“At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.” Romans 7:9-12
In this verse we see Paul saying that he does not understand the law. This was a man that spent his time studying the law and at one time he just knew that the law was the only way to God. He was very zealous for the law. When Jesus touched his life, Paul started to understand the true nature of the law. He understood why God has the law and we need to understand this also.
Sin corrupts the law and defeats its purpose of giving life, once the law is corrupted by sin, it brings death. It isn’t the law that deceives us, but it is sin that uses the law as an occasion for rebellion. This is why Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) The truth makes us free from the deception of sin. Sin when followed, leads to death, not life. One of Satan’s greatest deceptions is to get us to think of sin as something good that an unpleasant God wants to deprive us of. When God warns us away from sin, He warns us away from something that kills us.
The law is holy. Paul understands how someone might take him as saying he is against the law, but he isn’t at all. It is true that we must die to sin and we must die to the law. But that should not be taken to mean that Paul believes that sin and the law is in the same basket. The problem is in us, not in the law. Sin corrupts the work or effect of the law, so we must die to both.