1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
<b>Paul essentially is addressing fellow Jewish believers who were knowledgeable of the Law of Moses.
For the Jewish believers the only way of escape from the Old Testament Law is through death.
The law was not superceded, but fulfilled and complete in Christ. (Matt 5:17)
By Jesus death on the cross, believers now enter into Christ, by His blood, (Heb 10:19-10:22) into a new and living way and enter into His law fulfilled in Him, the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:2)</b>
2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
<b>To clarify what 'dead to the law by the body of Christ' means, Paul uses the law concerning marriage to illustrate his point.
A wife is bound to her husband by the law as long as he lives. However, If he dies, then she is set free from the law, she is no longer married and can marry another and will not be an adulteress.
Paul says this is what happens when the sinner receives salvation. He becomes dead to the Law through the crucified body of Christ, who fulfilled the law. (Matt 5: 17, Rom. 6:4).
We are set free from the law and belong to Christ, who was raised from the dead in order that we, in Him, may bear fruit to God. (John 15: 5)</b>
5 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.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
<b>God's amazing grace means that the believer can now stand in fulfilled law in Christ, otherwise outside of Christ the believer would be subject to and required to fulfill the law of Moses. in the same way as Jews who are still trying to fulfill the law.</b>
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
<b> The Law of Moses was to be a shadow of the good things that were to come, when it was fulfilled in Christ. (Heb 10:1)
The intention of the law was to bring awareness of what was sinful. If the Law had not been given sin would not have been recognised.
Paul uses the law against covetousness (the desire to possess something) to bring this out.
If the law did not say "you shall not covet" (Exod. 20:17) there would be no guilty conscience concerning it.</b>
8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
<b>Sin entered when Adam transgressed, when all authority given to him by God was passed by Adam to satan.
In exchange Adam received the knowledge of good and evil, the evil being the door to the sinful nature of satan. (Gen 2:27)
Not believing God and what He had said is what gave Adam and Eve the knowledge of evil. (Genesis 3:6-7)
This gave satan who was an illegal alien, the legal right to rule mankind through the sin nature (a tendency to sin), which was then passed on to every person born into the world.
God allowed Adam and Eve free choice and advised them to choose life, (Gen 2:17) they chose death, which was separation from God. (Duet 30:19)
Sin continued, but was not charged against anyone's account, since it was before the law of Moses was given.
When the Law was given it gave humankind the means of comparison between God's standards and their shortcomings.
Because they were then able to compare themselves against God's holy standard for the first time, the Law brought about the consciousness of sin.
Mankind fell short and then experienced guilt, shame and remorse on new levels, their awareness of their sin nature came through awareness of the Law.
Without the law there was no sense or feeling of sin, Paul says that sin was dead.
But with the awareness of sin that the law brought, the nature of sin that dwells in mankind created a desire to break the law and sin even more.</b>
9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
<b>Paul now begins to give graphic illustration of the effect of sin and the war that begins in the soul once a person becomes conscious of sin.
Before God gave the Law to Moses there was no Law and mankind was living without conscience, disregarding what was right and wrong.
When the Law was given it made clear what sin was, it revealed the law of sin within mankind.</b>
10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
<b>Death was already at work in us through the sin nature. The Law simply drew out what was already there so that we could see how sinful we were and realize that we needed a savior.</b>
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
<b>The Law is spiritual, (it came from God, who is Spirit, (John 4:24)) and is perfect, but we aren't, if we could have lived up to every detail of the Law, then we could have obtained salvation through it.
But all have sinned and come short of God's perfect standard (Rom 3:23), all except for one, and that is Jesus.
Jesus was without any sin whatsoever, and therefore He deserved eternal life as a payment, not a gift. Those who put their faith in Jesus as their Savior benefit from His keeping of the Law (Rom 8:4), for in Him, we stand in His fulfillment of the law.</b>
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
<b>Paul now begins to illustrate the futility of trying to fulfill the law outside of Christ, the impossibility of serving God in our own power.
We can renew our minds through God's Word (Rom 12:2), but we can never elevate ourselves to a place where it can fulfill the Law of God, because we cannot overcome the sinful nature.
The spirit wants to do what is righteous, (Matt 26:41) but the soul without the Holy Spirit, in it's own abilities, (from an unrenewed mind) is unable to do, but what it does do, is act outside of faith, which is without the approval of God and is in sin. (Rom 14:23 amp)</b>
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
<b>Paul says that to the natural man, this seems incomprehensible as to why this should be?
If he does the things that he doesn't want to do, then he agrees that the law is good because the law is making his sin known to him.</b>
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
<b>The capacity to sin is ever present in the life of a believer (Gen 4:7) this is the 'old man' or the sin nature that is ever present.
The sin nature acts in a progression, first the thought occurs (desire) then the words are spoken, (conception) then action follows and produces sinful acts, continuing in this cycle leads to separation from God. (death, James 1:14-15).</b>
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
<b>Paul states that it is the sin or sin nature that is bringing an opportunity to sin. His spirit which is perfect, contains the will of God and is available to him, but his soul, when acting in an unrenewed mind recognises that there is 'no good thing' and he cannot summon the ability in himself, to do the good (the will of God) that his spirit is prompting him to do.
Without the Holy Spirit bringing understanding, the prompting of the spirit is blocked in a believers unrenewed mind, stopping the Holy Spirit prompting from reaching the soul to bring understanding.</b>
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
<b>In the 'born again', believers human spirit, he delights in doing God's will.</b>
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
<b>But in the soul, my mind, will and emotions are at war and continual conflict with my spirit
For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.. (Gal 5:17)</b>
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
<b>To the natural unrenewed mind there is absolutely no way out of this dilemma and continuous war.
But the natural, non spiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated. (1 Cor 2:14 amp)
"O wretched man that I am!" is not Paul's spiritual condition, he was speaking of his flesh (His soul, mind, will and emotions.)
He had already said in (Rom 7:18), "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing."
He was speaking of the "old man" or the lingering influence of the sin nature that still exerts itself through the unrenewed mind.
The thoughts, attitudes, and emotions that flow through the unrenewed mind still pose a problem to believers.
How do we overcome this flesh?</b>
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
<b>Paul was not just stating that he was thanking God through Jesus Christ; he was specifically thanking God for the deliverance from this body of death, and that deliverance only comes through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Leaving sin separated in his flesh (the law of sin and death in his body) leaves sin powerless to affect his renewed mind which now, through the Holy Spirit, stands with his born again human spirit in the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, serving God.
The answer as to how to do this is about to be revealed in (Rom 8), as Paul explains how to escape the flesh and walk in the Spirit.</b>