ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 200


that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” But
sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me!
If there were no law, sin would not have that power. At one time I lived
without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to
covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, and I died. So I discovered
that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived
me; it used the commands to kill me. But still, the law itself is holy, and its
commands are holy and right and good.
But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of
course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to
death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.
So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble
is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand
myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what
I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree
that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in
me that does it.
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I
want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t.
I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t
want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that
does it.
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is
right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But
there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power
makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable
person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and
death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see
how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my
sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has
freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was
unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did
what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies
we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control
over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the

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