Believers United to Christ
7 Or do you not know, [a]brothers and sisters (for I am speaking to those who know the Law), that the Law has jurisdiction [to rule] over a person as long as he lives? 2 For the married woman [as an example] is bound and remains bound by law to her husband while he lives; but if her husband dies, she is released and exempt from the law concerning her husband. 3 Accordingly, she will be designated as an adulteress if she [b]unites herself to another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law [regarding marriage], so that she is not an adulteress if she marries another man.
4 Therefore, my [c]fellow believers, you too died to the Law through the [crucified] body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 When we were living in the flesh [trapped by sin], the sinful passions, which were awakened by [that which] the Law [identifies as sin], were at work in our body to bear fruit for death [since the willingness to sin led to death and separation from God]. 6 But now we have been released from the Law and its penalty, having died [through Christ] to that by which we were held captive, so that we serve [God] in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter [of the Law].
7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, if it had not been for the Law, I would not have recognized sin. For I would not have known [for example] about coveting [what belongs to another, and would have had no sense of guilt] if the Law had not [repeatedly] said, “You shall not covet.”(A) 8 But sin, finding an opportunity through the commandment [to express itself] produced in me every kind of coveting and selfish desire. For without the Law sin is dead [the recognition of sin is inactive]. 9 I was once alive without [knowledge of] the Law; but when the commandment came [and I understood its meaning], sin became alive and I died [since the Law sentenced me to death].(B) 10 And the very commandment which was intended to bring life, actually proved to bring death for me.(C) 11 For sin, seizing its opportunity through the commandment, beguiled and completely deceived me, and [d]using it as a weapon killed me [separating me from God]. 12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
13 Did that which is good [the Law], then become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, in order that it might be revealed as sin, was producing death in me by [using] this good thing [as a weapon], so that through the commandment sin would become exceedingly sinful.
The Conflict of Two Natures
14 We know that the Law is spiritual, but I am a creature of the flesh [worldly, self-reliant—carnal and unspiritual], sold into slavery to sin [and serving under its control]. 15 For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled and bewildered by them]. I do not practice what I want to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate [and yielding to my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity]. 16 Now if I habitually do what I do not want to do, [that means] I agree with the Law, confessing that it is good (morally excellent). 17 So now [if that is the case, then] it is no longer I who do it [the disobedient thing which I despise], but the sin [nature] which lives in me. 18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity]. For the willingness [to do good] is present in me, but the doing of good is not. 19 For the good that I want to do, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want to do, I am no longer the one doing it [that is, it is not me that acts], but the sin [nature] which lives in me.
21 So I find it to be the law [of my inner self], that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully delight in the law of God in my inner self [with my new nature],(D) 23 but I see a different law and rule of action in the members of my body [in its appetites and desires], waging war against the law of my mind and subduing me and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is within my members. 24 Wretched and miserable man that I am! Who will [rescue me and] set me free from this body of death [this corrupt, mortal existence]? 25 Thanks be to God [for my deliverance] through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind serve the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness, my sinful capacity—I serve] the law of sin.
- Romans 7:1 Lit brethren.
- Romans 7:3 Lit becomes another man’s, probably referring to an illicit, sexual relationship. Paul uses the same language at the end of the verse, but there he probably means sexual intimacy within a new marriage.
- Romans 7:4 Lit brethren.
- Romans 7:11 Lit through it killed me.
New International Version
Released From the Law, Bound to Christ
7 Do you not know, brothers and sisters(A)—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 2 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.(B) 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress.(C) But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.
4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law(D) through the body of Christ,(E) that you might belong to another,(F) to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh,[a](G) the sinful passions aroused by the law(H) were at work in us,(I) so that we bore fruit for death.(J) 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law(K) so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.(L)
The Law and Sin
7 What shall we say, then?(M) Is the law sinful? Certainly not!(N) Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law.(O) For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”[b](P) 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment,(Q) produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.(R) 9 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(S) actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment,(T) deceived me,(U) and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.(V)
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(W) to bring about my death,(X) so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual,(Y) sold(Z) as a slave to sin.(AA) 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.(AB) 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.(AC) 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.(AD) 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c](AE) 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.(AF) 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.(AG)
21 So I find this law at work:(AH) Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being(AI) I delight in God’s law;(AJ) 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war(AK) against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin(AL) at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?(AM) 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!(AN)
King James Version
7 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.