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Romans 7 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Joined to God’s Anointed One

I write to you, dear brothers and sisters, who are familiar with the law. Don’t you know that when a person dies, it ends his obligation to the law? For example, a married couple is bound by the law to remain together until separated by death. But when one spouse dies, the other is released from the law of the marriage. So then if a wife is joined to another man while still married, she commits adultery. But if her husband dies, she is obviously free from the marriage contract and may marry another man without being charged with adultery.[a]

So, my dear brothers and sisters, the same principle applies to your relationship with God. For you died to your first husband, the law, by being co-crucified with the body of the Messiah. So you are now free to “marry” another—the one who was raised from the dead so that you may now bear spiritual fruit[b] for God.

When we were merely living natural lives,[c] the law, through defining sin, actually awakened sinful desires within us, which resulted in bearing the fruit of death. But now that we have been fully released from the power of the law, we are dead to what once controlled us. And our lives are no longer motivated by the obsolete way of following the written code,[d] so that now we may serve God by living in the freshness of a new life in the power of the Holy Spirit.[e]

The Purpose of the Law

So, what shall we say about all this? Am I suggesting that the law is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that gave us the clear definition of sin. For example, when the law said, “Do not covet,”[f] it became the catalyst to see how wrong it was for me to crave what belongs to someone else. It was through God’s commandment that sin was awakened in me and built its base of operation[g] within me to stir up every kind of wrong desire. For in the absence of the law, sin hides dormant.[h]

9–10 I once lived without a clear understanding of the law, but when I heard God’s commandments, sin sprang to life and brought with it a death sentence. The commandment that was intended to bring life brought me death instead. 11 Sin, by means of the commandment, built a base of operation within me, to overpower me[i] and put me to death. 12 So then, we have to conclude that the problem is not with the law itself, for the law is holy and its commandments are correct and for our good.

Life under the Law

13 So, did something meant to be good become death to me? Certainly not! It was not the law but sin unmasked that produced my spiritual death. The sacred commandment merely uncovered the evil of sin so it could be seen for what it is. 14 For we know that the law is divinely inspired and comes from the spiritual realm,[j] but I am a human being made of flesh and trafficked as a slave under sin’s authority.[k]

15 I’m a mystery to myself,[l] for I want to do what is right, but end up doing what my moral instincts condemn. 16 And if my behavior is not in line with my desire, my conscience still confirms the excellence of the law. 17 And now I realize that it is no longer my true self doing it, but the unwelcome intruder of sin in my humanity. 18 For I know that nothing good lives within the flesh of my fallen humanity. The longings to do what is right are within me, but will-power is not enough to accomplish it.[m] 19 My lofty desires to do what is good are dashed when I do the things I want to avoid. 20 So if my behavior contradicts my desires to do good, I must conclude that it’s not my true identity doing it, but the unwelcome intruder of sin hindering me from being who I really am.

21 Through my experience of this principle, I discover that even when I want to do good, evil is ready to sabotage me. 22 Truly, deep within my true identity, I love to do what pleases God. 23 But I discern another power operating in my humanity, waging a war against the moral principles of my conscience[n] and bringing me into captivity as a prisoner to the “law” of sin—this unwelcome intruder in my humanity. 24 What an agonizing situation I am in! So who has the power to rescue this miserable man from the unwelcome intruder of sin and death?[o] 25 I give all my thanks to God, for his mighty power has finally provided a way out through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! So if left to myself, the flesh is aligned with the law of sin, but now my renewed mind is fixed on and submitted to God’s righteous principles.[p]

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 7:3 Or “if joined to another man, she is not an adulteress.”
  2. Romans 7:4 Or “offspring.”
  3. Romans 7:5 That is, before we came to know Jesus Christ.
  4. Romans 7:6 Or “the oldness of the letter.”
  5. Romans 7:6 Or “by a new, Holy Spirit-empowered life.”
  6. Romans 7:7 See Ex. 20:17; Deut. 5:21.
  7. Romans 7:8 Or “a starting point.”
  8. Romans 7:8 Or “is lifeless.”
  9. Romans 7:11 Or “deceive me” or “lead me astray.”
  10. Romans 7:14 Or “is spiritual.”
  11. Romans 7:14 Or “sold and ruined under sin.” The Greek word piprasko refers to a slave who is “sold for exportation, betrayed and ruined.”
  12. Romans 7:15 Paul’s use of “I” is most likely his identification with the people of Israel under the law prior to receiving Christ. It is not merely an autobiographical statement that Paul experienced all of these things, but a rhetorical device of solidarity with the experience of those who live under the law. Romans ch. 7 is not the present experience of any one person, but the testimony of a delivered person describing the condition of an undelivered one.
  13. Romans 7:18 Some Greek manuscripts have “but I don’t know how to do it.”
  14. Romans 7:23 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “warring against the law of my mind.”
  15. Romans 7:24 Or “Who will free me from this body of death?”
  16. Romans 7:25 Or “God’s law.”
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

Romans 7 New International Version (NIV)

Released From the Law, Bound to Christ

Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 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. So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For when we were in the realm of the flesh,[a] the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

The Law and Sin

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

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

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

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

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

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 7:5 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.
  2. Romans 7:7 Exodus 20:17; Deut. 5:21
  3. Romans 7:18 Or my flesh
  4. Romans 7:25 Or in the flesh
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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