What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly, I would not have known sin except through the law. For indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”
But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires. For apart from the law, sin is dead.
And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive
and I died. So I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life brought death! For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it I died. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good.
Did that which is good, then, become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin, so that it would be shown to be sin, produced death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual – but I am unspiritual, sold into slavery to sin.
For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want – instead, I do what I hate. But if I do what I don’t want, I agree that the law is good. But now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me.
For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it.
For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want! Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer me doing it but sin that lives in me.
So, I find the law that when I want to do good, evil is present with me.
For I delight in the law of God in my inner being. But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Thanks 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.