Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The function of law is mostly to be broken. Law acts like a sort of x-ray machine. Break it and your own inner brokenness is revealed. And make no mistake, apart from grace you will most certainly break it, for none of us can keep the Law if the Lawgiver is not at work in their hearts by his Spirit, strengthening us to perform the self-crucifying act of obedience to the just and loving demands of God. So grace is necessary first just so that all these sins be forgiven. But forgiveness is to the Christian life as birth is to natural life: the beginning, not the end. We are forgiven not so that we be merely forgiven, but so that we can enter into the Trinitarian life of God and be filled with the grace of Christ’s divine life.