Romans 6-7 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Dead to Sin but Alive because of Christ
6 What should we say? Should we keep on sinning, so that God’s wonderful kindness will show up even better? 2 No, we should not! If we are dead to sin, how can we go on sinning? 3 Don’t you know that all who share in Christ Jesus by being baptized also share in his death? 4 When we were baptized, we died and were buried with Christ. We were baptized, so that we would live a new life, as Christ was raised to life by the glory of God the Father.
5 If we shared in Jesus' death by being baptized, we will be raised to life with him. 6 We know that the persons we used to be were nailed to the cross with Jesus. This was done, so that our sinful bodies would no longer be the slaves of sin. 7 We know that sin doesn’t have power over dead people.
8 As surely as we died with Christ, we believe we will also live with him. 9 We know that death no longer has any power over Christ. He died and was raised to life, never again to die. 10 When Christ died, he died for sin once and for all. But now he is alive, and he lives only for God. 11 In the same way, you must think of yourselves as dead to the power of sin. But Christ Jesus has given life to you, and you live for God.
12 Don’t let sin rule your body. After all, your body is bound to die, so don’t obey its desires 13 or let any part of it become a slave of evil. Give yourselves to God, as people who have been raised from death to life. Make every part of your body a slave that pleases God. 14 Don’t let sin keep ruling your lives. You are ruled by God’s kindness and not by the Law.
Slaves Who Do What Pleases God
15 What does all this mean? Does it mean we are free to sin, because we are ruled by God’s wonderful kindness and not by the Law? Certainly not! 16 Don’t you know that you are slaves of anyone you obey? You can be slaves of sin and die, or you can be obedient slaves of God and be acceptable to him. 17 You used to be slaves of sin. But I thank God that with all your heart you obeyed the teaching you received from me. 18 Now you are set free from sin and are slaves who please God.
19 I am using these everyday examples, because in some ways you are still weak. You used to let the different parts of your body be slaves of your evil thoughts. But now you must make every part of your body serve God, so that you will belong completely to him.
20 When you were slaves of sin, you didn’t have to please God. 21 But what good did you receive from the things you did? All you have to show for them is your shame, and they lead to death. 22 Now you have been set free from sin, and you are God’s slaves. This will make you holy and will lead you to eternal life. 23 Sin pays off with death. But God’s gift is eternal life given by Jesus Christ our Lord.
An Example from Marriage
7 My friends, you surely understand enough about law to know that laws only have power over people who are alive. 2 For example, the Law says that a man’s wife must remain his wife as long as he lives. But once her husband is dead, she is free 3 to marry someone else. However, if she goes off with another man while her husband is still alive, she is said to be unfaithful.
4 That is how it is with you, my friends. You are now part of the body of Christ and are dead to the power of the Law. You are free to belong to Christ, who was raised to life so that we could serve God. 5 When we thought only of ourselves, the Law made us have sinful desires. It made every part of our bodies into slaves who are doomed to die. 6 But the Law no longer rules over us. We are like dead people, and it cannot have any power over us. Now we can serve God in a new way by obeying his Spirit, and not in the old way by obeying the written Law.
The Battle with Sin
7 Does this mean that the Law is sinful? Certainly not! But if it had not been for the Law, I would not have known what sin is really like. For example, I would not have known what it means to want something that belongs to someone else, unless the Law had told me not to do that. 8 It was sin that used this command as a way of making me have all kinds of desires. But without the Law, sin is dead.
9 Before I knew about the Law, I was alive. But as soon as I heard that command, sin came to life, 10 and I died. The very command that was supposed to bring life to me, instead brought death. 11 Sin used this command to trick me, and because of it I died. 12 Still, the Law and its commands are holy and correct and good.
13 Am I saying that something good caused my death? Certainly not! It was sin that killed me by using something good. Now we can see how terrible and evil sin really is. 14 We know that the Law is spiritual. But I am merely a human, and I have been sold as a slave to sin. 15 In fact, I don’t understand why I act the way I do. I don’t do what I know is right. I do the things I hate. 16 Although I don’t do what I know is right, I agree that the Law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing these evil things. The sin that lives in me is what does them.
18 I know that my selfish desires won’t let me do anything that is good. Even when I want to do right, I cannot. 19 Instead of doing what I know is right, I do wrong. 20 And so, if I don’t do what I know is right, I am no longer the one doing these evil things. The sin that lives in me is what does them.
21 The Law has shown me that something in me keeps me from doing what I know is right. 22 With my whole heart I agree with the Law of God. 23 But in every part of me I discover something fighting against my mind, and it makes me a prisoner of sin that controls everything I do. 24 What a miserable person I am. Who will rescue me from this body that is doomed to die? 25 Thank God! Jesus Christ will rescue me.
So with my mind I serve the Law of God, although my selfish desires make me serve the law of sin.
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