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Romans 7

Rom 7:1

To men that know the law (γινωσκουσιν νομον). Dative plural of present active participle of γινωσκω. The Romans, whether Jews or Gentiles, knew the principle of law.

A man (του ανθρωπου). "The person," generic term ανθρωπος, not ανηρ.

Rom 7:2

The wife that hath a husband (η υπανδρος γυνη). Late word, under (in subjection to) a husband. Here only in N.T.

Is bound (δεδετα). Perfect passive indicative, stands bound.

By law (νομω). Instrumental case.

To the husband while he liveth (τω ζωντ ανδρ). "To the living husband," literally.

But if the husband die (εαν δε αποθανη ο ανηρ). Third class condition, a supposable case (εαν and the second aorist active subjunctive).

She is discharged (κατηργητα). Perfect passive indicative of καταργεω, to make void. She stands free from the law of the husband. Cf. 6:6.

Rom 7:3

While the husband liveth (ζωντος του ανδρος). Genitive absolute of present active participle of ζαω.

She shall be called (χρηματισε). Future active indicative of χρηματιζω, old verb, to receive a name as in Ac 11:26 , from χρημα, business, from χραομα, to use, then to give an oracle, etc.

An adulteress (μοιχαλις). Late word, in Plutarch, LXX. See on Mt 12:39 .

If she be joined (εαν γενητα). Third class condition, "if she come to."

So that she is no adulteress (του μη εινα αυτην μοιχαλιδα). It is a fact that του and the infinitive is used for result as we saw in 1:24. Conceived result may explain the idiom here.

Rom 7:4

Ye also were made to the law (κα υμεις εθανατωθητε). First aorist indicative passive of θανατοω, old verb, to put to death (Mt 10:21 ) or to make to die (extinct) as here and Ro 8:13 . The analogy calls for the death of the law, but Paul refuses to say that. He changes the structure and makes them dead to the law as the husband ( 6:3-6). The relation of marriage is killed "through the body of Christ" as the "propitiation" ( 3:25) for us. Cf. Col 1:22 .

That we should be joined to another (εις το γενεσθα ετερω). Purpose clause with εις το and the infinitive. First mention of the saints as wedded to Christ as their Husband occurs in 1Co 6:13; Ga 4:26 . See further Eph 5:22-33 .

That we might bring forth fruit unto God (ινα καρποφορησωμεν τω θεω). He changes the metaphor to that of the tree used in 6:22.

Rom 7:5

In the flesh (εν τη σαρκ). Same sense as in 6:19 and 7:18,25 . The "flesh" is not inherently sinful, but is subject to sin. It is what Paul means by being "under the law." He uses σαρξ in a good many senses.

Sinful passions (τα παθηματα των αμαρτιων). "Passions of sins" or marked by sins.

Wrought (ενεργειτο). Imperfect middle of ενεργεω, "were active."

To bring forth fruit unto death (εις το καρποφορησα τω θανατω). Purpose clause again. Vivid picture of the seeds of sin working for death.

Rom 7:6

But now (νυν δε). In the new condition.

Wherein we were holden (εν ω κατειχομεθα). Imperfect passive of κατεχω, picture of our former state (same verb in 1:18).

In newness of spirit (εν καινοτητ πνευματος). The death to the letter of the law (the old husband) has set us free to the new life in Christ. So Paul has shown again the obligation on us to live for Christ.

Rom 7:7

Is the law sin? (ο νομος αμαρτια?). A pertinent query in view of what he had said. Some people today oppose all inhibitions and prohibitions because they stimulate violations. That is half-baked thinking.

I had not known sin (την αμαρτιαν ουκ εγνων). Second aorist indicative of γινωσκω, to know. It is a conclusion of a second class condition, determined as unfulfilled. Usually αν is used in the conclusion to make it plain that it is second class condition instead of first class, but occasionally it is not employed when it is plain enough without as here (Joh 16:22,24 ). See on Ga 4:15 . So as to

I had not known coveting (lust), επιθυμιαν ουκ ηιδειν. But all the same the law is not itself sin nor the cause of sin. Men with their sinful natures turn law into an occasion for sinful acts.

