Romans 7:10-11 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. (11) For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
Paul is still speaking of the time before being released from the law [verse 6]. He was a law keeping Jew and is referring to the tenth commandment that prohibited coveting. After his conversion Paul understood that coveting was a thought sin that required no actual physical sin on his part. Since thought sins originate in the heart and the hearts of men are wicked, the tenth commandment leaves human beings no chance at the perfect obedience required to merit eternal life that many erroneously thought was possible. Therefore, the tenth commandment proved to be death to Paul. Paul is making it very clear that man has no chance through self-effort to achieve the righteousness required to stand before God. The law was intended to show the unrighteousness of men and drive them to the redemption that is in Christ by grace.
Focus on Christ #78