1 Surely, brothers, you know (for I am speaking to those who know what law means) that law governs a person only during his lifetime? 2 For a married woman who has a husband is bound by law to her husband during his lifetime; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then, if during her husband lifetime, she unites herself with another man, she will be counted an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the Law, so that she is no adulteress, even if she unites herself with another man.
4 So also, my brother, you were made dead to the Law through the body of Christ; that you should be joined to another, even to Him who was raised from the dead that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were unspiritual, the sinful passions, aroused by the Law, were ever active in every part of our bodies, leading us to bear fruit unto death. 6 But now we have been released from the Law, because we are dead to that in which we were held; so that we are now in thralldom in new and spiritual conditions, and not under the old written code.
7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? Certainly not. On the contrary I should not have become acquainted with sin had it not been for the Law; for except the Law had repeatedly said, "Thou shalt not lust," I should never have known the sin of lust. 8 But when sin had gained a vantage-ground, by means of the commandment, it stirred up within me all manner of lust; for where there is no law, sin is dead. 9 Once I lived apart from the Law, myself; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died; 10 and the very commandment which should have meant life, this I found to mean death. 11 For sin, when it had gained a vantage-ground through the commandment, beguiled me, and through it slew me. 12 So then the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
13 Did then that which was good become for me death? Never! but sin did; that it might be manifest as sin, by that the unutterable malignity of sin might become plain through the commandment. 14 For we know that the Law is spiritual; but as for me, I am a creature of flesh, bought and sold under the dominion of sin. 15 For what I perform I know not; what I practise is not what I intend to do, but what I detest, that I habitually do. 16 If then I habitually do what I do not intend to do, I am consenting to the Law, that it is right. 17 And now it is longer I myself who do the deed, but it is sin which has its home in me. 18 For I know that in me, that is in my flesh, no good thing has its home; for while to will is present with me, to carry out that which is right is not. 19 For the good that I intend to do, I do not; but the evil which I do not; but the evil which I do not intend to do, that I am ever practising. 20 But if I do the very thing I do not intend to do, it is no more I who practise it, but sin which has its home in me. 21 I find, then, this law, that when I intend to do good, evil is ever present with me. 22 For in my inmost self I delight in the law of God; 23 but I find a different law in my bodily faculties, waging war with the law of my will, and taking me prisoner to that law of sin which is in my bodily faculties. 24 Oh, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this slave of death? 25 Oh, thank God! it is through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then I myself in my will am in thralldom to the law of God; yet in my animal nature I am in thralldom to the law of sin.