Romans 7:14

For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
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AD 400
Paul is speaking here to those who were under the law. For they would not have submitted to it if they did not know that it was spiritual…. Paul calls man carnal, because he sins. To be sold under sin means to trace one’s origin to Adam, who was the first to sin, and to subject oneself to sin by one’s own transgression…. For Adam sold himself first, and because of this all his descendants are subjected to sin. The law is firm and just and without fault, but man is weak and bound either by his own or by his inherited fault, so that he cannot obey the law in his own strength. Commentary on Paul’s Epistles.

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
The law can only be fulfilled by spiritual men, and these only the grace of God can produce. For the man who has been made spiritual like the law will easily do what it commands. He will not be under the law but at one with it. He will also be someone who is not ensnared by temporal goods or frightened by temporal evils.

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
The will of the Spirit is one thing, that of the flesh is another. These two wills fight against each other and can never reach agreement. Man is carnal, but the law is spiritual. How then can the law ever become tolerable to those who struggle so hard against the sickness of sin? There is wisdom here, for if a man is carnal he is in some sense captive and reduced to the condition of slavery. .

Diodorus of Tarsus

AD 390
The law is spiritual and makes the person who keeps it spiritual as well. It was given by the Holy Spirit so that those who obeyed it might receive the Spirit and be cleansed by the law’s teaching. Paul was not sold under sin by anyone else but by his own breaking of the law. .

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
I am carnal, sold under sin, a slave subject to sinful inclinations, which are only properly sins when they are consented to by our free-will. There has been a great dispute both among the ancient and later interpreters, whether St. Paul from this verse to the end of the chapter speaks of a person remaining in sin, either under the law of nature or of the written law, (which was once the opinion of St. Augustine) or whether he speaks of a person regenerated by baptism, and in the state of grace in the new law, and even of himself when he was a faithful servant of God. This is the opinion of St. Augustine in many of his later writings against the Pelagians, for which he also cites St. Hilary, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, and St. Ambrose. It is also the opinion of St. Jerome, (Ep. ad Eustochium de custod. Virg.) of St. Gregory the great, of Ven. Bede, and the more approved opinion, according to which the apostle here by sin does not understand that which is properly speaking a sin, or sinfu...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Not only does Paul clear the law of all blame; he bestows very great praise on it as well. For by calling it spiritual he shows that it is a teacher of virtue and hostile to vice, for this is what being spiritual means—taking people away from any kind of sin. This is what the law did by frightening, admonishing, chastening, correcting and recommending every kind of virtue. How then was sin produced, if the teacher was so admirable? It was from the laziness of the pupils. This is why Paul went on to say that he was carnal, giving us here the portrait of a man as he was under and before the coming of the law.

Methodius of Olympus

AD 311
"For it was not the law of God that became the cause of my being brought into subjection to corruption, but the devil; that he might be made manifested who, through that which is good, wrought evil; that the inventor of evil might become and be proved the greatest of all sinners. "For we know that the law is spiritual; ". and therefore it can in no respect be injurious to any one; for spiritual things are far removed from irrational lust and sin. "But I am carnal, sold under sin; "

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
? "Then, again, when affirming the law to be "spiritual"

Thomas Aquinas

AD 1274
After showing that the Law is neither evil nor productive of an evil effect [n. 532], the Apostle now proves that the Law is good. In regard to this he does two things: first, he proves its goodness from the very repugnance to good found in man, a repugnance the Law cannot take away; secondly, he shows what can take away this repugnance [v. 24; n. 589]. In regard to the first he does three things: first, he states his proposition; 280 secondly, he proves it [v. 15; n. 562]; thirdly, he draws the conclusion [v. 21; n. 583]. In regard to the first he does two things: first, he asserts the goodness of the Law; secondly, man’s condition [v. 14b; n. 558]. 557. First, therefore he says: We have stated that the Law is holy. We said this because we, who are wise in divine matters, know that the law, i.e., the old, is spiritual, i.e., in harmony with man’s spirit: "The law of the Lord is stainless Ps 19 (v.7). Or it is spiritual, i.e., given by the Holy Spirit who is called the finger of God: "...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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