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Romans 7:21

    Romans 7:21 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

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

    American King James Version (AKJV)

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

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    I find then the law, that, to me who would do good, evil is present.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    So I see a law that, though I have a mind to do good, evil is present in me.

    Webster's Revision

    I find then the law, that, to me who would do good, evil is present.

    World English Bible

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

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    I find then the law, that, to me who would do good, evil is present.

    Clarke's Commentary on Romans 7:21

    I find then a law - I am in such a condition and state of soul, under the power of such habits and sinful propensities, that when I would do good - when my will and reason are strongly bent on obedience to the law of God and opposition to the principle of sin, evil is present with me, κακον παρακειται, evil is at hand, it lies constantly before me. That, as the will to do good is constantly at hand, Romans 7:18, so the principle of rebellion exciting me to sin is equally present; but, as the one is only will, wish, and desire, without power to do what is willed, to obtain what is wished, or to perform what is desired, sin continually prevails.

    The word νομος, law, in this verse, must be taken as implying any strong or confirmed habit, συνηθεια, as Hesychius renders it, under the influence of which the man generally acts; and in this sense the apostle most evidently uses it in Romans 7:23.

    Barnes' Notes on Romans 7:21

    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.

    Wesley's Notes on Romans 7:21

    7:21 I find then a law - An inward constraining power, flowing from the dictate of corrupt nature.