Romans 7:21
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.

King James Bible
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

Darby Bible Translation
I find then the law upon me who will to practise what is right, that with me evil is there.

World English Bible
I find then the law, that, to me, while I desire to do good, evil is present.

Young's Literal Translation
I find, then, the law, that when I desire to do what is right, with me the evil is present,

Romans 7:21 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

I find then a law - There is a law whose operation I experience whenever I attempt to do good. There have been various opinions about the meaning of the word "law" in this place. It is evident that it is used here in a sense somewhat unusual. But it retains the notion which commonly attaches to it of what binds, or controls. And though this to which he refers differs from a law, inasmuch as it is not imposed by a superior, which is the usual idea of a law, yet it has so far the sense of law that it binds, controls, influences, or is that to which he was subject. There can be no doubt that he refers here to his carnal and corrupt nature; to the evil propensities and dispositions which were leading him astray. His representing this as a law is in accordance with all that he says of it, that it is servitude, that he is in bondage to it, and that it impedes his efforts to be holy and pure. The meaning is this, "I find a habit, a propensity, an influence of corrupt passions and desires, which, when I would do right, impedes my progress, and prevents my accomplishing what I would." Compare Galatians 5:17. Every Christian is as much acquainted with this as was the apostle Paul.

Do good - Do right. Be perfect.

Evil - Some corrupt desire, or improper feeling, or evil propensity.

Is present with me - Is near; is at hand. It starts up unbidden, and undesired. It is in the path, and never leaves us, but is always ready to impede our going, and to turn us from our good designs; compare Psalm 65:3, "Iniquities prevail against me.' The sense is, that to do evil is agreeable to our strong natural inclinations and passions.

Romans 7:21 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
Romans 7:23
but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.

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 8:2
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

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