Rather his problem was traceable to the sin that dwelt within him, namely, his sinful nature. Paul was not trying to escape responsibility but was identifying the source of his sin, his sinful nature. "I" describes the new man Paul had become at his conversion ( Galatians 2:20). Viewed as a whole person he was dead to sin. Nevertheless the source of sin within him was specifically his sinful human nature that was still very much alive. [source][source][source]
It comes as a terrible discovery for a new believer, or an untaught believer, to realize that our problem with sin is complex. We are sinners not only because we commit acts of sin (ch3) and because, as descendants of Adam, we sin because he sinned (ch5). We are also sinners because we possess a nature that is thoroughly sinful (ch7). Jesus Christ paid the penalty for acts of sin, He removed the punishment of original sin, and He enables us to overcome the power of innate sin. [source][source][source]
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
1No law has power over a man longer than he lives 4But we are dead to the law 7Yet is not the law sin; 12but holy, just and good; 16as I acknowledge, who am grieved because I cannot keep it
What do the individual words in Romans 7:17 mean?
In that casenowno longerIam doingitbutthedwellinginmesin