The Believer’s Relationship to the Law
7 Or do you not know, brothers and sisters 1 (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law is lord over a person 2 as long as he lives? 2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives, but if her 3 husband dies, she is released from the law of the marriage. 4 3 So then, 5 if she is joined to another man while her husband is alive, she will be called an adulteress. But if her 6 husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she is joined to another man, she is not an adulteress. 4 So, my brothers and sisters, 7 you also died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you could be joined to another, to the one who was raised from the dead, to bear fruit to God. 8 5 For when we were in the flesh, 9 the sinful desires, 10 aroused by the law, were active in the members of our body 11 to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we have been released from the law, because we have died 12 to what controlled us, so that we may serve in the new life of the Spirit and not under the old written code. 13
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly, I 14 would not have known sin except through the law. For indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else 15 if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” 16 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires. 17 For apart from the law, sin is dead. 9 And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive 10 and I died. So 18 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life brought death! 19 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it I died. 20 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good.
13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin, so that it would be shown to be sin, produced death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual – but I am unspiritual, sold into slavery to sin. 21 15 For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want – instead, I do what I hate. 22 16 But if I do what I don’t want, I agree that the law is good. 23 17 But now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me. 18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it. 24 19 For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want! 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer me doing it but sin that lives in me.
21 So, I find the law that when I want to do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God in my inner being. 23 But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be 25 to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, 26 I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but 27 with my flesh I serve 28 the law of sin.
The Believer’s Relationship to the Holy Spirit
8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 1 2 For the law of the life-giving Spirit 2 in Christ Jesus has set you 3 free from the law of sin and death. 3 For God achieved what the law could not do because 4 it was weakened through the flesh. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5 For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by 5 the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. 6 For the outlook 6 of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in 7 the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but 8 the Spirit is your life 9 because of righteousness. 11 Moreover if the Spirit of the one 10 who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ 11 from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you. 12
12 So then, 13 brothers and sisters, 14 we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh 13 (for if you live according to the flesh, you will 15 die), 16 but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are 17 the sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, 18 but you received the Spirit of adoption, 19 by whom 20 we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness to 21 our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ) 22 – if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him.
18 For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared 23 to the glory that will be revealed to us. 19 For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility – not willingly but because of God 24 who subjected it – in hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now. 23 Not only this, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, 25 groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, 26 the redemption of our bodies. 27 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance. 28
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, 29 but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. 27 And he 30 who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit 31 intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s will. 28 And we know that all things work together 32 for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, 29 because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son 33 would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 34 30 And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.
31 What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 Indeed, he who 35 did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? 36 It is God who justifies. 34 Who is the one who will condemn? Christ 37 is the one who died (and more than that, he was raised), who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 38 36 As it is written, “For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 39 37 No, in all these things we have complete victory 40 through him 41 who loved us! 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, 42 nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Israel’s Rejection Considered 1
9 I am telling the truth in Christ (I am not lying!), for my conscience assures me 2 in the Holy Spirit – 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 3 For I could wish 4 that I myself were accursed – cut off from Christ – for the sake of my people, 5 my fellow countrymen, 6 4 who are Israelites. To them belong 7 the adoption as sons, 8 the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple worship, 9 and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, 10 and from them, 11 by human descent, 12 came the Christ, 13 who is God over all, blessed forever! 14 Amen.
6 It is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all those who are descended from Israel are truly Israel, 15 7 nor are all the children Abraham’s true descendants; rather “through Isaac will your descendants be counted.” 16 8 This means 17 it is not the children of the flesh 18 who are the children of God; rather, the children of promise are counted as descendants. 9 For this is what the promise declared: 19 “About a year from now 20 I will return and Sarah will have a son.” 21 10 Not only that, but when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, 22 our ancestor Isaac – 11 even before they were born or had done anything good or bad (so that God’s purpose in election 23 would stand, not by works but by 24 his calling) 25 – 12 26 it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger,” 27 13 just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 28
14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! 15 For he says to Moses: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 29 16 So then, 30 it does not depend on human desire or exertion, 31 but on God who shows mercy. 17 For the scripture says to Pharaoh: 32 “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may demonstrate my power in you, and that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” 33 18 So then, 34 God 35 has mercy on whom he chooses to have mercy, and he hardens whom he chooses to harden. 36
19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who has ever resisted his will?” 20 But who indeed are you – a mere human being 37 – to talk back to God? 38 Does what is molded say to the molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 39 21 Has the potter no right to make from the same lump of clay 40 one vessel for special use and another for ordinary use? 41 22 But what if God, willing to demonstrate his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects 42 of wrath 43 prepared for destruction? 44 23 And what if he is willing to make known the wealth of his glory on the objects 45 of mercy that he has prepared beforehand for glory – 24 even us, whom he has called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he also says in Hosea:
“I will call those who were not my people, ‘My people,’ and I will call her who was unloved, 46 ‘My beloved.’” 47
26 “And in the very place 48 where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’” 49
27 And Isaiah cries out on behalf of Israel, “Though the number of the children 50 of Israel are as the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved, 28 for the Lord will execute his sentence on the earth completely and quickly.” 51 29 Just 52 as Isaiah predicted,
“If the Lord of armies 53 had not left us descendants,
we would have become like Sodom,
and we would have resembled Gomorrah.” 54
Israel’s Rejection Culpable
30 What shall we say then? – that the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness obtained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith, 31 but Israel even though pursuing 55 a law of righteousness 56 did not attain it. 57 32 Why not? Because they pursued 58 it not by faith but (as if it were possible) by works. 59 They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 60 33 just as it is written,
“Look, I am laying in Zion a stone that will cause people to stumble
and a rock that will make them fall, 61
yet the one who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 62