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Romans 5:12--7:25

Context
The Amplification of Justification

5:12 So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people 1  because 2  all sinned – 5:13 for before the law was given, 3  sin was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin 4  when there is no law. 5:14 Yet death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam (who is a type 5  of the coming one) transgressed. 6  5:15 But the gracious gift is not like the transgression. 7  For if the many died through the transgression of the one man, 8  how much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ multiply to the many! 5:16 And the gift is not like the one who sinned. 9  For judgment, resulting from the one transgression, 10  led to condemnation, but 11  the gracious gift from the many failures 12  led to justification. 5:17 For if, by the transgression of the one man, 13  death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ!

5:18 Consequently, 14  just as condemnation 15  for all people 16  came 17  through one transgression, 18  so too through the one righteous act 19  came righteousness leading to life 20  for all people. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man 21  many 22  were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man 23  many 24  will be made righteous. 5:20 Now the law came in 25  so that the transgression 26  may increase, but where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more, 5:21 so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Believer’s Freedom from Sin’s Domination

6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase? 6:2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 6:3 Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life. 27 

6:5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of his resurrection. 28  6:6 We know that 29  our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, 30  so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 6:7 (For someone who has died has been freed from sin.) 31 

6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 6:9 We know 32  that since Christ has been raised from the dead, he is never going to die 33  again; death no longer has mastery over him. 6:10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God. 6:11 So you too consider yourselves 34  dead to sin, but 35  alive to God in Christ Jesus.

6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires, 6:13 and do not present your members to sin as instruments 36  to be used for unrighteousness, 37  but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments 38  to be used for righteousness. 6:14 For sin will have no mastery over you, because you are not under law but under grace.

The Believer’s Enslavement to God’s Righteousness

6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not! 6:16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves 39  as obedient slaves, 40  you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness? 41  6:17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves to sin, you obeyed 42  from the heart that pattern 43  of teaching you were entrusted to, 6:18 and having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. 6:19 (I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.) 44  For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 6:20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness.

6:21 So what benefit 45  did you then reap 46  from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. 6:22 But now, freed 47  from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit 48  leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. 6:23 For the payoff 49  of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Believer’s Relationship to the Law

7:1 Or do you not know, brothers and sisters 50  (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law is lord over a person 51  as long as he lives? 7:2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives, but if her 52  husband dies, she is released from the law of the marriage. 53  7:3 So then, 54  if she is joined to another man while her husband is alive, she will be called an adulteress. But if her 55  husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she is joined to another man, she is not an adulteress. 7:4 So, my brothers and sisters, 56  you also died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you could be joined to another, to the one who was raised from the dead, to bear fruit to God. 57  7:5 For when we were in the flesh, 58  the sinful desires, 59  aroused by the law, were active in the members of our body 60  to bear fruit for death. 7:6 But now we have been released from the law, because we have died 61  to what controlled us, so that we may serve in the new life of the Spirit and not under the old written code. 62 

7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly, I 63  would not have known sin except through the law. For indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else 64  if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” 65  7:8 But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires. 66  For apart from the law, sin is dead. 7:9 And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive 7:10 and I died. So 67  I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life brought death! 68  7:11 For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it I died. 69  7:12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good.

7:13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin, so that it would be shown to be sin, produced death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual – but I am unspiritual, sold into slavery to sin. 70  7:15 For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want – instead, I do what I hate. 71  7:16 But if I do what I don’t want, I agree that the law is good. 72  7:17 But now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me. 7:18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it. 73  7:19 For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want! 7:20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer me doing it but sin that lives in me.

7:21 So, I find the law that when I want to do good, evil is present with me. 7:22 For I delight in the law of God in my inner being. 7:23 But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. 7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 7:25 Thanks be 74  to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, 75  I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but 76  with my flesh I serve 77  the law of sin.

1 tn Here ἀνθρώπους (anqrwpou") has been translated as a generic (“people”) since both men and women are clearly intended in this context.

