Romans 7:7
Parallel Verses
New International Version
What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "You shall not covet."

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
What shall we say then? [is] the law sin? Far be the thought. But I had not known sin, unless by law: for I had not had conscience also of lust unless the law had said, Thou shalt not lust;

World English Bible
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be! However, I wouldn't have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn't have known coveting, unless the law had said, "You shall not covet."

Young's Literal Translation
What, then, shall we say? the law is sin? let it not be! but the sin I did not know except through law, for also the covetousness I had not known if the law had not said:

Romans 7:7 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Is the law sin? - The apostle had said, Romans 7:6 : The motions of sins, which were by the law, did bring forth fruit unto death; and now he anticipates an objection, "Is therefore the law sin?" To which he answers, as usual, μη γενοιτο, by no means. Law is only the means of disclosing; this sinful propensity, not of producing it; as a bright beam of the sun introduced into a room shows; millions of motes which appear to be dancing in it in all directions; but these were not introduced by the light: they were there before, only there was not light enough to make them manifest; so the evil propensity was there before, but there was not light sufficient to discover it.

I had not known sin, but by the law - Mr. Locke and Dr. Taylor have properly remarked the skill used by St. Paul in dexterously avoiding, as much as possible, the giving offense to the Jews: and this is particularly evident in his use of the word I in this place. In the beginning of the chapter, where he mentions their knowledge of the law, he says Ye; in the 4th verse he joins himself with them, and says we; but here, and so to the end of the chapter, where he represents the power of sin and the inability of the law to subdue it, he appears to leave them out, and speaks altogether in the first person, though it is plain he means all those who are under the law. So, Romans 3:7, he uses the singular pronoun, why am I judged a sinner? when he evidently means the whole body of unbelieving Jews.

There is another circumstance in which his address is peculiarly evident; his demonstrating the insufficiency of the law under color of vindicating it. He knew that the Jew would take fire at the least reflection on the law, which he held in the highest veneration; and therefore he very naturally introduces him catching at that expression, Romans 7:5, the motions of sins, which were by the law, or, notwithstanding the law. "What!" says this Jew, "do you vilify the law, by charging it with favoring sin?" By no means, says the apostle; I am very far from charging the law with favoring sin. The law is holy, and the commandment is holy, just, and good, Romans 7:12. Thus he writes in vindication of the law; and yet at the same time shows:

1. That the law requires the most extensive obedience, discovering and condemning sin in all its most secret and remote branches, Romans 7:7.

2. That it gives sin a deadly force, subjecting every transgression to the penalty of death, Romans 7:8-14. And yet,

3. supplies neither help nor hope to the sinner, but leaves him under the power of sin, and the sentence of death, Romans 7:14, etc. This, says Dr. Taylor, is the most ingenious turn of writing I ever met with. We have another instance of the same sort, Romans 13:1-7.

It is not likely that a dark, corrupt human heart can discern the will of God. His law is his will. It recommends what is just, and right, and good and forbids what is improper, unjust, and injurious. If God had not revealed himself by this law, we should have done precisely what many nations of the earth have done, who have not had this revelation - put darkness for light, and sin for acts of holiness. While the human heart is its own measure it will rate its workings according to its own propensities; for itself is its highest rule. But when God gives a true insight of his own perfections, to be applied as a rule both of passion and practice, then sin is discovered, and discovered too, to be exceedingly sinful. So strong propensities, because they appear to be inherent in our nature, would have passed for natural and necessary operations; and their sinfulness would not have been discovered, if the law had not said, Thou shalt not covet; and thus determined that the propensity itself, as well as its outward operations, is sinful. The law is the straight edge which determines the quantum of obliquity in the crooked line to which it is applied.

It is natural for man to do what is unlawful, and to desire especially to do that which is forbidden. The heathens have remarked this propensity in man.

Thus Livy, xxxiv. 4: -

Luxuria - ipsis vinculis, sicut fera bestia, irtitata.

"Luxury, like a wild beast, is irritated by its very bonds."

Audax omnia perpeti

Gens humana ruit per vetitun; nefas.

"The presumptuous human race obstinately rush into prohibited acts of wickedness."

continued...

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

What.

Romans 3:5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who takes vengeance?...

Romans 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, has found?

Romans 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

is the law.

Romans 7:8,11,13 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, worked in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead...

1 Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

I had.

Romans 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit to death.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Psalm 19:7-12 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple...

Psalm 119:96 I have seen an end of all perfection: but your commandment is exceeding broad.

lust. or, concupiscence.

Romans 7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, worked in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

1 Thessalonians 4:5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

Thou shalt.

Romans 13:9 For this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet...

Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise...

Exodus 20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor's house, you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant...

Deuteronomy 5:21 Neither shall you desire your neighbor's wife, neither shall you covet your neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant...

Joshua 7:21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight...

2 Samuel 11:2 And it came to pass in an evening, that David arose from off his bed, and walked on the roof of the king's house...

1 Kings 21:1-4 And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel...

Micah 2:2 And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house...

Matthew 5:28 But I say to you, That whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Luke 12:15 And he said to them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness...

Acts 20:33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.

Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becomes saints;

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are on the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence...

1 John 2:15,16 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him...

Library
Advent Lessons
Westminster Abbey, First Sunday in Advent, 1873. Romans vii. 22-25. "I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord." This is the first Sunday in Advent. To-day we have prayed that God would give us grace to put away the works
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

Sin is Spiritual Slavery
John viii. 34.--"Jesus answered them, Verily, verily I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." The word [Greek: doulos] which is translated "servant," in the text, literally signifies a slave; and the thought which our Lord actually conveyed to those who heard Him is, "Whosoever committeth sin is the slave of sin." The apostle Peter, in that second Epistle of his which is so full of terse and terrible description of the effects of unbridled sensuality upon the human will,
William G.T. Shedd—Sermons to the Natural Man

Carey's Last Days
1830-1834 The college and mission stripped of all their funds--Failure of the six firms for sixteen millions--Carey's official income reduced from L1560 to L600--His Thoughts and Appeal published in England--His vigour at seventy--Last revision of the Bengali Bible--Final edition of the Bengali New Testament--Carey rejoices in the reforms of Lord William Bentinck's Government--In the emancipation of the slaves--Carey sketched by his younger contemporaries--His latest letters and last message to Christendom--Visits
George Smith—The Life of William Carey

His Freedom from Sin.
THE first impression which we receive from the life of Jesus is that of perfect innocency and sinlessness in the midst of a sinful world. He, and he alone, carried the spotless purity of childhood untarnished through his youth and manhood. Hence the lamb and the dove are his appropriate symbols. He was, indeed, tempted as we are; but he never yielded to temptation.[21]21 His sinlessness was at first only the relative sinlessness of Adam before the fall; which implies the necessity of trial and temptation,
Philip Schaff—The Person of Christ

Cross References
Exodus 20:17
"You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

Deuteronomy 5:21
"You shall not covet your neighbor's wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor's house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

Luke 20:16
He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others." When the people heard this, they said, "God forbid!"

Romans 3:5
But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.)

Romans 3:20
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God's sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

Romans 4:15
because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

Romans 5:20
The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,

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