Modern English Version
An Analogy From Marriage
7 Do you not know, brothers (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is released from the law regarding her husband. 3 So then, she will be called an adulteress if she marries another man while her husband lives. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she would not be an adulteress if she marries another man.
4 So, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may be married to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead, so that we may bear fruit for God. 5 When we were in the flesh, the passions of sin, through the law, worked in our members to bear fruit leading to death. 6 But now we are delivered from the law, having died to things in which we were bound, so that we may serve in newness of the Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter of the law.
The Problem of Indwelling Sin
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid! But I did not know sin, except through the law. I would not have known coveting if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”[a] 8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of coveting. For apart from the law sin is dead. 9 I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was intended for life, proved to be death in me. 11 For sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and killed me through it. 12 So then, the law is holy and the commandment is holy and just and good.
13 Therefore has that which is good become death unto me? God forbid! Rather, sin, that it might be shown to be sin, was working death in me through that which is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.
14 We know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand, for I do not practice what I will to do, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 But if I practice what I do not will to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing, for the will to do what is right is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good I desire to do, I do not do, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who does it, but sin that lives in me.
21 I find then a law that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inner 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 will deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So then, with my mind, I serve the law of God, but with my flesh, the law of sin.