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Romans 7:18 – Not in me

13-04-2021 - Posted by Hans

For I am aware that good is not making its home in me (that is, in my flesh), for to will is lying beside me, yet to be effecting the ideal is not.

By “my flesh” Paul refers to his body, whether or not including the bones (Luke 24:39). The statement that “no good dwells in my flesh” means that the flesh is unable to “work out good”. Despite positive intentions.

Paul does not speak here (nor elsewhere) about “the sinful nature”. That is an invention of theologians. The Scriptures don’t know it. In the Bible nature is not sinful, but the unnatural (1:26).

The above statement is also not a declaration of war on the flesh. Nowhere do the Scriptures teach that we would fight against the flesh. In Ephesians 5:29, Paul writes, “No one ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it.” Our flesh is a creation of God, even though it is mortal and weak. And unsuitable to be in charge. The impulses of our body in themselves are never wrong, but they require guidance from our mind. That is called “self-control.”

We should seek the strength to work out the good, not within, but outside of ourselves. It can only be found above!