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Two Laws at War

Or do you not know, brothers and sisters (for I speak to those who know law), that the law is master over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives; but if the husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if she is joined to another man while her husband is living, she will be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law—so she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you also were made dead to the Torah through the body of Messiah, so that you might be joined to another—the One who was raised from the dead—in order that we might bear fruit for God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions that came through the Torah were working in our body parts to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the law, having died to what confined us, so that we serve in the new way of the Ruach and not in the old way of the letter.

What shall we say then? Is the Torah sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the Torah. For I would not have known about coveting if the Torah had not said, “You shall not covet.” [a] But sin, taking an opportunity, worked in me through the commandment all kinds of coveting. For apart from the Torah, sin is dead.

Once I was alive apart from the Torah; but when the commandment came, sin came to life 10 and I died. The commandment meant for life was found to cause death. [b] 11 Sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. [c] 12 So then, the Torah is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

13 Therefore did that which is good become death to me? May it never be! Rather it was sin working death in me—through that which is good—so that sin might be shown to be sin, and that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. 14 For we know that the Torah is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold to sin. 15 For I do not understand what I am doing—for what I do not want, this I practice; but what I hate, this I do. 16 But if I do what I do not want to do, then I agree with the Torah—that it is good.

17 So now it is no longer I doing it, but sin dwelling in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me—that is, in my flesh. For to will is present in me, but to do the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do; but the evil that I do not want, this I practice. 20 But if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I doing it, but sin that dwells in me.

21 So I find the principle—that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I delight in the Torah of God with respect to the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in my body parts, battling against the law of my mind and bringing me into bondage under the law of sin which is in my body parts. 24 Miserable man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—it is through Messiah Yeshua our Lord![d] So then, with my mind I myself serve the Torah of God; but with my flesh, I serve the law of sin.


  1. Romans 7:8 Exod. 20:17; Deut. 5:21.
  2. Romans 7:11 cf. Lev. 18:5; Deut. 30:19.
  3. Romans 7:12 cf. Gen. 3:13.
  4. Romans 7:25 Lit. Grace be to God through Messiah Yeshua our Lord; cf. Jn. 14:6.