The Meaning of Romans 7:16 Explained

Romans 7:16

KJV: If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

YLT: And if what I do not will, this I do, I consent to the law that it is good,

Darby: But if what I do not will, this I practise, I consent to the law that it is right.

ASV: But if what I would not, that I do, I consent unto the law that it is good.

What does Romans 7:16 Mean?

Verse Meaning

The apostle"s attitude toward the Law was not the reason for his dilemma.

Context Summary

Romans 7:14-25 - The Conflict Within
The Apostle gives a further statement of his personal experience of the inability of the soul to realize the divine ideal which has been revealed to it as the norm and type of its attainment. Life does not run smoothly. There are effort, strain, failure, the consciousness of sin, the dazzling glory of sunlight on inaccessible peaks. Why is this? It is due to the lack of "power unto salvation." We are not strong enough to win any victory. We are weak through the flesh. There is a leakage through which our good desires vanish, as water through a cracked vessel.
Self is ever the difficulty. Before we find Christ, or are found of Him, we try to justify ourselves, and afterward to sanctify ourselves. Notice how full these verses are of I, and how little is said of the Holy Spirit. As the corpse of a criminal that was, in the old barbarous days, hung around the neck of a living man, so the flesh is to us, with all its evil promptings. But this background of dark experience, ending in vanity, vexation, disappointment, and misery leads to the following chapter, which is saturated with Pentecostal power. The distant anticipation of this revives us, like the scent of land to animals sick with a long voyage; and we thank our God. [source]

Chapter Summary: Romans 7

1  No law has power over a man longer than he lives
4  But we are dead to the law
7  Yet is not the law sin;
12  but holy, just and good;
16  as I acknowledge, who am grieved because I cannot keep it

Greek Commentary for Romans 7:16

I consent unto the law [συνπημι τωι νομωι]
Old verb, here only in N.T., with associative instrumental case. “I speak with.” My wanting (τελω — thelō) to do the opposite of what I do proves my acceptance of God‘s law as good (καλος — kalos). [source]
I consent [σύμφημι]
Lit., speak together with; concur with, since the law also does not desire what I do. Only here in the New Testament. [source]
Good [καλός]
See on John 10:11, John 10:32; see on Matthew 26:10; see on James 2:7. Morally excellent. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Romans 7:16

Romans 7:22 I delight in [συνήδομαι]
Lit., I rejoice with. Stronger than I consent unto (Romans 7:16). It is the agreement of moral sympathy. [source]
Romans 7:17 I [ἐγὼ]
My personality proper; my moral self-consciousness which has approved the law (Romans 7:16) and has developed vague desires for something better. [source]
Romans 7:15 I would [θέλω]
See on Matthew 1:19. Rather desire than will in the sense of full determination, as is shown by I consent (Romans 7:16), and I delight in (Romans 7:22). [source]
Romans 7:23 Warring against [αντιστρατευομενον]
Rare verb (Xenophon) to carry on a campaign against. Only here in N.T. The law of my mind (τωι νομωι του νοος — tōi nomōi tou noos). The reflective intelligence Paul means by νοος — noos “the inward man” of Romans 7:22. It is this higher self that agrees that the law of God is good (Romans 7:12, Romans 7:16, Romans 7:22). Bringing me into captivity See note on this late and vivid verb for capture and slavery Luke 21:24; note on 2 Corinthians 10:5. Surely it is a tragic picture drawn by Paul with this outcome, “sold under sin” (Romans 7:14), “captivity to the law of sin” (Romans 7:23). The ancient writers (Plato, Ovid, Seneca, Epictetus) describe the same dual struggle in man between his conscience and his deeds. [source]
Romans 7:23 The law of my mind [τωι νομωι του νοος]
The reflective intelligence Paul means by νοος — noos “the inward man” of Romans 7:22. It is this higher self that agrees that the law of God is good (Romans 7:12, Romans 7:16, Romans 7:22). [source]
1 Timothy 3:7 A good report [μαρτυριαν καλὴν]
Comp. Acts 6:3. Not only does καλός occur in the Pastorals nearly twice as many times as in Paul, but the usage is different. Out of 16 instances in Paul, there is but one in which καλός isnot used substantively (Romans 7:16), while in the Pastorals it is, almost without exception, used adjectively. Μαρτυρίαν , better testimony. Comp. Titus 1:13. Not in Paul, who uses μαρτύριον . [source]
1 Timothy 1:8 Good [καλός]
Comp. Romans 7:16. Morally excellent and salutary. See on John 10:11. This is the only instance of χρᾶσθαι touse with νόμος lawLawfully ( νομίμως )Pastoolxx. The nature of the proper use of the law - is indicated by the next clause. [source]

What do the individual words in Romans 7:16 mean?

If now that which not I do want this I do I consent to the law that [it is] good
εἰ δὲ οὐ θέλω τοῦτο ποιῶ σύμφημι τῷ νόμῳ ὅτι καλός

δὲ  now 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: δέ  
Sense: but, moreover, and, etc.
  that  which 
Parse: Personal / Relative Pronoun, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root: ὅς 
Sense: who, which, what, that.
θέλω  I  do  want 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: θέλω  
Sense: to will, have in mind, intend.
τοῦτο  this 
Parse: Demonstrative Pronoun, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root: οὗτος  
Sense: this.
ποιῶ  I  do 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: ποιέω  
Sense: to make.
σύμφημι  I  consent 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: σύμφημι  
Sense: to consent, confess.
τῷ  to  the 
Parse: Article, Dative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
νόμῳ  law 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: νόμος  
Sense: anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, a command.
ὅτι  that  [it  is] 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅτι  
Sense: that, because, since.
καλός  good 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: καλός  
Sense: beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable.

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