Since I am speaking to those who understand law, brothers, are you unaware that the law has authority over someone as long as he lives?
For example, a married woman is legally bound to her husband while he lives. But if her husband dies, she is released from the law regarding the husband.
So then, if she gives herself to another man while her husband is living, she will be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law. Then, if she gives herself to another man, she is not an adulteress.
Therefore, my brothers, you also were put to death in relation to the law through the [crucified] body of the Messiah, so that you may belong to another-- to Him who was raised from the dead-- that we may bear fruit for God.
For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions operated through the law in every part of us and bore fruit for death.
But now we have been released from the law, since we have died to what held us, so that we may serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old letter of the law.
What should we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin if it were not for the law. For example, I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, You shall not covet.
And sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind. For apart from the law sin is dead.
Once I was alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life
and I died. The commandment that was meant for life resulted in death for me.
For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me.
So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.
Therefore, did what is good cause my death? Absolutely not! On the contrary, sin, in order to be recognized as sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment sin might become sinful beyond measure.
For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am made out of flesh, sold into sin's power.
For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.
And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good.
So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me.
For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it.
For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do.
Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me.
So I discover this principle: when I want to do good, evil is with me.
For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God's law.
But I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.
Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus,
because the Spirit's law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin's domain, and as a sin offering,
in order that the law's requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
For those whose lives are according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those whose lives are according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit.
For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.
For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God's law, for it is unable to do so.
Those whose lives are in the flesh are unable to please God.
You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.
So then, brothers, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh,
for if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
All those led by God's Spirit are God's sons.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father!"
The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God's children,
and if children, also heirs-- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ-- seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.
For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God's sons to be revealed.
For the creation was subjected to futility-- not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it-- in the hope
that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God's children.
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now.
And not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits-- we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
Now in this hope we were saved, yet hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.
In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings.
And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit's mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.
For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.
And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
He did not even spare His own Son, but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything?
Who can bring an accusation against God's elect? God is the One who justifies.
Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.
Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
As it is written: Because of You we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.
No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
I speak the truth in Christ-- I am not lying; my conscience is testifying to me with the Holy Spirit--
that I have intense sorrow and continual anguish in my heart.
For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from the Messiah for the benefit of my brothers, my countrymen by physical descent.
They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple service, and the promises.
The forefathers are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Messiah, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.
Neither are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants. On the contrary, in Isaac your seed will be called.
That is, it is not the children by physical descent who are God's children, but the children of the promise are considered seed.
For this is the statement of the promise: At this time I will come, and Sarah will have a son.
And not only that, but also when Rebekah became pregnant by Isaac our forefather
(for though they had not been born yet or done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to election might stand,
not from works but from the One who calls) she was told: The older will serve the younger.
As it is written: Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.
What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not!
For He tells Moses: I will show mercy to whom I show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.
So then it does not depend on human will or effort, but on God who shows mercy.
For the Scripture tells Pharaoh: For this reason I raised you up: so that I may display My power in you, and that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth.
So then, He shows mercy to whom He wills, and He hardens whom He wills.
You will say to me, therefore, "Why then does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?"
But who are you-- anyone who talks back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, "Why did you make me like this?"
Or has the potter no right over His clay, to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor?
And what if God, desiring to display His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience objects of wrath ready for destruction?
And [what if] He did this to make known the riches of His glory on objects of mercy that He prepared beforehand for glory--
on us whom He also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
As He also says in Hosea: I will call "Not-My-People," "My-People," and she who is "Unloved," "Beloved."
And it will be in the place where they were told, you are not My people, there they will be called sons of the living God.
But Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: Though the number of Israel's sons is like the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved;
for the Lord will execute His sentence completely and decisively on the earth.
And just as Isaiah predicted: If the Lord of Hosts had not left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have been made like Gomorrah.
What should we say then? Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained righteousness-- namely the righteousness that comes from faith.
But Israel, pursuing the law for righteousness, has not achieved the law.
Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.
As it is written: Look! I am putting a stone in Zion to stumble over, and a rock to trip over, yet the one who believes on Him will not be put to shame.