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Romans 7:16 - The Law is Good! Bookmark

Christians may here find a test of their piety. The fact of struggling against evil, the desire to be free from it, and to overcome it, the anxiety and grief which it causes, is an evidence that we do not love it, and that there. fore we are the friends of God. Perhaps nothing can be a more decisive test of piety than a long-continued and painful struggle against evil passions and desires in every form, and a panting of the soul to be delivered from the power and dominion of sin. (Dr. Albert Barnes)

But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. (NASB)

If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. (KJV)

But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. (NLT)

But if I do what I don't want, I agree that the law is good. (NET)

The fact that we are wrestling with our sin give us a sign of our ownership.  If we did not have God's light within us we would be at peace with our fallenness and would be trying to encourage others to join in our fallen lifestyle (Romans 1).  Matthew Henry pretty well encapsulates this (see quote below) when he describes this as being sold to a hated master.  We serve sin unwillingly (that is we hate what we are doing) yet we find ourselves unable to extricate ourselves from the conflict.  But when we are rescued by the comforter (the Spirit of Christ who lives within) we begin to discover the victory planned for us.  Kenneth Wuest says that "To be saved from sin, a man must at the same time own it and disown it; it is this practical paradox which is reflected in this verse."  We are responsible for our own sin (we own it) but must repent of it (disown it) and turn away from our dead self and toward Christ (our new life).  The honest place to begin is to confess to our Heavenly Father our conflict that we might be partakers of the life He has planned for us.  If our failures are the result of the sin that lives in us, then our victories must be the result of Christ in us.  The "I" in us must die to see the victory assured.

Compared with the holy rule of conduct in the law of God, the apostle found himself so very far short of perfection, that he seemed to be carnal; like a man who is sold against his will to a hated master, from whom he cannot set himself at liberty.  A real Christian unwillingly serves this hated master, yet cannot shake off the galling chain, till his powerful and gracious Friend above, rescues him. The remaining evil of his heart is a real and humbling hindrance to his serving God as angels do and the spirits of just made perfect. This strong language was the result of St. Paul's great advance in holiness, and the depth of his self-abasement and hatred of sin.  If we do not understand this language, it is because we are so far beneath him in holiness, knowledge of the spirituality of God's law, and the evil of our own hearts, and hatred of moral evil.  And many believers have adopted the apostle's language, showing that it is suitable to their deep feelings of abhorrence of sin, and self-abasement.  The apostle enlarges on the conflict he daily maintained with the remainder of his original depravity. He was frequently led into tempers, words, or actions, which he did not approve or allow in his renewed judgment and affections.  By distinguishing his real self, his spiritual part, from the self, or flesh, in which sin dwelt, and by observing that the evil actions were done, not by him, but by sin dwelling in him, the apostle did not mean that men are not accountable for their sins, but he teaches the evil of their sins, by showing that they are all done against reason and conscience.  Sin dwelling in a man, does not prove its ruling, or having dominion over him.  If a man dwells in a city, or in a country, still he may not rule there. (Matthew Henry)

Psalm 119:127-28  Truly, I love Your commands more than gold, even the finest gold.  Each of Your commandments is right. That is why I hate every false way. (NLT)

Christians may here find a test of their piety. The fact of struggling against evil, the desire to be free from it, and to overcome it, the anxiety and grief which it causes, is an evidence that we do not love it, and that there. fore we are the friends of God. Perhaps nothing can be a more decisive test of piety than a long-continued and painful struggle against evil passions and desires in every form, and a panting of the soul to be delivered from the power and dominion of sin. (Dr. Albert Barnes)

But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. (NASB)

If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. (KJV)

But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. (NLT)

But if I do what I don't want, I agree that the law is good. (NET)

The fact that we are wrestling with our sin give us a sign of our ownership.  If we did not have God's light within us we would be at peace with our fallenness and would be trying to encourage others to join in our fallen lifestyle (Romans 1).  Matthew Henry pretty well encapsulates this (see quote below) when he describes this as being sold to a hated master.  We serve sin unwillingly (that is we hate what we are doing) yet we find ourselves unable to extricate ourselves from the conflict.  But when we are rescued by the comforter (the Spirit of Christ who lives within) we begin to discover the victory planned for us.  Kenneth Wuest says that "To be saved from sin, a man must at the same time own it and disown it; it is this practical paradox which is reflected in this verse."  We are responsible for our own sin (we own it) but must repent of it (disown it) and turn away from our dead self and toward Christ (our new life).  The honest place to begin is to confess to our Heavenly Father our conflict that we might be partakers of the life He has planned for us.  If our failures are the result of the sin that lives in us, then our victories must be the result of Christ in us.  The "I" in us must die to see the victory assured.

Compared with the holy rule of conduct in the law of God, the apostle found himself so very far short of perfection, that he seemed to be carnal; like a man who is sold against his will to a hated master, from whom he cannot set himself at liberty.  A real Christian unwillingly serves this hated master, yet cannot shake off the galling chain, till his powerful and gracious Friend above, rescues him. The remaining evil of his heart is a real and humbling hindrance to his serving God as angels do and the spirits of just made perfect. This strong language was the result of St. Paul's great advance in holiness, and the depth of his self-abasement and hatred of sin.  If we do not understand this language, it is because we are so far beneath him in holiness, knowledge of the spirituality of God's law, and the evil of our own hearts, and hatred of moral evil.  And many believers have adopted the apostle's language, showing that it is suitable to their deep feelings of abhorrence of sin, and self-abasement.  The apostle enlarges on the conflict he daily maintained with the remainder of his original depravity. He was frequently led into tempers, words, or actions, which he did not approve or allow in his renewed judgment and affections.  By distinguishing his real self, his spiritual part, from the self, or flesh, in which sin dwelt, and by observing that the evil actions were done, not by him, but by sin dwelling in him, the apostle did not mean that men are not accountable for their sins, but he teaches the evil of their sins, by showing that they are all done against reason and conscience.  Sin dwelling in a man, does not prove its ruling, or having dominion over him.  If a man dwells in a city, or in a country, still he may not rule there. (Matthew Henry)

Psalm 119:127-28  Truly, I love Your commands more than gold, even the finest gold.  Each of Your commandments is right. That is why I hate every false way. (NLT)



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