“Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power.” Romans 7:7-8
The law is a mirror that shows us how sinful we are. Paul does not use murder, stealing, or adultery in his discussion, he used coveting. Coveting means to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others: to covet another’s property. to wish for, especially eagerly. This is the last of the Ten Commandments, and it differs from the other nine in that this commandment is an inner attitude, not an outward action. Covetousness leads to breaking the other commandments. It is a sin that most of us never recognize in our own lives, but God’s law reveals it.
Something in human nature wants to rebel whenever a law is given. Have you ever watched as someone passes by a sign that says, do not touch? Most people will touch. Instruct a child not to go near the water and just where do they go first, near the water. Why? “For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.” (Romans 8:7) Believers who try to live by rules and regulations discover that their legalistic system only arouses more sin and creates problems. Legalism does not make people more spiritual; it makes them more sinful. Because the law arouses sin in our nature.
“For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:56-57)