Freedom from the Law
1Brothers and sisters, I’m talking to you as people who know the Law. Don’t you know that the Law has power over someone only as long as he or she lives? 2A married woman is united with her husband under the Law while he is alive. But if her husband dies, she is released from the Law concerning her husband. 3So then, if she lives with another man while her husband is alive, she’s committing adultery. But if her husband dies, she’s free from the Law, so she won’t be committing adultery if she marries someone else. 4Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you also died with respect to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you could be united with someone else. You are united with the one who was raised from the dead so that we can bear fruit for God. 5When we were self-centered, the sinful passions aroused through the Law were at work in all the parts of our body, so that we bore fruit for death. 6But now we have been released from the Law. We have died with respect to the thing that controlled us, so that we can be slaves in the new life under the Spirit, not in the old life under the written Law.
The function of the Law
7So what are we going to say? That the Law is sin? Absolutely not! But I wouldn’t have known sin except through the Law. I wouldn’t have known the desire for what others have if the Law had not said, Don’t desire to take what others have.#Exod 20:17; Deut 5:21 8But sin seized the opportunity and used this commandment to produce all kinds of desires in me. Sin is dead without the Law. 9I used to be alive without the Law, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life, 10and I died. So the commandment that was intended to give life brought death. 11Sin seized the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and killed me. 12So the Law itself is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good.
Living under the Law
13So did something good bring death to me? Absolutely not! But sin caused my death through something good so that sin would be exposed as sin. That way sin would become even more thoroughly sinful through the commandment. 14We know that the Law is spiritual, but I’m made of flesh and blood, and I’m sold as a slave to sin. 15I don’t know what I’m doing, because I don’t do what I want to do. Instead, I do the thing that I hate. 16But if I’m doing the thing that I don’t want to do, I’m agreeing that the Law is right. 17But now I’m not the one doing it anymore. Instead, it’s sin that lives in me. 18I know that good doesn’t live in me—that is, in my body. The desire to do good is inside of me, but I can’t do it. 19I don’t do the good that I want to do, but I do the evil that I don’t want to do. 20But if I do the very thing that I don’t want to do, then I’m not the one doing it anymore. Instead, it is sin that lives in me that is doing it.
21So I find that, as a rule, when I want to do what is good, evil is right there with me. 22I gladly agree with the Law on the inside, 23but I see a different law at work in my body. It wages a war against the law of my mind and takes me prisoner with the law of sin that is in my body. 24I’m a miserable human being. Who will deliver me from this dead corpse? 25Thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then I’m a slave to God’s Law in my mind, but I’m a slave to sin’s law in my body.