1 Don't you realize, brothers—for I am speaking to people who know the law—that the law can press its claims over a person only as long as he is alive?
2 For a married woman is bound by the law to her husband while he is living, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning her husband.
3 So while her husband is living, she will be called an adulterer even if she lives with another man. But if her husband dies, she is free from this law, so that she is not an adulterer if she marries another man.
4 In the same way, my brothers, through Christ's body you also died as far as the law is concerned, so that you may belong to another person, the one who was raised from the dead, and may bear fruit for God.
5 For while we were living in the flesh, sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies to bear fruit for death.
6 But now we have been released from the law by dying to what enslaved us, so that we may serve in the new life of the Spirit, not under the old written code.
7 What should we say, then? Is the law sinful? Of course not! In fact, I wouldn't have known sin if it had not been for the law. For I wouldn't have known what it means to covet if the law had not said, “You must not covet.”
8 But sin seized the opportunity provided by this commandment and produced in me all kinds of sinful desires. For apart from the law, sin is dead.
9 At one time I was alive without any connection to the law. But when the commandment came, sin sprang to life,
10 and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.
11 For sin, seizing the opportunity provided by the commandment, deceived me and used it to kill me.
12 So then, the law itself is holy, and the commandment is holy, just, and good.
13 Now, did something good bring me death? Of course not! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used something good to cause my death, so that through the commandment sin might become more sinful than ever.
14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am mere flesh, sold as a slave to sin.
15 I don't understand what I am doing. For I don't do what I want to do, but instead do what I hate.
16 Now if I do what I don't want to do, I agree that the law is good.
17 As it is, I am no longer the one who is doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me.
18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but I cannot carry it out.
19 For I don't do the good I want to do, but instead do the evil that I don't want to do.
20 But if I do what I don't want to do, I am no longer the one who is doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me.
21 So I find this to be a law: when I want to do what is good, evil is right there with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God in my inner being,
23 but I see in my body a different law waging war with the law in my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin that exists in my body.
24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
25 Thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself serve the law of God, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.