Good News Translation (GNB)
6

Dead to Sin but Alive in Union with Christ

61What shall we say, then? Should we continue to live in sin so that God's grace will increase? 2Certainly not! We have died to sin — how then can we go on living in it? 3For surely you know that when we were baptized into union with Christ Jesus, we were baptized into union with his death. 4

6.4:
Col 2.12
By our baptism, then, we were buried with him and shared his death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from death by the glorious power of the Father, so also we might live a new life.

5For since we have become one with him in dying as he did, in the same way we shall be one with him by being raised to life as he was. 6And we know that our old being has been put to death with Christ on his cross, in order that the power of the sinful self might be destroyed, so that we should no longer be the slaves of sin. 7For when people die, they are set free from the power of sin. 8Since we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that Christ has been raised from death and will never die again — death will no longer rule over him. 10And so, because he died, sin has no power over him; and now he lives his life in fellowship with God. 11In the same way you are to think of yourselves as dead, so far as sin is concerned, but living in fellowship with God through Christ Jesus.

12Sin must no longer rule in your mortal bodies, so that you obey the desires of your natural self. 13Nor must you surrender any part of yourselves to sin to be used for wicked purposes. Instead, give yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life, and surrender your whole being to him to be used for righteous purposes. 14Sin must not be your master; for you do not live under law but under God's grace.

Slaves of Righteousness

15What, then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law but under God's grace? By no means! 16Surely you know that when you surrender yourselves as slaves to obey someone, you are in fact the slaves of the master you obey — either of sin, which results in death, or of obedience, which results in being put right with God. 17But thanks be to God! For though at one time you were slaves to sin, you have obeyed with all your heart the truths found in the teaching you received. 18You were set free from sin and became the slaves of righteousness. 19(I use everyday language because of the weakness of your natural selves.) At one time you surrendered yourselves entirely as slaves to impurity and wickedness for wicked purposes. In the same way you must now surrender yourselves entirely as slaves of righteousness for holy purposes.

20When you were the slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness. 21What did you gain from doing the things that you are now ashamed of? The result of those things is death! 22But now you have been set free from sin and are the slaves of God. Your gain is a life fully dedicated to him, and the result is eternal life. 23For sin pays its wage — death; but God's free gift is eternal life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord.

7

An Illustration from Marriage

71Certainly you will understand what I am about to say, my brothers and sisters, because all of you know about law. The law rules over people only as long as they live. 2A married woman, for example, is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives; but if he dies, then she is free from the law that bound her to him. 3So then, if she lives with another man while her husband is alive, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is legally a free woman and does not commit adultery if she marries another man. 4That is how it is with you, my sisters and brothers. As far as the Law is concerned, you also have died because you are part of the body of Christ; and now you belong to him who was raised from death in order that we might be useful in the service of God. 5For when we lived according to our human nature, the sinful desires stirred up by the Law were at work in our bodies, and all we did ended in death. 6Now, however, we are free from the Law, because we died to that which once held us prisoners. No longer do we serve in the old way of a written law, but in the new way of the Spirit.

Law and Sin

7

7.7:
Ex 20.17
Deut 5.21
Shall we say, then, that the Law itself is sinful? Of course not! But it was the Law that made me know what sin is. If the Law had not said, “Do not desire what belongs to someone else,” I would not have known such a desire. 8But by means of that commandment sin found its chance to stir up all kinds of selfish desires in me. Apart from law, sin is a dead thing. 9I myself was once alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life, 10and I died. And the commandment which was meant to bring life, in my case brought death. 11
7.11:
Gen 3.13
Sin found its chance, and by means of the commandment it deceived me and killed me.

12So then, the Law itself is holy, and the commandment is holy, right, and good. 13But does this mean that what is good caused my death? By no means! It was sin that did it; by using what is good, sin brought death to me, in order that its true nature as sin might be revealed. And so, by means of the commandment sin is shown to be even more terribly sinful.

The Conflict within Us

14We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15

7.15:
Gal 5.17
I do not understand what I do; for I don't do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate. 16Since what I do is what I don't want to do, this shows that I agree that the Law is right. 17So I am not really the one who does this thing; rather it is the sin that lives in me. 18I know that good does not live in me — that is, in my human nature. For even though the desire to do good is in me, I am not able to do it. 19I don't do the good I want to do; instead, I do the evil that I do not want to do. 20If I do what I don't want to do, this means that I am no longer the one who does it; instead, it is the sin that lives in me.

21So I find that this law is at work: when I want to do what is good, what is evil is the only choice I have. 22My inner being delights in the law of God. 23But I see a different law at work in my body — a law that fights against the law which my mind approves of. It makes me a prisoner to the law of sin which is at work in my body. 24What an unhappy man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is taking me to death? 25Thanks be to God, who does this through our Lord Jesus Christ!

This, then, is my condition: on my own I can serve God's law only with my mind, while my human nature serves the law of sin.

8

Life in the Spirit

81There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set me8.2 me; some manuscripts have you; others have us. free from the law of sin and death. 3What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like sinful human nature, to do away with sin. 4God did this so that the righteous demands of the Law might be fully satisfied in us who live according to the Spirit, and not according to human nature. 5Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. Those who live as the Spirit tells them to, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants. 6To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace. 7And so people become enemies of God when they are controlled by their human nature; for they do not obey God's law, and in fact they cannot obey it. 8Those who obey their human nature cannot please God.

9But you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to — if, in fact, God's Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you8.10 the Spirit is life for you; or your spirit is alive. because you have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die because of sin. 11

8.11:
1 Cor 3.16
If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you.

12So then, my brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but it is not to live as our human nature wants us to. 13For if you live according to your human nature, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death your sinful actions, you will live. 14Those who are led by God's Spirit are God's children. 15

8.15:
Mk 14.36
Gal 4.6
8.15–17:
Gal 4.5–7
For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God's children, and by the Spirit's power we cry out to God, “Father! my Father!” 16God's Spirit joins himself to our spirits to declare that we are God's children. 17Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share Christ's suffering, we will also share his glory.

The Future Glory

18I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19All of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his children. 20

8.20:
Gen 3.17–19
For creation was condemned to lose its purpose, not of its own will, but because God willed it to be so. Yet there was the hope 21that creation itself would one day be set free from its slavery to decay and would share the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22For we know that up to the present time all of creation groans with pain, like the pain of childbirth. 23
8.23:
2 Cor 5.2–4
But it is not just creation alone which groans; we who have the Spirit as the first of God's gifts also groan within ourselves, as we wait for God to make us his children and8.23 Some manuscripts do not have make us his children and. set our whole being free. 24For it was by hope that we were saved; but if we see what we hope for, then it is not really hope. For which of us hopes for something we see? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. 27And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will.

28We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him,8.28 in all things God works for good with those who love him; some manuscripts have all things work for good for those who love God. those whom he has called according to his purpose. 29Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son, so that the Son would be the eldest brother in a large family. 30And so those whom God set apart, he called; and those he called, he put right with himself, and he shared his glory with them.

God's Love in Christ Jesus

31In view of all this, what can we say? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32Certainly not God, who did not even keep back his own Son, but offered him for us all! He gave us his Son — will he not also freely give us all things? 33Who will accuse God's chosen people? God himself declares them not guilty! 34Who, then, will condemn them? Not Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, who was raised to life and is at the right-hand side of God, pleading with him for us! 35Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death? 36

8.36:
Ps 44.22
As the scripture says,

“For your sake we are in danger of death at all times;

we are treated like sheep that are going to be slaughtered.”

37No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! 38For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, 39neither the world above nor the world below — there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.