What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. No, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust…
In the olden time when the government of England resolved to build a wooden bridge over the Thames at Westminster, after they had driven one hundred and forty piles into the river, there occurred one of the most severe frosts in the memory of man, by means of which the piles were torn away from their strong fastenings, and many of them snapped in two. The apparent evil in this case was a great good; it led the commissioners to reconsider their purpose, and a substantial bridge of stone was erected. How well it is when the fleshly reformations of unregenerate men are broken to pieces, if thus they are led to fly to the Lord Jesus, and in the strength of His Spirit are brought to build solidly for eternity. Lord, if Thou sufferest my resolves and hopes to be carried away by temptations and the force of my corruptions, grant that this blessed calamity may drive me to depend wholly on Thy grace, which cannot fail me.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: 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."