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7. Struggling With Sin

1Or are ye ignorant, brethren (for I speak to men who know the law), that the law hath dominion over a man for so long time as he liveth? 2For the woman that hath a husband is bound by law to the husband while he liveth; but if the husband die, she is discharged from the law of the husband. 3So then if, while the husband liveth, she be joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if the husband die, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she be joined to another man. 4Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, even to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God. 5For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were through the law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that wherein we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter. 7What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Howbeit, I had not known sin, except through the law: for I had not known coveting, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet: 8but sin, finding occasion, wrought in me through the commandment all manner of coveting: for apart from the law sin is dead. 9And I was alive apart from the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died; 10and the commandment, which was unto life, this I found to be unto death: 11for sin, finding occasion, through the commandment beguiled me, and through it slew me. 12So that the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and righteous, and good. 13Did then that which is good become death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might be shown to be sin, by working death to me through that which is good; --that through the commandment sin might become exceeding sinful. 14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15For that which I do I know not: for not what I would, that do I practise; but what I hate, that I do. 16But if what I would not, that I do, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me. 18For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but to do that which is good is not. 19For the good which I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I practise. 20But if what I would not, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me. 21I find then the law, that, to me who would do good, evil is present. 22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me out of the body of this death? 25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then I of myself with the mind, indeed, serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

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8. For without the law, etc. He expresses most clearly the meaning of his former words; for it is the same as though he had said, that the knowledge of sin without the law is buried. It is a general truth, which he presently applies to his own case. I hence wonder what could have come into the minds of interpreters to render the passage in the preterimperfect tense, as though Paul was speaking of himself; for it is easy to see that his purpose was to begin with a general proposition, and then to explain the subject by his own example.




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