But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, worked in me all manner of covetousness. For without the law sin was dead.
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By “all kinds of covetousness” Paul means every sin. [In the last verse] he mentioned covetousness according to the law, and now by adding other sins he shows that all covetousness works in man by the impulse of the devil, whom he calls “sin,” so that the law was given to man to promote the opposite. For when the devil saw the help provided by the law for man, whom he was delighted to have snared as much by his own sin as by the sin of Adam, he realized that this was done against him. For when he saw man placed under the law he knew that he would escape from his control, for now man knew how to escape the punishment of hell. For this reason his wrath was kindled against man, in order to turn him away from the law and get him to do what was forbidden, so that he would again offend God and fall back into the devil’s power. “Apart from the law sin lies dead.” This is to be understood in two ways. First, you should realize that the devil is meant when the word sin is used and that it also ...
Not every sort of lust existed before the prohibition increased it. For since the prohibition increases lust when the Deliverer’s grace is missing, it is clear that not all lust existed beforehand. But when, in the absence of grace, lust was forbidden, it grew so much that it reached its own kind of completeness, to the point that it appeared in opposition to the law and added criminal offense to the transgression. When Paul says: “Apart from the law sin lies dead,” he does not mean that it does not exist but rather that it lies hidden. He makes this clear [in verse ]. The law is therefore good, but without grace it only reveals sins; it does not take them away.
By “sin,” Paul presumably means the devil. For just as Scripture sometimes calls the Savior “life” and “righteousness” because he is the source of life and righteousness, so it calls the opposing power by what it causes—sometimes “sin,” sometimes “lie,” sometimes “death.” .
Sin, taking occasion. Sin, or concupiscence, which is called sin, because it is from sin, and leads to sin, which was asleep before, was awakened by the prohibition; the law not being the cause thereof, nor properly giving occasion to it: but occasion being taken by our corrupt nature to resist the commandment laid upon us. (Challoner)
Sin. The apostle here calls concupiscence by the name of sin; because it is the consequence and punishment of it, and drags us along to sin. This takes occasion from the precept of the law to induce us to transgress it; for we are naturally inclined to do what is forbidden.
Nitimur in vetitum
which is the offspring of a disorderly love of liberty and independence. Without the law sin was dead, because concupiscence had nothing to rouse and trouble it. It was like a torrent which rolled rapidly, without resistance in its channel, but as soon as the law came and put an obstacle, it began to spread itself far and wide, and commit the strangest ravages. O...
Note how Paul clears the law of all blame. It was sin which took advantage of the commandment and not the law, which increased the covetousness and brought about the opposite of what the law intended. This was caused by weakness rather than by wickedness. For when we desire something but are prevented from obtaining it, all that happens is that the flame of our desire is increased. It was not the law’s fault, because the law hindered us and did what it could to keep us away from desire. It was sin, i.e., our own laziness and bad disposition, which used what was good for the opposite. It was not the fault of the physician but rather of the patient who used the medicine wrongly.
It is not reasonable to condemn completely someone who has sinned in ignorance. But when the law was given and revealed sin, it gave sin power. This was not a condemnation of the law but a punishment of the contempt shown by those who did not keep it. For if it is true that without the law sin lies dead, it is also true that sin is dead when the law is kept. .