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Romans 7:12 – The law: holy, just and good!

12-04-2021 - Posted by Hans

So that the law, indeed, is holy, and the precept holy and just and good.

Earlier in this argument (: 7) Paul raised the question, “Is the law sin?”. It is quite an obvious question for who follows the apostle’s line of thought. Because if the law is an incentive to sin (: 5), then that conclusion seems almost inevitable. Nevertheless, Paul radically rejected this accusation (: 8). And he does that again here.

Not the law itself, but the deceptive way in which it was and is understood under the old covenant (“of letter”; verse 6) is sin. For perceiving “you shall not covet” (: 7) as “you must not covet” is not only unbearable and burdensome but also counterproductive: it accomplishes the exact opposite of what it calls for. So that cannot possibly be the true meaning of the commandment.

However, where the law is understood as prophecy (“you shall love the Lord your GOD,” “you shall love your neighbor,” etc.), it turns out to be holy: set aside, completely distinct and also incomparable with all of man is. It is also just, that is to say right and therefore reliable. Because GOD does what He says. And that is ultimately good!