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Romans 7 International Standard Version (ISV)

Now We are Released from the Law

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? 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. So while her husband is living, she will be called an adulterer 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.

In the same way, my brothers, through the Messiah’s[a] 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. For while we were living according to our human nature,[b] sinful passions were at work in our bodies[c] by means of the Law, to bear fruit resulting in death. 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 writings.

The Law Shows Us What Sin Is

What should we say, then? Is the Law sinful? Of course not! In fact, I wouldn’t have become aware of sin if it had not been for the Law. I wouldn’t have known what it means to covet if the Law had not said, “You must not covet.”[d] But sin seized the opportunity provided by this commandment and produced in me all kinds of sinful desires, since apart from the Law, sin is dead. At one time I was alive without any connection to[e] the Law.[f] But when the rule was revealed, sin sprang to life, 10 and I died. I found that the very rule that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity provided by the rule, deceived me and used it to kill me. 12 So then, the Law[g] itself is holy, and the rule is holy, just, and good.

The Problem of the Sin that Lives in Us

13 Now, did something good bring me death? Of course not! But in order that sin might be recognized as being sin, it used something good to cause my death, so that through the rule, sin might become more exposed as being[h] sinful than ever before. 14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am merely human,[i] sold as a slave to sin.[j] 15 I don’t understand what I am doing. For I don’t practice what I want to do, but instead do what I hate. 16 Now if I practice what I don’t want to do, I am admitting 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 is living 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 is living in me.

21 So I find this to be a principle:[k] 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[l] a different principle[m] waging war with the Law in my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin that exists in my body.[n] 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is infected by[o] death? 25 Thank God through Jesus the Messiah,[p] our Lord, because with my mind I myself can serve the Law of God, even while with my human nature[q] I serve the law of sin.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 7:4 Or Christ’s
  2. Romans 7:5 Lit. our flesh
  3. Romans 7:5 Lit. members
  4. Romans 7:7 Cf. Exod 20:17
  5. Romans 7:9 The Gk. lacks any connection to
  6. Romans 7:9 Or instruction
  7. Romans 7:12 Or instruction
  8. Romans 7:13 The Gk. lacks exposed as being
  9. Romans 7:14 Lit. am flesh
  10. Romans 7:14 Lit. sold under sin
  11. Romans 7:21 Lit. law
  12. Romans 7:23 Lit. in my members
  13. Romans 7:23 Lit. law
  14. Romans 7:23 Lit. in my members
  15. Romans 7:24 Lit. body of death
  16. Romans 7:25 Or Christ
  17. Romans 7:25 Lit. my flesh
International Standard Version (ISV)

Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.

Romans 7 New International Version (NIV)

Released From the Law, Bound to Christ

Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For when we were in the realm of the flesh,[a] the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

The Law and Sin

What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”[b] But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 7:5 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.
  2. Romans 7:7 Exodus 20:17; Deut. 5:21
  3. Romans 7:18 Or my flesh
  4. Romans 7:25 Or in the flesh
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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