What is the purpose of law? Is it to make people righteous? No; rather, the Scripture says law is what makes men know they are sinners. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20). Sin was in the world from the time of Adam’s fall until the Mosaic Law was given, but sin was not known to be sin as such until the law was given (Rom. 5:12-14). “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. . .” (Rom. 5:20). Paul further writes, “. . .I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet” (Rom. 7:7).

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