The Law and Sin

What shall we say, then?(A) Is the law sinful? Certainly not!(B) Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law.(C) For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”[a](D) But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment,(E) produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.(F) 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(G) actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment,(H) deceived me,(I) and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.(J)

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(K) to bring about my death,(L) so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual,(M) sold(N) as a slave to sin.(O) 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.(P) 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.(Q) 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.(R) 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[b](S) 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.(T) 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.(U)

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

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

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Footnotes

  1. Romans 7:7 Exodus 20:17; Deut. 5:21
  2. Romans 7:18 Or my flesh
  3. Romans 7:25 Or in the flesh

13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism,(A) how intensely I persecuted the church of God(B) and tried to destroy it.(C)

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15 Here is a trustworthy saying(A) that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners(B)—of whom I am the worst.

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Psalm 51[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.(A)

Have mercy(B) on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;(C)
according to your great compassion(D)
    blot out(E) my transgressions.(F)
Wash away(G) all my iniquity
    and cleanse(H) me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.(I)
Against you, you only, have I sinned(J)
    and done what is evil in your sight;(K)
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.(L)
Surely I was sinful(M) at birth,(N)
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

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Footnotes

  1. Psalm 51:1 In Hebrew texts 51:1-19 is numbered 51:3-21.

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