The Jewish law
I say this now to my own countrymen, you Jewish people. You know the law that God gave to Moses. But we can only do what that law says while we are alive. That law is not there for us after we die. 2-3 I’ll talk about one part of the law to show you what I mean. That law says that a woman is only allowed to marry one man. If a married woman sleeps with a man that is not her husband, she breaks that law and she is guilty. We call it adultery. But if her husband dies, there is no law for her about adultery any more, so she can marry another man and sleep with him.
You know that Jesus died for us. His body was dead on the cross. And you believe in Jesus, so it is like you died too. That old law is not for you any more. You belong to Jesus now. He came alive again, and you are alive again too. You have a new life now, so you can do a lot of good things for God.
At first we didn’t believe in Jesus, and our boss was that bad part of us that makes us go wrong. That law told us not to do bad things, but this made us think about those bad things, and we did them anyway. So we had to die. But now it is like we are dead with Jesus and we don’t have to do anything that old law says any more. And we are alive again too, with the Holy Spirit in us. We live to do whatever God tells us to do.
That law shows us that we go wrong
Some people might reckon the old law is no good because it made us go wrong, but that’s not true. It is like this. The law shows me the things that are wrong. For example, one part of that law says, “Don’t think about getting something for yourself if it belongs to somebody else.” Before I ever knew that law I didn’t ever think like that. But after I heard that law, then I started to think that bad way. You see, if I don’t ever hear that law I will not go wrong like that. Before I ever heard the law I was alive, but then that law woke that bad part of me up and now it makes me go wrong, 10 so I have to die. That law’s job was to show me how I can live, but all it did was this, it told me, “You will die.” 11 That bad part of me used the law to trick me so that I did bad things, and now I know that I will die. 12 But that law itself is really good. It tells us to do things that are right and good.
13 But if that law is good, will that good thing make me die? No way. It was like this – the law showed me what is right and what is wrong, and after I knew this, that bad part of me used that law to tell me that I’ve got to die. So that law does this. It shows us that it is really bad to go wrong and to do bad things.
A fight goes on inside us
14 The problem is not the law, it is me. We know this. A long time ago God told Moses to write down that law, so there is nothing wrong with the law. But there is something wrong with me. I’m just a normal human. I keep going wrong. There is a bad part of me inside me that is my boss and I have to do everything that this boss tells me to do. 15 I don’t understand it. I want to do good things. But I can’t do those good things that I want to do. What I do are the things that I hate. 16 I know that I want to be better, and this shows that, really, I reckon the law is good. 17 So, really, it’s not me that does those bad things. It’s that bad part of me that is inside me.
18 I know that I can’t do anything good by myself. I want to do the right thing but I can’t. 19 I keep trying to do good things, but I can’t. No, I keep doing the bad things I don’t want to do. 20 That proves it. It’s not me that does those bad things. It’s that bad part inside me that does those bad things.
21 This is what happens. It is like another law. Every time I try to do something good, that bad part of me wants to take control and make me go wrong.
22 Really, I myself want to live the right way, 23 but there is a big fight going on inside me. That bad part of me makes its own law. It makes me think the wrong way. It makes me its prisoner so that I can’t do the things I really want to do. 24 I feel really sorry for myself. How can I get free from this bad boss that is in my body? Who can make me free?
25 Oh, thank you God. You made a way for me to be free. Jesus Christ will be my new leader and he will beat that old boss inside me.
This is what I have been saying up till now. I really want to do things that are right, but I have a bad part in me that is my boss, and it makes me do things that are wrong.