Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
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.
In the flesh
And those people who are living according to the flesh cannot please God.
Whoever is born from human parents is a human being; and whoever is born from the Holy Spirit is a spiritual being.
But, I am saying to you, live in harmony with the Holy Spirit's [desire for you] and [then] you will not [always] be giving in to the wrong desires of your body.
All of us [Jews] also once lived among such people, fulfilling the improper cravings of our physical being and doing what our bodies and minds desired. In this natural [unconverted] state we were deserving of [God's] wrath, just like the rest [of mankind].
For we [Christians] were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various kinds of [evil] desires and [sinful] pleasures. [We used to] live in malice and envy, hating people and being hated by them.
This is because no human being can be considered right with God by [obeying] the requirements of a law. [Note: It is difficult to determine the exact sense in which "law" is used in these verses. It may be law generally, or the law of Moses specifically. See Bruce, pages 52-58]. For the knowledge of what sin is comes from the law of Moses.
For the law brings [God's] wrath [i.e., because of man's failure to obey it perfectly], but where there is no law, there is no [responsibility for] sin.
Now the law of Moses was introduced [into the world] in order to cause sin to increase [i.e., it defined many things to be wrong that were previously not regarded as sin]. But with the increase of sin, God's unearned favor increased all the more.
1 Corinthians 15:56
The [harmful] sting that causes [physical] death is sin [See Rom. 5:12]; and the power of sin [to do this] comes from the law. [See Rom. 8:2].
2 Corinthians 3:6
He has also made us competent as ministers of a New Agreement [i.e., between Himself and mankind]. It is not [an agreement] based [merely] on a written document [i.e., such as the law of Moses], but on the Holy Spirit, for the written document brings [spiritual] death [See Rom. 8:2], but the Holy Spirit brings [never ending] life.
For all who seek to be right with God by trying to meet all the requirements of the law of Moses are under a curse [from God], because it is written [Deut. 27:26], "Every person is cursed [i.e., cut off from God] who does not continue to obey all of the requirements written in the law of Moses."
But if you show favoritism toward [certain] persons, you are committing a sin and are convicted by the law [of God] as lawbreakers.
1 John 3:4
Every person who practices a life of sin is also breaking [God's] law, for sin is law-breaking.
So, through that commandment, sin found an opportunity to produce in my heart all kinds of improper desires for what belonged to others. For until there was the law, sin was dead [i.e., it did not stimulate excitement and activity as much].
For evil thoughts, murder, extramarital affairs, sexual immorality, stealing, perjury, slander --- [all these] come from a person's heart,
Now those things done by the sinful, physical nature [of a person] are evident; they are these: sexual immorality, moral impurity, indecent conduct,
Then, when the evil desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin. And when sin is fully grown, it produces [spiritual] death.
but I see a different law [at work] in my body, waging [spiritual] warfare against the law in my mind. It brings me into captivity to the law of sin in my body.
And do not offer the parts of your bodies [i.e., hands, eyes, etc. See Matt. 5:29-30] as tools for [accomplishing] evil purposes; but [instead] offer yourselves to God, as [people who are] alive from the dead [i.e., no longer under the power of sin] and the parts of your bodies as tools for [accomplishing] righteous purposes for God.
So, put to death [i.e., stop practicing the desires of] your physical bodies [such as] sexual immorality, [moral] impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is [in reality] idolatry.
Where do conflicts and fights among you come from? Do they not come from your [desire for] pleasures which produces inner conflict?
What benefit did you receive at that time from doing the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of such behavior is [spiritual] death.
You people also once lived like this when you practiced these things.