The Meaning of Romans 7:22 Explained

Romans 7:22

KJV: For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

YLT: for I delight in the law of God according to the inward man,

Darby: For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man:

ASV: For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

What does Romans 7:22 Mean?

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 7:22

For I delight in [συνηδομαι 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 αντρωπον — kata ton esō anthrōpon) of the conscience as opposed to “the outward man” (2 Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians 3:16). [source]
I delight in [συνήδομαι]
Lit., I rejoice with. Stronger than I consent unto (Romans 7:16). It is the agreement of moral sympathy. [source]
The inward man [τὸν ἔσω ἄνθρωπον]
The rational and moral I, the essence of the man which is conscious of itself as an ethical personality. Not to be confounded with the new man (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10). It is substantially the same with the mind (Romans 7:23). [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Romans 7:22

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]
2 Corinthians 4:16 Our outward man [ο εχω ημων αντρωπος]
In Romans 7:22; Colossians 3:9; Ephesians 4:22., we have the inward man and the outward for the higher and the lower natures (the spirit and the flesh). “Here the decay Plato (Republ. ix, p. 589) has ο εντος αντρωπος — ho entos anthrōpos Cf. “the hidden man of the heart” (1 Peter 3:4). Day by day (ημεραι και ημεραι — hēmerāi kai hēmerāi). This precise idiom is not in lxx nor rest of N.T. It may be colloquial use of locative in repetition. [source]
2 Corinthians 4:16 our inward man [ο εσω ημων]
In Romans 7:22; Colossians 3:9; Ephesians 4:22., we have the inward man and the outward for the higher and the lower natures (the spirit and the flesh). “Here the decay Plato (Republ. ix, p. 589) has ο εντος αντρωπος — ho entos anthrōpos Cf. “the hidden man of the heart” (1 Peter 3:4). Day by day (ημεραι και ημεραι — hēmerāi kai hēmerāi). This precise idiom is not in lxx nor rest of N.T. It may be colloquial use of locative in repetition. [source]
Ephesians 3:16 That ye may be strengthened [κραταιος]
First aorist passive infinitive of κρατος — krataioō late and rare (lxx, N.T.) from δυναμει — krataios late form from εις τον εσω αντρωπον — kratos (strength). See note on Luke 1:80. Paul adds εχω — dunamei (with the Spirit). Instrumental case. In the inward man (eis ton esō anthrōpon). Same expression in 2 Corinthians 4:16 (in contrast with the outward exō man) and in Romans 7:22. [source]
Ephesians 3:16 In the inward man [eis ton esō anthrōpon)]
Same expression in 2 Corinthians 4:16 (in contrast with the outward exō man) and in Romans 7:22. [source]
Colossians 2:18 By his fleshly mind [ὑπὸ τοῦ νοὸς τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ]
Lit., by the mind of his flesh. The intellectual faculty in its moral aspects as determined by the fleshly, sinful nature. See on Romans 8:23. Compare Romans 7:22-25; Romans 8:7. The teachers boasted that they were guided by the higher reason. Paul describes their higher reason as carnal. [source]
1 Peter 3:4 But the hidden man of the heart [αλλ ο κρυπτος της καρδιας αντρωπος]
Here αντρωπος — anthrōpos is in contrast with κοσμος — kosmos just before. See Paul‘s use of αντρωπος — anthrōpos for the outer and old, the inner and new man (2 Corinthians 4:16; Romans 7:22; Colossians 3:9; Ephesians 3:16; Ephesians 4:22, Ephesians 4:24). See also the Jew εν κρυπτωι — en kruptōi (Romans 2:29) and what Jesus said about God seeing “in secret” (Matthew 6:4, Matthew 6:6). [source]

What do the individual words in Romans 7:22 mean?

I delight for in the law - of God according to the inward man
συνήδομαι γὰρ τῷ νόμῳ τοῦ Θεοῦ κατὰ τὸν ἔσω ἄνθρωπον

συνήδομαι  I  delight 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Middle or Passive, 1st Person Singular
Root: συνήδομαι  
Sense: to rejoice together with (another or others).
τῷ  in  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.
τοῦ  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Θεοῦ  of  God 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: θεός  
Sense: a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities.
κατὰ  according  to 
Parse: Preposition
Root: κατά 
Sense: down from, through out.
ἔσω  inward 
Parse: Adverb
Root: ἔσω  
Sense: to within, into.
ἄνθρωπον  man 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: ἄνθρωπος  
Sense: a human being, whether male or female.