Surely you know, brothers - for I am speaking to those who understand Torah - that the Torah has authority over a person only so long as he lives?
For example, a married woman is bound by Torah to her husband while he is alive; but if the husband dies, she is released from the part of the Torah that deals with husbands.
Therefore, while the husband is alive, she will be called an adulteress if she marries another man; but if the husband dies, she is free from that part of the Torah; so that if she marries another man, she is not an adulteress.
Thus, my brothers, you have been made dead with regard to the Torah through the Messiah's body, so that you may belong to someone else, namely, the one who has been raised from the dead, in order for us to bear fruit for God.
For when we were living according to our old nature, the passions connected with sins worked through the Torah in our various parts, with the result that we bore fruit for death.
But now we have been released from this aspect of the Torah, because we have died to that which had us in its clutches, so that we are serving in the new way provided by the Spirit and not in the old way of outwardly following the letter of the law.
Therefore, what are we to say? That the Torah is sinful? Heaven forbid! Rather, the function of the Torah was that without it, I would not have known what sin is. For example, I would not have become conscious of what greed is if the Torah had not said, "Thou shalt not covet."v
But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, worked in me all kinds of evil desires - for apart from Torah, sin is dead.
I was once alive outside the framework of Torah. But when the commandment really encountered me, sin sprang to life,
and I died. The commandment that was intended to bring me life was found to be bringing me death!
For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me; and through the commandment, sin killed me.
So the Torah is holy; that is, the commandment is holy, just and good.
Then did something good become for me the source of death? Heaven forbid! Rather, it was sin working death in me through something good, so that sin might be clearly exposed as sin, so that sin through the commandment might come to be experienced as sinful beyond measure.
For we know that the Torah is of the Spirit; but as for me, I am bound to the old nature, sold to sin as a slave.
I don't understand my own behavior - I don't do what I want to do; instead, I do the very thing I hate!
Now if I am doing what I don't want to do, I am agreeing that the Torah is good.
But now it is no longer "the real me" doing it, but the sin housed inside me.
For I know that there is nothing good housed inside me - that is, inside my old nature. I can want what is good, but I can't do it!
For I don't do the good I want; instead, the evil that I don't want is what I do!
But if I am doing what "the real me" doesn't want, it is no longer "the real me" doing it but the sin housed inside me.
So I find it to be the rule, a kind of perverse "torah," that although I want to do what is good, evil is right there with me!
For in my inner self I completely agree with God's Torah;
but in my various parts, I see a different "torah," one that battles with the Torah in my mind and makes me a prisoner of sin's "torah," which is operating in my various parts.
What a miserable creature I am! Who will rescue me from this body bound for death?
Thanks be to God [, he will]! - through Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord! To sum up: with my mind, I am a slave of God's Torah; but with my old nature, I am a slave of sin's "Torah."