Romans 7 Expanded Bible (EXB)
An Example from Marriage
7 Brothers and sisters, all of you understand the ·law of Moses [L law]. So surely you know that the law ·rules [has authority] over people only while they are alive. 2 For example, a ·woman must stay married [L married woman is bound by law] to her husband as long as he is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law of marriage. 3 But if she ·marries [or lives with] another man while her husband is still alive, ·the law says she is guilty of adultery [L she will be called/labeled an adulteress]. But if her husband dies, she is free from the ·law of marriage [L law]. Then if she marries another man, she is not ·guilty of adultery [L an adulteress].
4 In the same way, my brothers and sisters, ·your old selves died, and you became free from the law [L you died to the law] through the body of Christ. This happened so that you might belong to someone else—the One who was raised from the dead—and so that we might ·be used in service to [L bear fruit for] God. 5 [L For] When we were ·ruled by [controlled by; living in; L in] ·our sinful selves [our sinful nature; T the flesh], sinful ·desires [passions] stirred up by the law were at work ·in our bodies [or within us; L in our members/parts], so the things we did ·were bringing us [L produced fruit leading to] death. 6 But now we have been freed from the law, since we have died to that which ·held us like prisoners [controlled us; L held us]. So now we serve God in a new way ·with [by means of; in the power of] the Spirit, and not in the old way ·with written rules [or of the written law; L of the letter].
Our Fight Against Sin
7 ·You might think I am saying that sin and the law are the same thing [L What, then, shall we say? Is the law sin?]. ·That is not true [Absolutely not!; May it never be!; 6:15]. But the law was the only way I could learn what sin meant. I would never have known what it means to ·want to take something belonging to someone else [selfishly desire; covet] if the law had not said, “You must not ·want to take your neighbor’s things [selfishly desire; covet; Ex. 20:17; Deut. 5:21].” 8 And sin ·found a way [seized the occasion/opportunity] to use that command and ·cause me to want all kinds of things I should not want [L produce in me all kinds of desires/coveting]. But without the law, sin ·has no power [L is dead]. 9 I was alive ·before I knew [or before I recognized the demands of; L apart from] the law [C Paul thought he was righteous; see Phil. 3:6]. But when the law’s command ·came to me [or came to my attention; L came], then sin ·began to live [sprang to life], and I died [C the law revealed Paul’s sinfulness and confirmed he was spiritually dead]. 10 The command was meant to bring life, but for me it brought death. 11 Sin ·found a way [seized the occasion/opportunity; v. 8] to ·fool [deceive] me by using the command to make me die.
12 So the law is holy, and the command is holy and ·right [righteous] and good. 13 Does this mean that something that is good ·brought [or became] death to me? No [Absolutely not; May it never be; v. 7]! Sin used something that is good to bring death to me. This happened so that ·I could see what sin is really like [L sin might be shown as sin]; the command was used to show that sin is ·very evil [exceedingly/terribly sinful].
The War Within Us
14 [L For] We know that the law is spiritual, but I am ·not spiritual [fleshly; carnal] ·since sin rules me as if I were its slave [L sold to sin; C as a slave]. 15 [L For] I do not understand the things I do. [L For] I do not do what I want to do, and I do the things I hate. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, that means I agree that the law is good [C Paul’s acknowledgement that his behavior is wrong confirms the law’s righteous standards]. 17 But [L now] I am not really the one who is doing these hated things; it is sin living in me that does them. 18 ·Yes [L For…], I know that nothing good lives in me—I mean nothing good lives in ·the part of me that is earthly and sinful [my sinful self; my sinful nature; T my flesh]. [L For] I want to do the things that are good, but I ·do not [or cannot] do them. 19 [L For] I do not do the good things I want to do, but I do the ·bad [evil] things I do not want to do. 20 So if I do things I do not want to do, then I am not the one doing them. It is sin living in me that does those things.
21 So I ·have learned this rule [or find this principle/law at work]: When I want to do good, evil is ·there with me [present within me; close at hand]. 22 [L For] In ·my mind [my inmost self; L the person within], I ·am happy with [delight in] God’s law. 23 But I see ·another law [a different standard; or another power] working in my ·body [or outward actions; L members; parts], which makes war against the ·law [standards] that my mind accepts. That other ·law [standard; or power] working in my ·body [or outward actions; L members; parts] is the law of sin, and it makes me its prisoner. 24 What a ·miserable [wretched] man I am! Who will ·save [free; rescue; deliver] me from this ·body that brings me death [body doomed to die; or burden of death]? 25 ·I thank God for saving me [L Thanks be to God!] through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So [L then] in my mind I am a slave to God’s law, but in my ·sinful self [sinful nature; T flesh] I am a slave to the ·law [principle; or power] of sin.
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