaughter,

Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

Till a dart strike through his liver,

As a bird hasteth to the snare."

By it - By the Law, Romans 7:8.

Slew me - Meaning the same as "I died," Romans 7:8.

10, 11. And—thus.

the commandment, which was, &c.—designed


life—through the keeping of it.

I found to be unto death—through breaking it.

For sin—my sinful nature.

taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me—or "seduced me"—drew me aside into the very thing which the commandment forbade.

and by it slew me—"discovered me to myself to be a condemned and gone man" (compare Ro 7:9, "I died").

For sin, taking occasion by the commandment: see the notes on Romans 7:8.

Deceived me; i.e. seduced and drew me aside, Hebrews 3:13 Jam 1:14.

And by it slew me; i.e. it drove me into despair, or delivered me over to death and damnation, and made me obnoxious thereunto. For sin taking occasion by the commandment,.... As in Romans 7:8,

deceived me; either by promising pleasure or impunity: the same effect is ascribed by the Jews to the evil imagination or corruption of nature, which they say is called an enticer, , "that deceives man" (g):

and by it slew me; mortally wounded me: not the law, but sin by the law, deceived and slew him; so that as before, the law is cleared from being the cause of sin, so here, from being the cause of death; for though the law is a killing letter, the ministration of condemnation and death, yet it is not the cause of it; but sin, which is a transgression of the law, is that which deceives or leads out of the way, as the word signifies, and then kills. The metaphor is taken from a thief or a robber, who leads a man out of the way into some bypath, and then murders him.

(g) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 141. 3. & 150. 1.

For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
Romans 7:11. Illustration of this surprising result, in which ἡ ἁμαρτία, as the guilty element, is placed foremost, and its guilt is also made manifest by the διὰ τῆς ἐντολ. placed before ἐξηπάτ. Sin has by means of the commandment (which had for its direct aim my life) deceived me, inasmuch as it used it for the provocation of desire. An allusion to the serpent in Paradise is probable, both from the nature of the case, and also from the expression (LXX. Genesis 3:13). Comp. 2 Corinthians 11:2. But such an allusion would be inappropriate, if it were “the struggle of the more earnest Pharisaism” (Philippi), and not the loss of childlike innocence, that is here described. As to the conception of the ἐξηπάτησε (sin held out to me something pernicious as being desirable), comp. Ephesians 4:22, Hebrews 3:13.

ἀπέκτεινεν] like ἀπέθανον in Romans 7:10.Romans 7:11. Yet this result is not due to the commandment in itself. It is indwelling sin, inherited from Adam, which, when it has found a base of operations, employs the commandment to deceive (cf. Genesis 3:13) and to kill. “Sin here takes the place of the Tempter” in Genesis (S. and H.).11. For sin, &c.] A reiteration of Romans 7:8, with more detail. The “deception” here is fully illustrated by the history of the Fall. (Cp. carefully Genesis 3:4-5.) The Tempter “took occasion by” the prohibition to “deceive” the woman as to the character of God for truth and love; alienated her will from Him; and so brought in death. Since then, alas, he finds the human will ready-alienated to his hand.Romans 7:11. Ἐξηπάτησε, deceived) led me into by-paths, as the robber leads the traveller; and while I supposed that I was going onward to life, I fell into [upon] death.—ἀπέκτεινεν, slew me) This is the termination of the economy of sin, and is on the confines of that of grace.Deceived (ἐξηπάτησεν)

Rev., beguiled Only in Paul. Compare 2 Corinthians 11:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

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