Romans 7:18

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Read Chapter 7

Ambrosiaster

AD 400
Paul does not say that the flesh is evil, as some think, but that what dwells in the flesh is not good, i.e., sin. How does sin dwell in the flesh when it is not a substance but the perversion of what is good? Since the body of the first man was corrupted by sin and became dissolvable, this same corruption of sin remains in the body because of the state of transgression, retaining the strength of the divine judgment given in Adam, which is the sign of the devil, at whose prompting Adam sinned. Because of this sin is said to dwell in the flesh, to which the devil comes as if to his own kingdom. For the flesh is sinful and sin remains in it in order to deceive man by evil temptations, so that man will not do what the law commands. Man can agree that what the law commands is good; he can say that it naturally pleases him and that he wants to do it. But in spite of all that, the power and the strength to carry out his wishes is lacking because he is so oppressed by the power of sin that he...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
It is possible for a good to be performed when there is no yielding to evil lust, but the good is completed or perfected only when evil lust itself no longer exists.

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Paul says that the evil of the flesh is not good but that when this evil has ceased to exist the flesh will still be there, but … then it will not be defective or corrupt.

Clement Of Alexandria

AD 215
Quod si ii, qui sunt diversae sententiae, repugnantes, existiment Paulum verba sua dirigentem ad versus Creatorem, dixisse ea, quae deinceps sequuntur: "Novi enim, quod non habitat in me, hoc est, in came mea, bonum; "

Irenaeus of Lyons

AD 202
Is the sign of our salvation, since it was the Lord Himself who saved them, because they could not be saved by their own instrumentality; and, therefore, when Paul sets forth human infirmity, he says: "For I know that there dwelleth in my flesh no good thing". "to will is present with him, but he finds not means to perform" ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Paul is not attacking the flesh when he says this. The fact that nothing good dwells in it does not mean that it is evil…. Paul is not finding fault with the body but pointing out that the soul is superior to it. It is the soul which governs the body and is responsible for sin, not the flesh.

Prosper of Aquitaine

AD 455
Although Paul has received the knowledge of right willing, he cannot find in himself the power to do what he wills. It is not until he receives a good will as a gift that he finds the power for the virtues which he seeks.

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
Which I am all unfit, being a man of no goodness;. "For as ye have tendered your members to servile impurity and iniquity, so too now tender them servants to righteousness unto holiness. "For even if he has affirmed that "good dwelleth not in his flesh"

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

App Store LogoPlay Store Logo