1 Corinthians 15:55-58
O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?…
The law —
I. DISCOVERS SIN, and makes it appear in its own colours; the more light and knowledge of the law, the more sense of sin, as in transparent vessels dregs are soon discerned (Romans 7:9). When by a sound conviction disguises are taken off from the conscience, we find sin to be sin indeed. Paul was alive before — that is, in his own hopes — as many a stupid soul makes full account he shall go to heaven, till conscience be opened, and then they find themselves in the mouth of death and hell.
II. GIVES STRENGTH TO SIN IN REGARD OF THE OBLIGATION OF IT; it bindeth over a sinner to the curse and wrath of God. God has made a righteous law, which must have satisfaction; and till the law be satisfied, we hear no news but of a curse, and that makes death to be full of horrors (Hebrews 10:27).
III. AUGMENTS AND INCREASES SIN BY FORBIDDING IT; lusts are exasperated and rage upon a restraint, as the yoke makes the young bullock more unruly. Now, put all together, and you will understand the force of the expression, "The strength of sin is the law." The discovery of the law stops the sinner's mouth, and the curse of the law shuts him up, and holds him fast unto the judgment of the great day, by which restraint sin grows the more raging and furious; all which, put together, make death terrible; not an end of misery, but a door to open into hell.
(T. Manton, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?