The identity of "I" in Romans 7:14-25

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Daniel David, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    The identity of the I in Romans 7:14-25 has caused many people to adopt an unbiblical view of salvation and sanctification. Before I give away my position, does anyone care to jump in?
     
  2. FaithRemains

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    'I' in that passage quite obviously refers to Paul.

    what interpretaion gives an unbiblical view of salvation?

    [ February 20, 2002: Message edited by: Joshua2415 ]
     
  3. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
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    Some would hold that the I in the passage refers to the "preconversion Paul", but the context will not allow for this, as the testimony of struggling with the sin nature by Paul is bookended by verse 15, "I do not understand my own actions..." and verse 24, "Wretched man that I am!"
     
  4. Siegfried

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    PreachTW,

    I think the I has to be Paul, although there are indications he may be speaking for the nation of Israel in a secondary sense, as well. Chris' question is the heart of the matter. Is it Paul before or after salvation?

    There is no Scripture passage that I've flip-flopped more on in my life. After a lot of study (because I believe Romans 6-8 is so important), I've concluded beyond any doubt that Paul was writing about his struggle with Mosaic law prior to his conversion.

    So, what do you think, PTW?
     
  5. Ransom

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    It seems to me that Paul has to be speaking about himself in his present. Compare the tone of verses like 7:21-22, for example, with the picture of natural man's depravity in Rom. 1-3, where he says there are those who "knew God [but] they did not glorify God . . . but became futile in their thoughts" (Rom 1:21); and there is "none who understands; / There is none who seeks after God" (3:11). Paul is speaking of himself as one who loves God and his law in Rom. 7, but he has already said of the unregenerate that they are haters of God and of righteousness.

    Paul is only saying what centuries of human experience confirms: being delivered from the penalty of sin by God does not mean an instantaneous deliverance from the power of sin, such that the spirit and the flesh war with each other (7:22-23).
     
  6. tyndale1946

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    Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

    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.

    18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

    19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

    20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

    21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

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

    23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

    24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

    25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

    Preachtheword... I like it in front of me where I can see it!... Paul is speaking of not just him but of all who have had that same experience. Their are those who have not been delivered from being in bondage to the law. They are still trying to work out their own righteousness and have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of Christ.

    We who have been delivered and know that we are still sinners and the only thing that can't sin is the inward man can understand what Paul is saying. Why was Paul given that thorn in the flesh? So he would not be exalted above measure.

    Did Paul ever sin again? Do we? Everyday because the scriptures state that we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. We are all wretched, just like Paul and if we say we are not then we are saying we are better than Paul. The same one that delivered Paul from his body of death will deliver us also Jesus Christ The Righteousness... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  7. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    Paul is obviously speaking of himself. The question is whether it is preconversion or post conversion.
     
  8. tyndale1946

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    Post conversion he couldn't preach if it was pre... And wasn't called to preach before he was converted. Saul, Saul, Why presecutest thou me? It is hard to kick against the pricks. Who art thou Lord? I'm Jesus of Nazareth who thou persecuteth!

    II Corinthians 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

    2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth ;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

    3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth ;)

    4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

    5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.

    6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.

    7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

    8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

    9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

    10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

    11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing... Paul never much reflected according to scriptures on his pre conversion. Some is written on it but not a whole lot and we must go to secular writer
    like Coneybeare and other to fill in the blanks of his early life... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  9. tyndale1946

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    I don't know where these winking smilies came from I didn't put them there... Ignore them... Brother Glen :eek:
     
  10. Siegfried

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ransom:
    It seems to me that Paul has to be speaking about himself in his present. Compare the tone of verses like 7:21-22, for example, with the picture of natural man's depravity in Rom. 1-3, where he says there are those who "knew God [but] they did not glorify God . . . but became futile in their thoughts" (Rom 1:21); and there is "none who understands; / There is none who seeks after God" (3:11). Paul is speaking of himself as one who loves God and his law in Rom. 7, but he has already said of the unregenerate that they are haters of God and of righteousness.

    Paul is only saying what centuries of human experience confirms: being delivered from the penalty of sin by God does not mean an instantaneous deliverance from the power of sin, such that the spirit and the flesh war with each other (7:22-23).
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    But the Law that Paul says he takes delight in is the Mosaic law, and in 6:14 and 7:1-4 he makes it very clear that the Mosaic law is no longer a ruling power in the life of a believer. Therefore, Paul would not have been struggling with it.

    Rom. 1 and 3 are not inconsistent with the pre-conversion position, because Paul was certainly not glorifying or even truly seeking after God as a Pharisee. His thoughts certainly were futile, even as he tried to destroy the Church.

    It is true that human experience confirms that believers are not delivered from the influence of sin. Romans 6 is very clear about that. It is equally clear that believers are delivered from bondage to sin. The language of Romans 7:14-25 is much more consistent with bondage than merely influence (esp. verses 14 and 23-24).
     
  11. Jamal5000

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    Preach,

    I think that I refers to Paul who speaks as a saved person confirming both the existence of his previous wordly/fleshly state and the existence of the continuing conflict between the mortal side of his life and the spiritual side of his life with which he must always grapple.

    As disciples, we also must come to terms with these two realities about our lives.

    Love,
    Jamal5000 [​IMG]

    [ February 23, 2002: Message edited by: Jamal5000 ]
     
  12. Daniel David

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    Well, since I started this thing, I figured I should post again.

    Romans 7:14 is the conclusive verse in determining whether Paul is speaking of himself before or after conversion. What follows after verse 14 is the "proof" or explanation of what he said. Paul said, "For I know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin." No Christian can ever truly say those words. Paul is speaking pre-. Paul said in II Cor. 5:17, "If any man be in Christ he is a new creation." How can Paul be carnal by nature and a new creation? Further, in Romans 6:19, Paul said to the believers, "You WERE slaves of sin, BUT NOW you are slaves of righteousness." After saying that, how could be say that he was still carnal?

    Also, verse 14 communicates bondage to something with no hope of escape. No Christian is so bound to sin that they cannot escape it. Also, in Romans 8:2, Paul says, "For the Law of the Spirit in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." How could Paul still be bound to obey sin when the Spirit has set believers free?

    The only position that is consistent is preconversion. I used to hold a post- view. I couldn't reconcile the many problems that it introduces.
     
  13. Daniel David

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    I think Siegfried hit the nail on the head with his (I assume it is a guy) treatment of the Law. Believers don't stive to obey the Mosaic Law.
     

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