1. As people who are familiar with the Law, brothers, you cannot have forgotten that the law can control a person only during that person's lifetime.
2. A married woman, for instance, is bound to her husband by law, as long as he lives, but when her husband dies all her legal obligation to him as husband is ended.
3. So if she were to have relations with another man while her husband was still alive, she would be termed an adulteress; but if her husband dies, her legal obligation comes to an end and if she then has relations with another man, that does not make her an adulteress.
4. In the same way you, my brothers, through the body of Christ have become dead to the Law and so you are able to belong to someone else, that is, to him who was raised from the dead to make us live fruitfully for God.
5. While we were still living by our natural inclinations, the sinful passions aroused by the Law were working in all parts of our bodies to make us live lives which were fruitful only for death.
6. But now we are released from the Law, having died to what was binding us, and so we are in a new service, that of the spirit, and not in the old service of a written code.
7. What should we say, then? That the Law itself is sin? Out of the question! All the same, if it had not been for the Law, I should not have known what sin was; for instance, I should not have known what it meant to covet if the Law had not said: You are not to covet.
8. But, once it found the opportunity through that commandment, sin produced in me all kinds of covetousness; as long as there is no Law, sin is dead.
9. Once, when there was no Law, I used to be alive; but when the commandment came, sin came to life
10. and I died. The commandment was meant to bring life but I found it brought death,
11. because sin, finding its opportunity by means of the commandment, beguiled me and, by means of it, killed me.
12. So then, the Law is holy, and what it commands is holy and upright and good.
13. Does that mean that something good resulted in my dying? Out of the question! But sin, in order to be identified as sin, caused my death through that good thing, and so it is by means of the commandment that sin shows its unbounded sinful power.
14. We are well aware that the Law is spiritual: but I am a creature of flesh and blood sold as a slave to sin.
15. I do not understand my own behaviour; I do not act as I mean to, but I do things that I hate.
16. While I am acting as I do not want to, I still acknowledge the Law as good,
17. so it is not myself acting, but the sin which lives in me.
18. And really, I know of nothing good living in me -- in my natural self, that is -- for though the will to do what is good is in me, the power to do it is not:
19. the good thing I want to do, I never do; the evil thing which I do not want -- that is what I do.
20. But every time I do what I do not want to, then it is not myself acting, but the sin that lives in me.
21. So I find this rule: that for me, where I want to do nothing but good, evil is close at my side.
22. In my inmost self I dearly love God's law,
23. but I see that acting on my body there is a different law which battles against the law in my mind. So I am brought to be a prisoner of that law of sin which lives inside my body.
24. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death?
25. God -- thanks be to him -- through Jesus Christ our Lord. So it is that I myself with my mind obey the law of God, but in my disordered nature I obey the law of sin.