Do you not understand, brothers and sisters (for I am speaking to people
who know the Law), that the Law has authority over people only for as long
as they live?
For instance, a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long
as he lives, but if her husband dies, she is freed from that marriage law.
So then, if while her husband is alive she is joined to another man, she
would rightly be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies she is free from
that law, and if she marries another man, she would not be guilty of adultery.
So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the Law through the body of Messiah, so that you could be joined to another, to the one who was
resurrected from the dead, in order that we would produce fruit for God.
5 For when we were under the power of human nature, the sinful passions aroused by the Law worked in every part of us to produce fruit to death.
6 But now we have been freed from the Law, because we have died to what held us in bondage, so that we serve in the newness of the spirit and not the oldness of the letter.
 7 So what shall we say then? Is the Law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly I
would not have known sin except through the Law. For I would not have known
about coveting unless the Law had said, “Do not covet.” 8 But sin, finding its
opportunity through this commandment, produced in me all kinds of
coveting. For apart from the Law, sin is dead. 9 I was alive apart from the Law
once, but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died.
10 And so I
found that the commandment which was meant to lead to life led to death. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me,
and through it killed me.
12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment
holy, right, and good. 13 Then did what is good become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin, so that it might be shown as sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment sin would be revealed as extremely sinful.
14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am unspiritual, sold as a
slave to sin. 15 For I do not understand what I do. I do not do what I want, but I
do what I hate.
16 When I do what I do not want, I acknowledge that the Law is good.
17 But now it is no longer I who do it, but sin which lives in me.
18 For I know
that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my human nature. For I have the will but
not the power to do what is good.
19 The good I want to do, I do not do, but the
evil I do not want to do, I do! 20 But if I am doing what I do not
want to, then it is no longer I who do it, but sin living in me. 21 I find then the principle that when I want to do what is good, evil is with me. 22 For I delight in God’s Law in my inner self,
23 but I see a
different law at work in the parts of my body, warring against the law of my mind, and
bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is within me. 24 What a
wretched person I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? I thank
God through Jesus Messiah our lord! 25 So then, with my mind I myself am
serving God’s Law, but with my human nature I am serving a law of sin.
That productive life would include making disciples and thus bearing spiritual fruit in terms of
new spiritual family. The whole concept of rebirth is parallel to seeds in nature. The seed is the package
of energy which produces new life. The Gospel is the seed of God (Lk. 8:11) which must bear fruit.
One can imagine the human head as an ovum, which must be penetrated by the living seed (sperma,sporos) of the Gospel of the Kingdom (cp. 1 Pet. 1:22-25; 1 John 3:5). The Gospel is the creative,
energetic word of God at work in believers (1 Thess. 2:13).
This is the key to the distinction between Torah (Law) in the letter and Law in the spirit. The
New Covenant spiritualizes the letter of the Law, hence the major changes it introduces, in regard to the
calendar, circumcision and food laws.