Romans 7:12 ends with the Torah being holy and just and good. So, Paul now has to ask, Did that which is good become that which is sinful? Nope. That misunderstands things, Paul argues. The problem is the abounding reality of sin, not the Torah. So Rom 7:13 and some reflections based on NT Wright’s commentary on Romans.
Paul would permit someone to say “I didn’t do the bad deed. No, sin did it.” Does this relinquish personal responsibilty for Paul? No, it reveals what the person is.
Paul distinguishes here sin, “I”, and flesh. Acts of sin show that sin is at work in “me” (the “I”) as “flesh.” This “I” is Israel in the Adam-sphere (565). It is Israel as a whole doing what Adam did.
Here it is then:
The “I”, as descending from Adam, is “fleshly” until Christ and the Spirit (8:3-4). Then the “I” can become what it was meant to become: holy and obedient.
Wright makes the point that sin was so bad that God had to give the Torah in order to show just how bad it was.