2 tn The translation of the phrase ἐφ᾿ ᾧ (ef Jw) has been heavily debated. For a discussion of all the possibilities, see C. E. B. Cranfield, “On Some of the Problems in the Interpretation of Romans 5.12,” SJT 22 (1969): 324-41. Only a few of the major options can be mentioned here: (1) the phrase can be taken as a relative clause in which the pronoun refers to Adam, “death spread to all people in whom [Adam] all sinned.” (2) The phrase can be taken with consecutive (resultative) force, meaning “death spread to all people with the result that all sinned.” (3) Others take the phrase as causal in force: “death spread to all people because all sinned.”

3 tn Grk “for before the law.”

4 tn Or “sin is not reckoned.”

5 tn Or “pattern.”

6 tn Or “disobeyed”; Grk “in the likeness of Adam’s transgression.”

7 tn Grk “but not as the transgression, so also [is] the gracious gift.”

8 sn Here the one man refers to Adam (cf. 5:14).

9 tn Grk “and not as through the one who sinned [is] the gift.”

10 tn The word “transgression” is not in the Greek text at this point, but has been supplied for clarity.

11 tn Greek emphasizes the contrast between these two clauses more than can be easily expressed in English.

12 tn Or “falls, trespasses,” the same word used in vv. 15, 17, 18, 20.

13 sn Here the one man refers to Adam (cf. 5:14).

14 tn There is a double connective here that cannot be easily preserved in English: “consequently therefore,” emphasizing the conclusion of what he has been arguing.

15 tn Grk “[it is] unto condemnation for all people.”

16 tn Here ἀνθρώπους (anqrwpou") has been translated as a generic (“people”) since both men and women are clearly intended in this context.

17 tn There are no verbs in the Greek text of v. 18, forcing translators to supply phrases like “came through one transgression,” “resulted from one transgression,” etc.

18 sn One transgression refers to the sin of Adam in Gen 3:1-24.

19 sn The one righteous act refers to Jesus’ death on the cross.

20 tn Grk “righteousness of life.”

21 sn Here the one man refers to Adam (cf. 5:14).

22 tn Grk “the many.”

23 sn One man refers here to Jesus Christ.

24 tn Grk “the many.”

25 tn Grk “slipped in.”

26 tn Or “trespass.”

27 tn Grk “may walk in newness of life,” in which ζωῆς (zwhs) functions as an attributed genitive (see ExSyn 89-90, where this verse is given as a prime example).

28 tn Grk “we will certainly also of his resurrection.”

29 tn Grk “knowing this, that.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

30 tn Grk “may be rendered ineffective, inoperative,” or possibly “may be destroyed.” The term καταργέω (katargew) has various nuances. In Rom 7:2 the wife whose husband has died is freed from the law (i.e., the law of marriage no longer has any power over her, in spite of what she may feel). A similar point seems to be made here (note v. 7).

31 sn Verse 7 forms something of a parenthetical comment in Paul’s argument.

32 tn Grk “knowing.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

33 tn The present tense here has been translated as a futuristic present (see ExSyn 536, where this verse is listed as an example).

34 tc ‡ Some Alexandrian and Byzantine mss (Ì94vid א* B C 81 365 1506 1739 1881 pc) have the infinitive “to be” (εἶναι, einai) following “yourselves”. The infinitive is lacking from some mss of the Alexandrian and Western texttypes (Ì46vid A D*,c F G 33vid pc). The infinitive is found elsewhere in the majority of Byzantine mss, suggesting a scribal tendency toward clarification. The lack of infinitive best explains the rise of the other readings. The meaning of the passage is not significantly altered by inclusion or omission, but on internal grounds omission is more likely. NA27 includes the infinitive in brackets, indicating doubt as to its authenticity.

35 tn Greek emphasizes the contrast between these two clauses more than can be easily expressed in English.

36 tn Or “weapons, tools.”

37 tn Or “wickedness, injustice.”

38 tn Or “weapons, tools.”

39 tn Grk “to whom you present yourselves.”

40 tn Grk “as slaves for obedience.” See the note on the word “slave” in 1:1.

41 tn Grk “either of sin unto death, or obedience unto righteousness.”

42 tn Grk “you were slaves of sin but you obeyed.”

43 tn Or “type, form.”

44 tn Or “because of your natural limitations” (NRSV).

sn Verse 19 forms something of a parenthetical comment in Paul’s argument.

