Romans 7:5
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.

King James Bible
For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

American Standard Version
For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were through the law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For when we were in the flesh, the passions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members, to bring forth fruit unto death.

English Revised Version
For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were through the law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

Webster's Bible Translation
For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit to death:

Weymouth New Testament
For whilst we were under the thraldom of our earthly natures, sinful passions-- made sinful by the Law--were always being aroused to action in our bodily faculties that they might yield fruit to death.

Romans 7:5 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

In the flesh (ἐν τῇ σαρκί)

Σάρξ flesh, occurs in the classics in the physical sense only. Homer commonly uses it in the plural as denoting all the flesh or muscles of the body. Later the singular occurs in the same sense. Paul's use of this and other psychological terms must be determined largely by the Old-Testament usage as it appears in the Septuagint.

1. In the physical sense. The literal flesh. In the Septuagint τὰ κρέα flesh (plural) is used where the reference is to the parts of animals slain, and αἱ σάρκες, flesh (plural) where the reference is to flesh as the covering of the living body. Hence Paul uses κρέα in Romans 14:21; 1 Corinthians 8:13, of the flesh of sacrificed animals. Compare also the adjective σάρκιμος fleshy 2 Corinthians 3:3; and Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:26, Sept.

2. Kindred. Denoting natural or physical relationship, Romans 1:3; Romans 9:3-8; Romans 11:14; Galatians 4:23, Galatians 4:29; 1 Corinthians 10:18; Plm 1:16. This usage forms a transition to the following sense: the whole human body. Flesh is the medium in and through which the natural relationship of man manifests itself. Kindred is conceived as based on community of bodily substance. Therefore:

3. The body itself. The whole being designated by the part, as being its main substance and characteristic, 1 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Corinthians 7:28; 2 Corinthians 4:11; 2 Corinthians 7:5; 2 Corinthians 10:3; 2 Corinthians 12:7. Romans 2:28; Galatians 6:13, etc. Paul follows the Septuagint in sometimes using σῶμα body, and sometimes σάρξ flesh, in this sense, so that the terms occasionally seem to be practically synonymous. Thus 1 Corinthians 6:16, 1 Corinthians 6:17, where the phrase one body is illustrated and confirmed by one flesh. See Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:28, Ephesians 5:31, where the two are apparently interchanged. Compare 2 Corinthians 4:10, 2 Corinthians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 5:3, and Colossians 2:5. Σάρξ, however, differs from σῶμα in that it can only signify the organism of an earthly, living being consisting of flesh and bones, and cannot denote "either an earthly organism that is not living, or a living organism that is not earthly" (Wendt, in Dickson). Σῶμα not thus limited. Thus it may denote the organism of the plant (1 Corinthians 15:37, 1 Corinthians 15:38) or the celestial bodies (1 Corinthians 15:40). Hence the two conceptions are related as general and special: σῶμα body, being the material organism apart from any definite matter (not from any sort of matter), σάρξ, flesh, the definite, earthly, animal organism. The two are synonymons when σῶμα is used, from the context, of an earthly, animal body. Compare Philippians 1:22; 2 Corinthians 5:1-8.

Σῶμα body, and not σάρξ flesh, is used when the reference is to a metaphorical organism, as the church, Romans 12:4 sqq.; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 1:23; Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:18, etc.

The σάρξ is described as mortal (2 Corinthians 4:11); subject to infirmity (Galatians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 12:7); locally limited (Colossians 2:15); an object of fostering care (Ephesians 5:29).

4. Living beings generally, including their mental nature, and with a correlated notion of weakness and perishableness. Thus the phrase πᾶσα σάρξ all flesh (Genesis 6:12; Isaiah 49:26; Isaiah 49:23). This accessory notion of weakness stands in contrast with God. In Paul the phrase all flesh is cited from the Old Testament (Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16) and is used independently (1 Corinthians 1:29). In all these instances before God is added. So in Galatians 1:16, flesh and blood implies a contrast of human with divine wisdom. Compare 1 Corinthians 15:50; Ephesians 6:12. This leads up to

5. Man "either as a creature in his natural state apart from Christ, or the creaturely side or aspect of the man in Christ." Hence it is correlated with ἄνθρωπος man, 1 Corinthians 3:3; Romans 6:19; 2 Corinthians 5:17. Compare Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9; Galatians 5:24. Thus the flesh would seem to be interchangeable with the old man.

It has affections and lusts (Galatians 5:24); willings (Ephesians 2:3; Romans 8:6, Romans 8:7); a mind (Colossians 2:18); a body (Colossians 2:11).

It is in sharp contrast with πνεῦμα spirit (Galatians 3:3, Galatians 3:19; Galatians 5:16, Galatians 5:17, Galatians 5:19-24; Galatians 6:8; Romans 8:4). The flesh and the spirit are thus antagonistic. Σάρξ flesh, before or in contrast with his reception of the divine element whereby he becomes a new creature in Christ: the whole being of man as it exists and acts apart from the influence of the Spirit. It properly characterizes, therefore, not merely the lower forms of sensual gratification, but all - the highest developments of the life estranged from God, whether physical, intellectual, or aesthetic.

It must be carefully noted:

1. That Paul does not identify flesh and sin. Compare, flesh of sin, Romans 8:3. See Romans 7:17, Romans 7:18; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Galatians 2:20.

2. That Paul does not identify σάρξ with the material body nor associate sin exclusively and predominantly with the body. The flesh is the flesh of the living man animated by the soul (ψυχή) as its principle of life, and is distinctly used as coordinate with ἄνθρωπος man. As in the Old Testament, "it embraces in an emphatic manner the nature of man, mental and corporeal, with its internal distinctions." The spirit as well as the flesh is capable of defilement (2 Corinthians 7:1; compare 1 Corinthians 7:34). Christian life is to be transformed by the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2; compare Ephesians 4:23).

continued...

Romans 7:5 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

in the flesh.

Romans 8:8,9 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God...

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Galatians 5:16,17,24 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh...

Ephesians 2:3,11 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind...

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy...

motions. Gr. passions.

Romans 1:26 For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

*Gr:

which.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Romans 4:15 Because the law works wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

1 Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

2 Corinthians 3:6-9 Who also has made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills...

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written...

James 2:9,10 But if you have respect to persons, you commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors...

1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

did work.

Romans 7:8-13 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, worked in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead...

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness...

James 1:15 Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.

members.

Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind...

Romans 6:13,19 Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God...

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are on the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence...

James 4:1 From where come wars and fights among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

bring.

Romans 6:21 What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

Cross References
Romans 6:13
Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

Romans 6:21
But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.

Romans 7:7
What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet."

Romans 8:8
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 8:9
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

2 Corinthians 3:7
Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses' face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end,

2 Corinthians 10:3
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.

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