Though the law of Moses is in no way to be viewed as something sinful, it does serve the purpose of making us painfully conscious of our sin. By way of example, Paul speaks of the devastating effect on his own life of the last of the Ten Commandments, “You must not covet” (7:7–11; ; ). (It is significant that, of all the Ten Commandments, Paul highlights the one that focuses on inner attitudes—in this case, attitudes of greed—and not simply on overt acts.) If it weren’t for the law of Moses that spells out this commandment, he would never have recognized the full depths of this selfish and illicit tendency in his own life. But once recognized, the desire to covet was further aroused and reinforced by the constant reminder of the law not to do it. In other words, the law had the perverse effect of stimulating the very sin it banned. As long as Paul remained oblivious to the command, his sense of sin and guilt lay dormant; but once he became aware of the law’s demands, sinful desires—and with them, guilt—sprang to life, and he knew himself to be a condemned man. So the very law that he had assumed to be the way to life, in reality, proved to be the sentence of death. Such is the perverse effect of decrees that prohibit immoral actions—or rather, such is the strange response of immoral human nature to them. (Compare the effect of a “No Smoking” sign on habitual smokers who may have forgotten, until they see it, how much they want to smoke; Bruce 1985: 140.) This propensity is precisely why legislation can never produce truly virtuous living. Human nature being what it is, no legal code has the power to produce a truly virtuous life. Real goodness, then, cannot be legislated; it has to arise from a deeper motivation within.