45 tn Grk “fruit.”

46 tn Grk “have,” in a tense emphasizing their customary condition in the past.

47 tn The two aorist participles translated “freed” and “enslaved” are causal in force; their full force is something like “But now, since you have become freed from sin and since you have become enslaved to God….”

48 tn Grk “fruit.”

49 tn A figurative extension of ὀψώνιον (oywnion), which refers to a soldier’s pay or wages. Here it refers to the end result of an activity, seen as something one receives back in return. In this case the activity is sin, and the translation “payoff” captures this thought. See also L&N 89.42.

50 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:13.

51 sn Here person refers to a human being.

52 tn Grk “the,” with the article used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).

53 tn Grk “husband.”

sn Paul’s example of the married woman and the law of the marriage illustrates that death frees a person from obligation to the law. Thus, in spiritual terms, a person who has died to what controlled us (v. 6) has been released from the law to serve God in the new life produced by the Spirit.

54 tn There is a double connective here that cannot be easily preserved in English: “consequently therefore,” emphasizing the conclusion of what he has been arguing.

55 tn Grk “the,” with the article used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).

56 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:13.

57 tn Grk “that we might bear fruit to God.”

58 tn That is, before we were in Christ.

59 tn Or “sinful passions.”

60 tn Grk “our members”; the words “of our body” have been supplied to clarify the meaning.

61 tn Grk “having died.” The participle ἀποθανόντες (apoqanonte") has been translated as a causal adverbial participle.

62 tn Grk “in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.”

63 sn Romans 7:7-25. There has been an enormous debate over the significance of the first person singular pronouns (“I”) in this passage and how to understand their referent. Did Paul intend (1) a reference to himself and other Christians too; (2) a reference to his own pre-Christian experience as a Jew, struggling with the law and sin (and thus addressing his fellow countrymen as Jews); or (3) a reference to himself as a child of Adam, reflecting the experience of Adam that is shared by both Jews and Gentiles alike (i.e., all people everywhere)? Good arguments can be assembled for each of these views, and each has problems dealing with specific statements in the passage. The classic argument against an autobiographical interpretation was made by W. G. Kümmel, Römer 7 und die Bekehrung des Paulus. A good case for seeing at least an autobiographical element in the chapter has been made by G. Theissen, Psychologische Aspekte paulinischer Theologie [FRLANT], 181-268. One major point that seems to favor some sort of an autobiographical reading of these verses is the lack of any mention of the Holy Spirit for empowerment in the struggle described in Rom 7:7-25. The Spirit is mentioned beginning in 8:1 as the solution to the problem of the struggle with sin (8:4-6, 9).

64 tn Grk “I would not have known covetousness.”

65 sn A quotation from Exod 20:17 and Deut 5:21.

66 tn Or “covetousness.”

67 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “So” to indicate the result of the statement in the previous verse. Greek style often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” but English style generally does not.

68 tn Grk “and there was found in/for me the commandment which was for life – this was for death.”

69 tn Or “and through it killed me.”

70 tn Grk “under sin.”

71 tn Grk “but what I hate, this I do.”

72 tn Grk “I agree with the law that it is good.”

73 tn Grk “For to wish is present in/with me, but not to do it.”

74 tc ‡ Most mss (א* A 1739 1881 Ï sy) read “I give thanks to God” rather than “Now thanks be to God” (א1 [B] Ψ 33 81 104 365 1506 pc), the reading of NA27. The reading with the verb (εὐχαριστῶ τῷ θεῷ, eucaristw tw qew) possibly arose from a transcriptional error in which several letters were doubled (TCGNT 455). The conjunction δέ (de, “now”) is included in some mss as well (א1 Ψ 33 81 104 365 1506 pc), but it should probably not be considered original. The ms support for the omission of δέ is both excellent and widespread (א* A B D 1739 1881 Ï lat sy), and its addition can be explained as an insertion to smooth out the transition between v. 24 and 25.

75 tn There is a double connective here that cannot be easily preserved in English: “consequently therefore,” emphasizing the conclusion of what he has been arguing.

76 tn Greek emphasizes the contrast between these two clauses more than can be easily expressed in English.

77 tn The words “I serve” have been repeated here for clarity.



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