Rom 7:8

Finding occasion (αφορμην λαβουσα). See 2Co 5:12; 11:12; Ga 5:13 for αφορμην, a starting place from which to rush into acts of sin, excuses for doing what they want to do. Just so drinking men use the prohibition laws as "occasions" for violating them.

Wrought in me (κατειργασατο εν εμο). First aorist active middle indicative of the intensive verb κατεργαζομα, to work out (to the finish), effective aorist. The command not to lust made me lust more.

Dead (νεκρα). Inactive, not non-existent. Sin in reality was there in a dormant state.

Rom 7:9

I was alive (εζων). Imperfect active. Apparently, "the lost paradise in the infancy of men" (Denney), before the conscience awoke and moral responsibility came, "a seeming life" (Shedd).

Sin revived (η αμαρτια ανεζησεν). Sin came back to life, waked up, the blissful innocent stage was over, "the commandment having come" (ελθουσης της εντολης, genitive absolute).

But I died (εγω δε απεθανον). My seeming life was over for I was conscious of sin, of violation of law. I was dead before, but I did not know. Now I found out that I was spiritually dead.

Rom 7:10

This I found unto death (ευρεθη μοι--αυτη εις θανατον). Literally, "the commandment the one for (meant for) life, this was found for me unto death." First aorist (effective) passive indicative of ευρισκω, to find, not active as the English has it. It turned out so for me (ethical dative).

Rom 7:11

Beguiled me (εξηπατησεν με). First aorist active indicative of εξαπαταω, old verb, completely (εξ) made me lose my way (α privative, πατεω, to walk). See on 1Co 3:18; 2Co 11:3 . Only in Paul in N.T.

Slew me (απεκτεινεν). First aorist active indicative of αποκτεινω, old verb. "Killed me off," made a clean job of it. Sin here is personified as the tempter (Ge 3:13 ).

Rom 7:12

Holy, and righteous, and good (αγια κα δικαια κα αγαθη). This is the conclusion (wherefore, ωστε) to the query in verse 7. The commandment is God's and so holy like Him, just in its requirements and designed for our good. The modern revolt against law needs these words.

Rom 7:13

Become death unto me? (εμο εγενετο θανατοσ?). Ethical dative εμο again. New turn to the problem. Admitting the goodness of God's law, did it issue in death for me? Paul repels (μη γενοιτο) this suggestion. It was sin that (But sin, αλλα η αμαρτια) "became death for me."

That it might be shown (ινα φανη). Final clause, ινα and second aorist passive subjunctive of φαινω, to show. The sinfulness of sin is revealed in its violations of God's law.

By working death to me (μο κατεργαζομενη θανατον). Present middle participle, as an incidental result.

Might become exceedingly sinful (γενητα καθ' υπερβολην αμαρτωλος). Second aorist middle subjunctive of γινομα with ινα in final clause. On καθ' υπερβολην, see on 1Co 12:31 . Our hyperbole is the Greek υπερβολη. The excesses of sin reveal its real nature. Only then do some people get their eyes opened.

Rom 7:14

Spiritual (πνευματικος). Spirit-caused and spirit-given and like the Holy Spirit. See 1Co 10:3f .

But I am carnal (εγω δε σαρκινος ειμ). "Fleshen" as in 1Co 3:1 which see, more emphatic even than σαρκικος," a creature of flesh."

Sold under sin (πεπραμενος υπο την αμαρτιαν). Perfect passive participle of πιπρασκω, old verb, to sell. See on Mt 13:46; Ac 2:45 , state of completion. Sin has closed the mortgage and owns its slave.

Rom 7:15

I know not (ου γινωσκω). "I do not recognize" in its true nature. My spiritual perceptions are dulled, blinded by sin (2Co 4:4 ). The dual life pictured here by Paul finds an echo in us all, the struggle after the highest in us ("what I really wish," ο θελω, to practise it steadily, πρασσω) and the slipping into doing (ποιω) "what I really hate" (ο μισω) and yet sometimes do. There is a deal of controversy as to whether Paul is describing his struggle with sin before conversion or after it. The words "sold under sin" in verse 14 seem to turn the scale for the pre-conversion period. "It is the unregenerate man's experience, surviving at least in memory into regenerate days, and read with regenerate eyes" (Denney).

