¶ DO you not know, my brethren, I speak to them who know the law, that the law has authority over a person as long as he lives?
Just as a woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives;
but if her husband should die, she is freed from the law of her husband.
Thus if, while her husband is alive, she should be attached to another man, she becomes an adulteress;
but if her husband is dead, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she becomes another man’s wife.
Wherefore, my brethren, you also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that you might become another’s, even to him who arose from the dead, so that you may bring forth fruit to God.
For when we were in the flesh, the pains of sin, which were by the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruits to death.
But now we are freed from the law, being dead to that which had hold upon us;
and we should henceforth serve in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
What shall we say then?
Is the law sin?
Far be it.
I would not have known the meaning of sin except by means of the law;
for I would never have known the meaning of covetousness unless the law said, Thou shalt not covet.
So by means of this commandment, sin found an occasion and provoked in me every kind of desire.
For without the law sin was dead.
Formerly I lived without the law;
but when the commandment came, sin came to life and I died.
And the commandment which was ordained to life I found to be for death.
For sin, finding occasion by the commandment, misled me and by it killed me.
Wherefore the law is holy and the commandment holy and just and good.
Has then that which is good become death to me?
Far be it.
But sin that is exposed as sin, and works death in me for that which is good, will be the more condemned by means of the law.
¶ For we know that the law is spiritual;
but I am of the flesh enslaved to sin.
For I do not know what I do;
and I do not do the thing which I want, but I do the thing which I hate.
That is exactly what I do.
So then if I do that which I do not wish to do, I can testify concerning the law that it is good.’
Now then it is not I who do it, but sin which dominates me.
Yet I know that it does not fully dominate me (that is in my flesh);
but as far as good is concerned, the choice is easy for me to make, but to do it is difficult for me.
For it is not the good that I wish to do, that I do;
but it is the evil that I do not wish to do, that I do.
Now if I do that which I do not wish, then it is not I who do it, but the sin which dominates me.
I find therefore that the law agrees with my conscience when I wish to do good, but evil is always near, distracting me.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man;
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and it makes me a captive to the law of sin which is in my members.
O wretched man that I am!
Who shall deliver me from this mortal body?
I thank God for deliverance through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now therefore with my mind I am a servant of the law of God;
but with my flesh I am a servant of the law of sin.