Romans 7:8-9 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. (9) I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.
Paul in verses 8 & 9 is still referring to the time before being released from the Law [verses 4 & 6]. The Law held sinners captive when Paul and his Jewish brothers served in the old way of the written code. Sin produced all kinds of covetousness and through human effort Paul was powerless to meet the demand of the commandment that condemned the desires of the human heart. The law had no power to save and in fact killed and that is why Paul referred to it as a ministry of death. The problem is sin and the sinful nature and the law only highlighted this problem.
Focus on Christ #77