The Strength of Sin

1 Corinthians 15:56 (KJV) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

Is the law called the strength of sin because people stay in their sin because they are trying to keep the law or is the law called the strength of sin because the law tells us what our sin is and the law makes it more evident (strengthens the evidence) that we are sinners?

This is the context of the verse in question:

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (KJV) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Also, consider these related passages:

Romans 7:4-9 (KJV) Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. 7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

Romans 5:20 (KJV) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

Galatians 3:24 (KJV) Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Based on the context and these related passages, the law is the strength of sin because the law strengthens the evidence of the fact that we all are sinners in need of a saviour.

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