For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
Read Chapter 7
“Sin” in this verse is to be understood as the devil, who is the author of sin. He found an opportunity through the law to satisfy his cruelty by the murder of man, so that as the law threatened sinners, man by instinct always did what was forbidden. By offending God he incurred the penalty of the law, so that he was condemned by that which had been given to him for his own good. For as the law was given to man without his asking for it, it inflamed desires to man’s disadvantage in order to stain him even more with sinful lusts, and he could not escape its hands. Commentary on Paul’s Epistles.
Paul means either that pleasure’s persuasion to sin is more powerful when something is forbidden or else that, even if a man did do something in accordance with the law’s requirements, if there is as yet no faith resting in grace, then he endeavors to attribute this to himself and not to God, and he sins all the more because of pride.
Paul means by this that the fruit of a forbidden desire is sweeter. For this reason, sins committed in secret are sweeter, even if this sweetness is deadly…. It deceives us and turns into very great bitterness.