by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 7 Paragraph # 3 Study # 4 April 3, 2007 Lincolnton, N.C.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
1901 ASV Translation:
15 For that which I do I know not: for not what I would, that do I practice; but what I hate, that I do.
16 But if what I would not, that I do, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me.
I. The Actual Conflict.
A. In this text the apostle clearly reveals an actual conflict between his mental/volitional recognition of what is desirable and good and his actual practice.
1. He is dealing with what is actually produced out of his body.
2. He is dealing with what he actually "knows", or, perhaps more accurately, what he does not know.
3. He is dealing with what he "wills".
4. He is dealing with what he "practices".
5. He is dealing with what he "hates".
6. He is dealing with what he "does".
B. In this text the apostle clearly indicates a sub-mental, sub-volitional, sub-value-system "producer" of actual physical behavior.
1. He identifies this "producer" as "dwelling-in-me" Sin.
2. He distances himself from this "producer" in terms of the "productions".
3. By so doing, Paul emphasizesbeyondmeasure the need for the presence of the Spirit of God. If, in fact, the activities of the body are beyond values, choices, and understanding, what is left except an underlying spirit that, apparently, has, more or less, direct dominion over the body?
a. This "dominion" cannot be "exclusively direct" in the sense that the spirit can energize the body without intermediate agencies. There would be no point to the Bible as a revelation if the mental activities of the person are of absolutely no account. There would be little to no meaning to the concepts of "deception" and "values" if, in fact, the spirit is without intermediate agency in its control of the body. Paul would be, in a very real sense, wasting his words and time if, in fact, there is no actual impact to concepts and understanding. Even "faith" is reduced to vanity if, in fact, the controlling spirit is able to control without intermediate agency.
b. It seems apparent that Paul is clearly indicating the presence of two distinct spiritual "personalities" within the same body. There is the "I" who is not directly responsible for the production of the body (7:17) and there is the "dwelling-in-me Sin" that is directly responsible for those productions. Apparently both of these inner persons have mental/volitional "values", but "Sin" is the more powerful of the two so that the weaker "I" cannot over-ride Sin's stronger dominion.