1 Timothy 1:9-11 (NIV), “We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God…”
The Law, written in Exodus and Leviticus, was given to Israel to make them God’s special people, a holy nation (Genesis 19:5,6), and to elevate them to a higher moral level in relation to other nations. Israel, however, did not and could not fully obey the Law Covenant. A central purpose of the Law was to teach the Jews that no one could live up to God’s perfect standard. The Law was to lead them to the realization of their sinfulness and that they needed a redeemer. “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (not by the works of the Law). Galatians 3:24 (NIV)
The Apostle Paul applies this same reasoning to Gentiles. “Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right,” (Romans 2:14,15 NLT). Yes, when God created Adam in His image, Adam had God’s perfect law of love and justice written within his heart. And even today, our consciences reflect our knowledge of right and wrong.
People living according to the lust of their bodies deceive themselves that they are not sinning. They believe that they are simply enjoying life, because their bodies and Satan mistakenly tell them that “if it feels right, it can’t be sin.” Paul’s point in enumerating the sins in 1 Timothy 1:9-11 was to reveal these deceptions as wrong, that “sin through the commandment might become (or recognized as) exceedingly sinful.” (Romans 7:13)