Release from the Law
1 Do you not know, brothers (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? 2 For instance, a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. 3 So then, if she is joined to another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law and is not an adulteress, even if she marries another man.
4 Therefore, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. 5 For when we lived according to the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, bearing fruit for death. 6 But now, having died to what bound us, we have been released from the law, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
God’s Law Is Holy
7 What then shall we say? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed, I would not have been mindful of sin if not for the law. For I would not have been aware of coveting if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” a 8 But sin, seizing its opportunity through the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from the law, sin is dead.
9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 So I discovered that the very commandment that was meant to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing its opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through the commandment put me to death.
12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good.
Struggling with Sin
13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? Certainly not! But in order that sin might be exposed as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I admit that the law is good. 17 In that case, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh; for I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do. Instead, I keep on doing the evil I do not want to do. 20 And if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So this is the principle I have discovered: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law. 23 But I see another law at work in my body, warring against the law of my mind and holding me captive to the law of sin that dwells within me. b
So then, with my mind I serve the law of God, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.