Rom 7:16

I consent unto the law (συνφημ τω νομω). Old verb, here only in N.T., with associative instrumental case. "I speak with." My wanting (θελω) to do the opposite of what I do proves my acceptance of God's law as good (καλος).

Rom 7:17

So now (νυν δε). A logical contrast, "as the case really stands."

But sin that dwelleth in me (αλλ' η ενοικουσα εν εμο αμαρτια). "But the dwelling in me sin." Not my true self, my higher personality, but my lower self due to my slavery to indwelling sin. Paul does not mean to say that his whole self has no moral responsibility by using this paradox. "To be saved from sin, a man must at the same time own it and disown it" (Denney).

Rom 7:18

In me (εν εμο). Paul explains this by "in my flesh" (εν τη σαρκ μου), the unregenerate man "sold under sin" of verse 14.

No good thing (ουκ--αγαθον). "Not absolutely good." This is not a complete view of man even in his unregenerate state as Paul at once shows.

For to will is present with me (το γαρ θελειν παρακειτα μο). Present middle indicative of παρακειμα, old verb, to lie beside, at hand, with dative μο. Only here in N.T.

The wishing is the better self,

the doing not the lower self.

Rom 7:19

But the evil which I would not (αλλα ο ου θελω κακον). Incorporation of the antecedent into the relative clause, "what evil I do not wish." An extreme case of this practise of evil is seen in the drunkard or the dope-fiend.

Rom 7:20

It is no more I that do it (ουκετ εγω κατεργαζομα αυτο). Just as in verse 17, "no longer do I do it" (the real Εγο, my better self), and yet there is responsibility and guilt for the struggle goes on.

Rom 7:21

The law (τον νομον). The principle already set forth (αρα, accordingly) in verses 18,19 . This is the way it works, but there is no surcease for the stings of conscience.

Rom 7:22

For I delight in (συνηδομα γαρ). Old verb, here alone in N.T., with associative instrumental case, "I rejoice with the law of God," my real self "after the inward man" (κατα τον εσω ανθρωπον) of the conscience as opposed to "the outward man" (2Co 4:16; Eph 3:16 ).

Rom 7:23

A different law (ετερον νομον). For the distinction between ετερος and αλλος, see Ga 1:6f .

Warring against (αντιστρατευομενον). Rare verb (Xenophon) to carry on a campaign against. Only here in N.T.

The law of my mind (τω νομω του νοος). The reflective intelligence Paul means by νοος, "the inward man" of verse 22. It is this higher self that agrees that the law of God is good (12,16,22 ).

Bringing me into captivity (αιχμαλωτιζοντα). See on this late and vivid verb for capture and slavery Lu 21:24; 2Co 10:5 . Surely it is a tragic picture drawn by Paul with this outcome, "sold under sin" ( 14), "captivity to the law of sin" ( 23). The ancient writers (Plato, Ovid, Seneca, Epictetus) describe the same dual struggle in man between his conscience and his deeds.

Rom 7:24

O wretched man that I am (ταλαιπωρος εγω ανθρωπος). "Wretched man I." Old adjective from τλαω, to bear, and πωρος, a callus. In N.T. only here and Re 3:17 . "A heart-rending cry from the depths of despair" (Sanday and Headlam).

Out of the body of this death (εκ του σωματος του θανατου τουτου). So the order of words demands. See verse 13 for "death" which finds a lodgment in the body (Lightfoot). If one feels that Paul has exaggerated his own condition, he has only to recall 1Ti 1:15 when he describes himself a chief of sinners. He dealt too honestly with himself for Pharisaic complacency to live long.

Rom 7:25

I thank God (χαρις τω θεω). "Thanks to God." Note of victory over death through Jesus Christ our Lord."

So then I myself (αρα ουν αυτος εγω). His whole self in his unregenerate state gives a divided service as he has already shown above. In 6:1-7:6 Paul proved the obligation to be sanctified. In 7:7-8:11 he discusses the possibility of sanctification, only for the renewed man by the help of the Holy Spirit.

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