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)

Life Through the Spirit

Therefore, there is now no condemnation(AE) for those who are in Christ Jesus,(AF) because through Christ Jesus(AG) the law of the Spirit who gives life(AH) has set you[d] free(AI) from the law of sin(AJ) and death. For what the law was powerless(AK) to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[e](AL) God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh(AM) to be a sin offering.[f](AN) And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement(AO) of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.(AP)


  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
  4. Romans 8:2 The Greek is singular; some manuscripts me
  5. Romans 8:3 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; also in verses 4-13.
  6. Romans 8:3 Or flesh, for sin

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