Is the law sin? No! Absolutely not! After twice confronting an antinomian (i.e. against law) view of grace, Paul a third time asks a question.
The first question was: Do we go on living the sinful lifestyle we had prior to our conversion? No. In fact, you can’t because that “old man” has already died and been buried. He doesn’t even exist anymore.
The second question was: Can we just sin since grace abounds and we’re under grace and no longer under law? Again: Absolutely not! If you do, you simply do not understand grace. You’re free from law as a system of salvation, not as a code of conduct. Grace eliminates your responsibility to pay a penalty.
Now the question is: Is the law itself sin since it seems – in comparison to grace – to be so negative? And a third time, no! The law is not sin. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The law is good, righteous, and holy…just like God, its Author.
Having a right understanding of being “under grace and not under law” has everything to do with right living. Is the law sin? How can it be since it comes from God (cf. James 1:17). It is not given to cause sin but to define it. It’s only through the law that you can know what sin is.
However, it does “provoke” the sin still dwelling in your flesh. It can “create” rebellion in that its command evokes a sense of “restraint” from God. Meaning, your flesh often responds to the as a means by which God keeps you from having “good things you deserve.” In point of fact, the opposite is true.
The law is not the problem. It’s the sin living in you (i.e. in your flesh) that is the problem. This sin that remains in your body is what must be dealt with. This is what you “crucify daily” and learn to discipline.
Is the law sin? Far from it. It actually serves as a guardrail to your life. Understanding this is foundational to successful Christian living.