Yet again, this morning, I have read the assertion that the Law of God kills. Where does this notion come from? It isn’t Christian. It isn’t biblical. The biblical doctrine is that sin kills.
What the Law does is to make sin more clearly known to us. People already knew they were sinning, but they sometimes knew it only vaguely. The Law makes it clear.
Another effect of the Law is to render certain behaviors “forbidden fruit.” Then, because of our perversity, we lust after them even more than before they were forbidden. But the fault is in us, not in God’s perfect, holy, and good Law.
I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet." But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. (Romans 7:7-13)
(St. John Chrysostom’s very helpful commentary upon this passage is here.)
So please, can we have done with talk about the Law of God killing us? It's a slander of God's good, holy, Law, and it's especially disturbing coming from seminaries.
That is not the kind of God we Christians worship.
What kills us -- with or without the Law (Romans 5:13-14) -- is sin.