Romans 7:18
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.

King James Bible
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Darby Bible Translation
For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, good does not dwell: for to will is there with me, but to do right I find not.

World English Bible
For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. For desire is present with me, but I don't find it doing that which is good.

Young's Literal Translation
for I have known that there doth not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh, good: for to will is present with me, and to work that which is right I do not find,

Romans 7:18 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For I know - This is designed as an illustration of what he had just said, that sin dwelt in him.

That is, in my flesh - In my unrenewed nature; in my propensities and inclinations before conversion. Does not this qualifying expression show that in this discussion he was speaking of himself as a renewed man? Hence, he is careful to imply that there was at that time in him something that was right or acceptable with God, but that that did not pertain to him by nature.

Dwelleth - His soul was wholly occupied by what was evil. It had taken entire possession.

No good thing - There could not be possibly a stronger expression of belief of the doctrine of total depravity. It is Paul's own representation of himself. It proves that his heart was wholly evil. And if this was true of him, it is true of all others. It is a good way to examine ourselves, to inquire whether we have such a view of our own native character as to say that we know that in our flesh there dwelleth no good thing. The sense here is, that so far as the flesh was concerned, that is, in regard to his natural inclinations and desires, there was nothing good; all was evil. This was true in his entire conduct before conversion, where the desires of the flesh reigned and rioted without control; and it was true after conversion, so far as the natural inclinations and propensities of the flesh were concerned. All those operations in every stake were evil, and not the less evil because they are experienced under the light and amidst the influences of the gospel.

To will - To purpose or intend to do good.

Is present with me - I can do that. It is possible; it is in my power. The expression may also imply that it was near to him παράκειται parakeitai, that is, it was constantly before him; it was now his habitual inclination and purpose of mind. It is the uniform, regular, habitual purpose of the Christian's mind to do right.

But how - The sense would have been better retained here if the translators had not introduced the word "how." The difficulty was not in the mode of performing it, but to do the thing itself.

I find not - I do not find it in my power; or I find strong, constant obstacles, so that I fail of doing it. The obstacles are not natural, but such as arise from long indulgence in sin; the strong native propensity to evil.

Romans 7:18 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Original and the Actual Relation of Man to Law.
ROMANS vii. 10.--"The commandment which, was ordained to life, I found to be unto death." The reader of St. Paul's Epistles is struck with the seemingly disparaging manner in which he speaks of the moral law. In one place, he tells his reader that "the law entered that the offence might abound;" in another, that "the law worketh wrath;" in another, that "sin shall not have dominion" over the believer because he is "not under the law;" in another, that Christians "are become dead to the law;" in
William G.T. Shedd—Sermons to the Natural Man

The Fainting Warrior
Now, humble Christians are often the dupes of a very foolish error. They look up to certain advanced saints and able ministers, and they say, "Surely, such men as these do not suffer as I do; they do not contend with the same evil passions as those which vex and trouble me." Ah! if they knew the heard of those men, if they could read their inward conflicts, they would soon discover that the nearer a man lives to God, the more intensely has he to mourn over his own evil heart, and the more his Master
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

There are Therefore in us Evil Desires, by Consenting not unto which we Live...
20. There are therefore in us evil desires, by consenting not unto which we live not ill: there are in us lusts of sins, by obeying not which we perfect not evil, but by having them do not as yet perfect good. The Apostle shows both, that neither is good here perfected, where evil is so lusted after, nor evil here perfected, whereas such lust is not obeyed. The one forsooth he shows, where he says, "To will is present with me, but to perfect good is not;" [1875] the other, where he says, "Walk in
St. Augustine—On Continence

Its Source
Let us here review, briefly, the ground which we have already covered. We have seen, first, that "to justify" means to pronounce righteous. It is not a Divine work, but a Divine verdict, the sentence of the Supreme Court, declaring that the one justified stands perfectly conformed to all the requirements of the law. Justification assures the believer that the Judge of all the earth is for him, and not against him: that justice itself is on his side. Second, we dwelt upon the great and seemingly insoluable
Arthur W. Pink—The Doctrine of Justification

Cross References
John 3:6
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Romans 7:25
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

Romans 8:3
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

Galatians 5:17
For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

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