The overall subject of the book of Romans, is salvation. Throughout these last several chapters, Paul has been comparing grace, to works. And throughout chapter 6 and 7, Paul has been describing and explaining the function of the Mosaic law, which function, most people simply do not understand.
The Mosaic law is often times applied to man’s conscience, so man can see his real self.
No one can know the true aspects of their own soul, until they are faced with the law, and then they can see the contradictions of their own life, when compared with the law.
The Mosaic law is a statement of perfection. It’s rules describe the threshold, beyond which, when crossed, there can be no return, so far as mans own effort is concerned.
And Paul here, answers a possible objection with respect to the law, when some people might blame the law for death, when in fact it merely defines the barrier.
The Mosaic law does not cause death, nor does it push people across that barrier into death.
It is people themselves, the cross the barrier, by means of sin, and therefore it is people who bring themselves to death, and we are speaking of spiritual death, by means of the sins that they themselves freely and willingly commit.
In the final phrase of this verse, sin beyond measure, shows the intensity of the contradiction which man creates in his own soul, where sin was developed, and excited which means brought into action, and inflamed, and aggravated, and therefore demonstrates itself to be excessively malignant and deadly.
Sin is not a dormant or slumbering principle, but is a magnified opposition to God and truth.
In the Mosaic law, in all of its perfection, reveals and discloses the true nature of perfection, and the true nature of sin, and the true nature of man’s total depravity, and therefore the need of a Savior.