New American Standard Bible
For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.
King James Bible
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
Darby Bible Translation
For that which I do, I do not own: for not what I will, this I do; but what I hate, this I practise.
World English Bible
For I don't know what I am doing. For I don't practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do.
Young's Literal Translation
for that which I work, I do not acknowledge; for not what I will, this I practise, but what I hate, this I do.
Romans 7:15 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For that which I do - That is, the evil which I do, the sin of which I am conscious, and which troubles me.
I allow not - I do not approve; I do not wish it; the prevailing bent of my inclinations and purposes is against it. Greek, "I know not;" see the margin. The word "know," however, is sometimes used in the sense of approving, Revelation 2:24, "Which have not known (approved) the depths of Satan;" compare Psalm 101:4, I will not know a wicked person." Jeremiah 1:5.
For what I would - That which I approve; and which is my prevailing and established desire. What I would wish always to do.
But what I hate - What I disapprove of: what is contrary to my judgment; my prevailing inclination; my established principles of conduct.
That do I-- Under the influence of sinful propensities, and carnal inclinations and desires. This represents the strong native propensity to sin; and even the power of corrupt propensity under the restraining influence of the gospel. On this remarkable and important passage we may observe,
(1) That the prevailing propensity; the habitual fixed inclination of the mind of the Christian, is to do right. The evil course is hated, the right course is loved. This is the characteristic of a pious mind. It distinguishes a holy man from a sinner.
(2) the evil which is done is disapproved; is a source of grief; and the habitual desire of the mind is to avoid it, and be pure. This also distinguishes the Christian from the sinner.
(3) there is no need of being embarrassed here with any metaphysical difficulties or inquiries how this can be; for.
(a) it is in fact the experience of all Christians. The habitual, fixed inclination and desire of their minds is to serve God. They have a fixed abhorrence of sin; and yet they are conscious of imperfection, and error, and sin, that is the source of uneasiness and trouble. The strength of natural passion may in an unguarded moment overcome them. The power of long habits of previous thoughts may annoy them. A man who was an infidel before his conversion, and whose mind was filled with scepticism, and cavils, and blasphemy, will find the effect of his former habits of thinking lingering in his mind, and annoying his peace for years. These thoughts will start up with the rapidity of lightning. Thus, it is with every vice and every opinion. It is one of the effects of habit. "The very passage of an impure thought through the mind leaves pollution behind it," and where sin has been long indulged, it leaves its withering, desolating effect on the soul long after conversion, and produces that state of conflict with which every Christian is familiar.
(b) An effect somewhat similar is felt by all people. All are conscious of doing that, under the excitement of passion and prejudice, which their conscience and better judgment disapprove. A conflict thus exists, which is attended with as much metaphysical difficulty as the struggle in the Christian's mind referred to here.
(c) The same thing was observed and described in the writings of the heathen. Thus, Xenophon (Cyrop. vi. 1), Araspes, the Persian, says, in order to excuse his treasonable designs," Certainly I must have two souls; for plainly it is not one and the same which is both evil and good; and at the same time wishes to do a thing and not to do it. Plainly then, there are two souls; and when the good one prevails, then it does good; and when the evil one predominates, then it does evil." So also Epictetus (Enchixid. ii. 26) says, "He that sins does not do what he would, but what he would not, that he does." With this passage it would almost seem that Paul was familiar, and had his eye on it when he wrote. So also the well-known passage from Ovid, Meta. vii. 9.
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LibraryThe 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
There are Therefore in us Evil Desires, by Consenting not unto which we Live...
"No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.
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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