Paul's Letter to the Romans

Chapter 7

No law has power over a man longer than he lives, 1-3. But we are dead to the law, 4-6. Yet the law is not sin, 7-11; but holy, just, and good, 12-15; as Paul acknowledges, who is grieved because he cannot keep it, 16-25.

1 Do you not know, brothers (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives. But if the husband is dead, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then, if while her husband lives she is married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress. But if her husband is dead, she is free from that law so that she is not an adulteress if she is married to another man.

4 Therefore, my brothers, you have also become dead to the law by the body of Christ so that you should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, so that we should bring forth fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death. 6 But now we are delivered from the law, having died to that by which we were held, so that we should serve in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? By no means. No, I had not known sin, but by the law. For I would not have known lust if the law had not said, "You shall not covet." 8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 9 For I was alive without the law once. But when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10 And the commandment which was ordained to life I found to be to death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me and by it slew me. 12 Therefore, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, just, and good.

13 Then was that which is good made death to me? By no means. But sin, so that it might be shown to be sin, wrought death in me by that which is good, so that sin, by the commandment, might become exceedingly sinful.

14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do, I do not allow. For what I wish to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do. 16 If then I do that which I do not wish to do, I consent to the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) no good thing dwells. For desire is present with me, but how to perform that which is good, I do not find. 19 For the good that I wish to do, I do not do. But the evil which I do not wish to do, I do. 20 Now if I do that which I do not wish to do, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.

21 I find then a law, that when I wish to do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 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. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 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.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Romans, Chapter 7[➚]


[v.2] - Reference, 1st Corinthians 7:39. See also, Numbers, ch. 30.

[v.7] - Quoting Exodus 20:17 (LXX). See also, Deuteronomy 5:21.