“But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So, we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.” Romans 7:13
The law exposes and magnifies sin. Though the law provokes our sin nature, this can be used for good because it more dramatically exposes our deep sinfulness. After all, if sin can use something as good as the law to its advantage in promoting evil, it shows how evil sin is. We need sin to appear as sin, because it always wants to hide in us and conceal its true depths and strength. “This is one of the most deplorable results of sin. It injures us most by taking from us the capacity to know how much we are injured. It undermines the man’s constitution, and yet leads him to boast of unfailing health; it beggars him, and tells him he is rich; it strips him, and makes him glory in his fancied robes.” (Spurgeon) “The law, therefore, is the grand instrument in the hands of a faithful minister, to alarm and awaken sinners.” (Clarke) So that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful: Sin “becomes more sinful” in light of the law in two ways. First, sin becomes exceedingly sinful in contrast to the law. Second, sin becomes exceedingly sinful because the law provokes its evil nature. The law is not what causes death, it is sin that causes death. When we say that there is no sin and reject the law, we go further and further into the trap of sin and it leads to death not just physical death, but spiritual death. Then it leads to eternal death.