¶ Remember ye not brethren (I speak to them that know the law) how that the law hath power over a man as long as it endureth: For the woman which is in subjection to a man, is bound by the law to the man, as long as he liveth. If the man be dead, she is lowsed from the law of the man. So then if while the man liveth she couple herself with another man, she shall be counted a wedlock breaker. But if the man be dead she is free from the law: so that she is no wedlock breaker, though she couple herself with another man.
¶ Even so ye my brethren, ye also are made dead as concerning the law by the body of Christ, that ye should be coupled to another (I mean to him that is risen again from death) that we should bring forth fruit unto God. When we were in the flesh, the lusts of sin which were stirred up by the law, reigned in our members, to bring forth fruit unto death. But now are we delivered from the law, and dead from it, whereunto we were in bondage, that we should serve in a new conversation of the spirit, and not in the old conversation of the letter.
¶ What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid: but I knew not what sin meant but by the law. For I had not known what lust had meant, except the law had said, thou shalt not lust. But sin took an occasion by the means of the commandment, and wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For verily without the law sin was dead. I once lived without law: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I was dead. And the very same commandment which was ordained unto life, was found to be unto me an occasion of death. For sin took occasion by the means of the commandment and so deceived me, and by the self commandment slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, just, and good.
¶ Was that then which is good made death unto me? God forbid. Nay sin was death unto me, that it might appear how that sin by the means of that which is good, had wrought death in me: that sin which is under the commandment, might be out of measure sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin: because I wot not what I do. For what I would, that do I not: but what I hate, that do I. If I do now that which I would not, I grant to the law that it is good. So then now it is not I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is to say in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing. To will is present with me: but I find no means to perform that which is good. For I do not that good thing which I would: but that evil do I, which I would not. Finally, if I do that I would not, then is it not I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me doeth it. I find then by the law that when I would do good, evil is present with me. I delight in the law of God, as concerning the inner man. But I see another law in my members rebelling against the law of my mind, and subduing me unto the law of sin, which is in my members. O wretched man that I am: who shall deliver me from this body of death? I thank God by Iesus Christ our Lord: So then I myself in my mind serve the law of God, and in my flesh the law of sin.
© Faith of God
William Tyndale 1526