1 My brothers, I am saying this to you people who know the law. Do you not know that the law is master over a person only while he lives?
2 A married woman belongs to her husband by law as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law that made her belong to her husband.
3 So if she belongs to another man while her husband is living, she commits adultery. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law. Then if she belongs to another man, she does not commit adultery.
4 In the same way my brothers, you died when Christ died. And you are free from the law. Now you belong to another person. You belong to the one who has been raised from death. Because of that, we are able to do what God wants us to do.
5 One time we lived in the way our bodies wanted to live. The law made us think about doing wrong things. And we did things that made us die.
6 But now we have been made free from the law. We died, and so we are no longer slaves to the one who was our master. Now we are slaves to God in our new life. This new life is ruled by the Spirit. We do not work for the old written law.
7 So what shall we say? Shall we say that the law is bad? No! I would not have known what is wrong if there had been no law. The law says, Do not want to take other peoples things. That is how I know it is wrong to want another persons things.
8 My wrong ways used the law to make me want all kinds of things. When there is no law, the thing within me that wants to do wrong is dead.
9 Once I had no law, and I lived. But when the law came, that which wanted to do wrong things came to life, and I died.
10 The same law which was meant to make a person live, made me die.
11 My wrong ways used the law to fool me and kill me.
12 So the law is holy. And what the law says is holy and right and good.
13 So did that good thing make me die? No. The wrong things I did made me die, because that good thing showed they were wrong. And the law shows that the wrong things are very, very bad.
14 We know that the law came from the Holy Spirit. But I am a weak man. I have been sold like a slave to do wrong things.
15 I do not know why I do the things I do. I do not do what I want to do. But I do the things I hate.
16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.
17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but my wrong ways in me.
18 I know that no good thing lives in me. I mean, no good thing lives in my body. I want to do what is good, but I cannot do it.
19 I do not do the good thing I want to do, but I do the wrong thing that I do not want to do.
20 If I do the thing I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but the wrong thing in me that does it.
21 So there is a law I find that it is at work in me. When I want to do what is right, I can only do what is wrong.
22 In my own mind I am glad to obey the law of God.
23 But I see that in my body there is another law fighting against the law in my mind. And that makes me like a prisoner to the law of wrong things in my body.
24 I am a very sad man. Who will save me from this body that will make me die?
25 Thank God for Jesus Christ our Lord who will do it! So this is the way it is. In my mind I am a slave to do the law of God, but in my body I am a slave to do the law of wrong things.