The following excerpt is from Robert Govett’s Is Sanctification Perfect Here Below? which is Romans 6-8 expounded. I recommend this book highly along with his The Church of Old. God gave this man an incredible mind with precise analytical abilities. I believe he glorified the Bestower. We must give thanks to Lewis Schoettle for keeping these and many other precious volumes from being lost and obscured by the sands of history.
“The law, when applied to fallen man in the case of Israel, made transgression to abound. Jehovah forbade the gathering of manna, or the doing of any work on the Sabbath. But that only roused the unruly wills of some to seek the manna, and to gather sticks. And in all times, even where the law had sufficient hold upon the man to prevent open disobedience, his heart rebelled against the law, and its restraints upon his will. ‘When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? And the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat?’ Amos 8:5. Thus, then, law set sin in motion. It presents it, defines it, and while man desires it, forbids.
“But despite all its force of authority, and denouncing of woe upon the deed, the heart desires the forbidden object still, and conflict takes place in the soul. (1) The waterfall runs down the mountain smoothly enough, till it meets a barrier of rock. Then it breaks, and bursts into foam and fury. Its force was not seen till then. (2) Or, we may compare the unrenewed, to one laboring under a disease lurking in the constitution. A doctor gives a medicine which throws out on the skin the evil humours secretly at work in the system; and soon the patient appears covered with a foul eruption. Such is law. Law does not subdue evil desires: at its utmost, it only restrains evil acts. Oft-times it manifests that hatred of God which is the characteristic of fallen man.
“These motions of sin, ‘used to work in our members, to bring forth fruit to death.’ Law cannot make a bad man good. His habitual flow of soul within goes on as before. Evil nature still keeps its evil desires; these break into acts; and these acts draw down the laws, curse and penalty of death. Man, under law, is only fruitful in acts of sin, which end in death, as the sentence of God’s displeasure: James 1:14-15.
“Law, applied to the unrenewed does not produce holiness of heart, or good works acceptable to God. Working on the fallen, it excites and irritates against God and the restraints of His law: it does not in general, even prevent the evil works which it forbids. The natural man’s ideas then, about law, as the way in which man is to obtain eternal life, and to be fitted to live with God in holiness, are holy unfounded. Law exasperates the evil of the heart, which it discovers, threatens, condemns. Law, as the agrieved husband of fallen flesh, can only prosecute us to death.”