7 Now, dear brothers and sisters[a]—you who are familiar with the law—don’t you know that the law applies only while a person is living?2 For example, when a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive. But if he dies, the laws of marriage no longer apply to her.3 So while her husband is alive, she would be committing adultery if she married another man. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law and does not commit adultery when she remarries.
4 So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God.5 When we were controlled by our old nature,[b] sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death.6 But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.
God’s Law Reveals Our Sin
7 Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.”[c]8 But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power.9 At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life,10 and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead.11 Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me.12 But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.
13 But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.
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