Romans 7:18 ( posted 8-12-14 )

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.

 

Let's continue.

 

Remember, Paul is telling us that even though he does commit sin that he does not want to commit, because of the motive in his heart being pure and not lustful, God does not hold Paul accountable for his sin.

Somehow, the responsibility and cause of Paul committing the sin he does not want to commit is placed on sin itself...not Paul.

However, we must remember that this obviously only applies when the heart is pure and unwilling to commit sin...not when we lust and love to commit sin and live in sin willfully.

 

 

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: “

 

Paul makes a detailed statement to what part of him he is referring to;

(that is, in my flesh,) “

 

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. “   Genesis 6:5-7

 

 

And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. “  Genesis 8:21-22

 

 

For those of us who are saved by grace through our faith in Jesus Christ, it is our spirit that is cleansed, not our flesh.

 

 

 

for to will is present with me; “

 

This statement confirms that Paul's heart and motive was pure. He does not want to offend God by committing sin nor does he look for things to get turned on by and fulfill his fleshly lusts for sin.

 

 

but how to perform that which is good I find not.

 

The Greek word “ kalon “ translated “ good “ Paul used to express how good of works he wanted to emphasize means not just good but virtuous, valuable.

 

Paul knew that he had to rely on the righteousness of Jesus Christ his Savior to get him into Heaven.

He knew he could not live up to God's standards nor could he earn his entrance into Heaven by his own works.

 

When Jesus said;

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceedthe righteousnessof the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.   Matthew 5:20

He was referring to His own righteousness that we obtain when we put our faith in Jesus.

 

Paul said;

But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.   2 Corinthians 3:7-11

 

Even though Paul said he could not find a way to do valuable goodness and goodness that is virtuous unto God, he did teach us to abstain from the presence and all manner of evil and do not live according to the flesh.

Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. “   2 Timothy 2:22

 

John said if our heart and motive is pure we can have confidence that what we ask of God we will receive from Him;

And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. “   1 John 3:19-22

 

Always remember, no matter how good we try to live and yes, this is a good thing to strive for, in the end the only thing that will get us into Heaven is the righteousness of Jesus Christ in which He wonderfully lived while He was here on earth in human flesh...in which we inherit when we put our faith in Jesus.

 

I will continue with verse 19 in the next study.

 

Wayne Brown