An Analogy from Marriage
7 1 Are ye ignorant, brethren, (for I speak to those knowing law,) that law rules over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband so long as he is alive; but if the husband should die, she is clear from the law of the husband: 3 so then, the husband being alive, she shall be called an adulteress if she be to another man; but if the husband should die, she is free from the law, so as not to be an adulteress, though she be to another man. 4 So that, my brethren, ye also have been made dead to the law by the body of the Christ, to be to another, who has been raised up from among [the] dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh the passions of sins, which [were] by the law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit to death; 6 but now we are clear from the law, having died in that in which we were held, so that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in oldness of letter.
The Problem of Indwelling Sin
7 What shall we say then? [is] the law sin? Far be the thought. But I had not known sin, unless by law: for I had not had conscience also of lust unless the law had said, Thou shalt not lust; 8 but sin, getting a point of attack by the commandment, wrought in me every lust; for without law sin [was] dead. 9 But I was alive without law once; but the commandment having come, sin revived, but I died. 10 And the commandment, which [was] for life, was found, [as] to me, itself [to be] unto death: 11 for sin, getting a point of attack by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew [me]. 12 So that the law indeed [is] holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. 13 Did then that which is good become death to me? Far be the thought. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death to me by that which is good; in order that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am fleshly, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do, I do not own: for not what I will, this I do; but what I hate, this I practise. 16 But if what I do not will, this I practise, I consent to the law that [it is] right. 17 Now then [it is] no longer I [that] do it, but the sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, good does not dwell: for to will is there with me, but to do right [I find] not. 19 For I do not practise the good that I will; but the evil I do not will, that I do. 20 But if what I do not will, this I practise, [it is] no longer I [that] do it, but the sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then the law upon me who will to practise what is right, that with me evil is there. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man: 23 but I see another law in my members, warring in opposition to the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which exists in my members. 24 O wretched man that I [am]! who shall deliver me out of this body of death? 25 I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then I myself with the mind serve God's law; but with the flesh sin's law.