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Romans 7:19 - I Do Not Do Good But Bookmark

It is not the Will that leads men astray; but the corrupt Passions which oppose and oppress the will. (Dr. Adam Clarke)

Rom 7:19  For the good that I would, I do not,.... The apostle here repeats what he had delivered in Romans 7:15 to strengthen and confirm this part of his experience; that though he had a will to that which was good, yet he wanted power, and had none of himself to perform; and therefore often did what he would not, and what he would he did not. (Dr. John Gill)

For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. (NASB)

For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (KJV)

I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. (NLT)

For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want! (NET)

It would be good here to reiterate that Paul is explaining what it is like to try to obey the law of God in the power of the flesh.  This is the place where we daily live as long as we have breath and a pulse.  The question then becomes then where is the victory?  This will become apparent in Romans 8:1.  For now it is good to see that even the Apostle Paul struggled.  However, he also gave us a great many important ways to overcome this struggle with the victory that is ours in Christ Jesus!  As I have said before, the fact that we struggle is a good sign that we belong to Jesus.  If we had no struggle it would be because we were the unrighteous and ungodly against whom the righteousness of God is revealed (Romans 1:18).  Our eyes have the power to see but without light they are rendered absolutely useless.  Only in Christ's light may we see the threat that endangers us.  Only in Christ's light may we find the victory!

It is not the Will that leads men astray; but the corrupt Passions which oppose and oppress the will.  It is truly astonishing into what endless mistakes men have fallen on this point, and what systems of divinity have been built on these mistakes.  The will, this almost only friend to God in the human soul, has been slandered as God’s worst enemy, and even by those who had the seventh chapter to the Romans before their eyes!  Nay, it has been considered so fell a foe to God and goodness that it is bound in the adamantine chains of a dire necessity to do evil only; and the doctrine of will (absurdly called free will, as if will did not essentially imply what is free) has been considered one of the most destructive heresies.  Let such persons put themselves to school to their Bibles and to common sense.

The plain state of the case is this:  the soul is so completely fallen, that it has no power to do good till it receive that power from on high.  But it has power to see good, to distinguish between that and evil; to acknowledge the excellence of this good, and to will it, from a conviction of that excellence; but farther it cannot go.  Yet, in various cases, it is solicited and consents to sin; and because it is will, that is, because it is a free principle, it must necessarily possess this power; and although it can do no good unless it receive grace from God, yet it is impossible to force it to sin.  Even Satan himself cannot do this; and before he can get it to sin, he must gain its consent. Thus God in his endless mercy has endued this faculty with a power in which, humanly speaking, resides the salvability of the soul; and without this the soul must have eternally continued under the power of sin, or been saved as an inert, absolutely passive machine; which supposition would go as nearly to prove that it was as incapable of vice as it were of virtue. (Dr. Adam Clarke)

The law may discover sin, and convince of sin, but it cannot conquer and subdue sin, witness the predominancy of sin in many that are under very strong legal convictions.  It discovers the defilement, but will not wash it off.  It makes a man weary and heavy laden (Matthew 11:28), burdens him with his sin; and yet, if rested in, it yields no help towards the shaking off of that burden; this is to be had only in Christ.  The law may make a man cry out, O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me? and yet leave him thus fettered and captivated, as being too weak to deliver him (Romans 8:3), give him a spirit of bondage to fear, Romans 8:15.  (Matthew Henry)

It is not the Will that leads men astray; but the corrupt Passions which oppose and oppress the will. (Dr. Adam Clarke)

Rom 7:19  For the good that I would, I do not,.... The apostle here repeats what he had delivered in Romans 7:15 to strengthen and confirm this part of his experience; that though he had a will to that which was good, yet he wanted power, and had none of himself to perform; and therefore often did what he would not, and what he would he did not. (Dr. John Gill)

For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. (NASB)

For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (KJV)

I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. (NLT)

For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want! (NET)

It would be good here to reiterate that Paul is explaining what it is like to try to obey the law of God in the power of the flesh.  This is the place where we daily live as long as we have breath and a pulse.  The question then becomes then where is the victory?  This will become apparent in Romans 8:1.  For now it is good to see that even the Apostle Paul struggled.  However, he also gave us a great many important ways to overcome this struggle with the victory that is ours in Christ Jesus!  As I have said before, the fact that we struggle is a good sign that we belong to Jesus.  If we had no struggle it would be because we were the unrighteous and ungodly against whom the righteousness of God is revealed (Romans 1:18).  Our eyes have the power to see but without light they are rendered absolutely useless.  Only in Christ's light may we see the threat that endangers us.  Only in Christ's light may we find the victory!

It is not the Will that leads men astray; but the corrupt Passions which oppose and oppress the will.  It is truly astonishing into what endless mistakes men have fallen on this point, and what systems of divinity have been built on these mistakes.  The will, this almost only friend to God in the human soul, has been slandered as God’s worst enemy, and even by those who had the seventh chapter to the Romans before their eyes!  Nay, it has been considered so fell a foe to God and goodness that it is bound in the adamantine chains of a dire necessity to do evil only; and the doctrine of will (absurdly called free will, as if will did not essentially imply what is free) has been considered one of the most destructive heresies.  Let such persons put themselves to school to their Bibles and to common sense.

The plain state of the case is this:  the soul is so completely fallen, that it has no power to do good till it receive that power from on high.  But it has power to see good, to distinguish between that and evil; to acknowledge the excellence of this good, and to will it, from a conviction of that excellence; but farther it cannot go.  Yet, in various cases, it is solicited and consents to sin; and because it is will, that is, because it is a free principle, it must necessarily possess this power; and although it can do no good unless it receive grace from God, yet it is impossible to force it to sin.  Even Satan himself cannot do this; and before he can get it to sin, he must gain its consent. Thus God in his endless mercy has endued this faculty with a power in which, humanly speaking, resides the salvability of the soul; and without this the soul must have eternally continued under the power of sin, or been saved as an inert, absolutely passive machine; which supposition would go as nearly to prove that it was as incapable of vice as it were of virtue. (Dr. Adam Clarke)

The law may discover sin, and convince of sin, but it cannot conquer and subdue sin, witness the predominancy of sin in many that are under very strong legal convictions.  It discovers the defilement, but will not wash it off.  It makes a man weary and heavy laden (Matthew 11:28), burdens him with his sin; and yet, if rested in, it yields no help towards the shaking off of that burden; this is to be had only in Christ.  The law may make a man cry out, O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me? and yet leave him thus fettered and captivated, as being too weak to deliver him (Romans 8:3), give him a spirit of bondage to fear, Romans 8:15.  (Matthew Henry)



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