1Brothers and sisters, I am speaking to you who know the law. Don't you know that the law has authority over us only as long as we are alive?2For example, by law a married woman is joined to her husband as long as he is living. But suppose her husband dies. Then the marriage law no longer applies to her.3But suppose that married woman gets married again while her husband is still alive. Then she is called a woman who commits adultery. But suppose her husband dies. Then she is free from that law. She is not guilty of adultery even if she marries another man.4My brothers and sisters, when Christ died you also died as far as the law is concerned. Then it became possible for you to belong to him. He was raised from the dead. Now our lives can be useful to God.5Our sinful nature used to control us. The law stirred up sinful longings in our bodies. So the things we did resulted in death.6But now we have died to what used to control us. We have been set free from the law. Now we serve in the new way of the Holy Spirit. We no longer serve in the old way of the written law.
Struggling With Sin
7What should we say then? That the law is sin? Not at all! I wouldn't have known what sin was unless the law had told me. The law said, “Do not want what belongs to other people.” If the law hadn't said that, I would not have known what it was like to want what belonged to others. (Ex 20:17; De 5:21)8But the commandment gave sin an opportunity. Sin caused me to want all kinds of things that belonged to others. No one can break a law that doesn't exist.9Before I knew about the law, I was alive. But then the commandment came. Sin came to life, and I died.10I found that the commandment that was supposed to bring life actually brought death.11When the commandment gave sin the opportunity, sin tricked me. It used the commandment to put me to death.12So the law is holy. The commandment also is holy and right and good.13Did what is good cause me to die? Not at all! Sin had to be recognized for what it really is. So it produced death in me through what was good. Because of the commandment, sin became totally sinful.14We know that the law is holy. But I am not. I have been sold to be a slave of sin.15I don't understand what I do. I don't do what I want to do. Instead, I do what I hate to do.16I do what I don't want to do. So I agree that the law is good.17As it is, I am no longer the one who does these things. It is sin living in me that does them.18I know there is nothing good in my sinful nature. I want to do what is good, but I can't.19I don't do the good things I want to do. I keep on doing the evil things I don't want to do.20I do what I don't want to do. But I am not really the one who is doing it. It is sin living in me.21Here is the law I find working in me. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.22Deep inside me I find joy in God's law.23But I see another law working in the parts of my body. It fights against the law of my mind. It makes me a prisoner of the law of sin. That law controls the parts of my body.24What a terrible failure I am! Who will save me from this sin that brings death to my body?25I give thanks to God. He will do it through Jesus Christ our Lord. So in my mind I am a slave to God's law. But in my sinful nature I am a slave to the law of sin.
English Standard Version
Released from the Law
1Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?2For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. (1Co 7:39)3Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress. (Mt 5:32)4Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. (Ro 6:2; Ro 6:22; Ro 7:6; Ro 8:2; Ga 2:19; Ga 5:18; Ga 5:22; Eph 2:15; Eph 2:16; Eph 5:9; Col 1:22; Col 2:14)5For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. (Ro 6:13; Ro 6:21; Ro 6:23)6But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. (Ro 2:27; Ro 2:29; Ro 6:4; 2Co 3:6)
The Law and Sin
7What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” (Ex 20:17; De 5:21; Ro 3:20; Ro 13:9)8But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. (Ro 7:11; 1Co 15:56; Ga 5:13)9I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.10The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. (Ro 10:5)11For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. (Ge 3:13; Ro 7:8; Heb 3:13)12So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. (Ps 19:8; Ps 119:137; Ro 7:16; 2Pe 2:21)13Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.14For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. (1Ki 21:20; 1Ki 21:25; 2Ki 17:17; Isa 50:1; Isa 52:3)15For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. (Ro 7:18; Ga 5:17)16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. (Ro 7:12; 1Ti 1:8)17So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. (Ro 7:20)18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. (Ge 6:5; Ge 8:21; Job 14:4; Job 15:14; Ps 51:5)19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. (Ro 7:15)20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. (Ro 7:17)21So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.22For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, (Ps 1:2; Ps 112:1; Ps 119:35; 2Co 4:16; Eph 3:16; 1Pe 3:4)23but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. (Ga 5:17; Jas 4:1)24Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Ro 6:6; Ro 8:23)25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.