Romans 7:5

For when we were in the flesh, the passions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
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AD 400
Although he is in the flesh Paul denies that he is “living in the flesh,” even though he is in the body. In this passage “living in the flesh” means following something which is forbidden by the law. Therefore “living in the flesh” can be understood in many different ways. For every unbeliever is in the flesh, i.e., is carnal. A Christian living under the law is in the flesh. Anyone who puts his trust in men is in the flesh. Anyone who does not properly understand Christ is in the flesh. If a Christian leads an extravagant life he is in the flesh. Nevertheless, in this passage we should understand “being in the flesh” as meaning that before we believed we were under the power of the flesh. For then we lived under the flesh, i.e., following our carnal desires we were subject to wickedness and sin. For the mind of the flesh is not to understand spiritual things, e.g., that a virgin might conceive without intercourse with a man, that a man may be born again of water and the Spirit, and th...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
For when we were in the flesh; i.e. lived according to the flesh, the passions of sins, which were by the law: he does not say, as St. Chrysostom observes, that they were caused by the law, but only were by it, meaning that they were occasioned by the knowledge of the law, but properly caused by ourselves, and our corrupt inclinations, that were wrought in our members, rather than did work. (Witham)

John Chrysostom

AD 407
You see what we had to gain from our former husband! Paul does not say: “when we were in the law,” because that would merely lend a hand to heretics [who wanted to deny the oracles of the Old Testament] but “when we were in the flesh,” that is, when we were living a sinful and carnal life…. In order to not accuse the flesh Paul does not say that our members were at work but that sinful passions were at work in our members. This was to show that the origin of the trouble was not in our members but in the thoughts which made use of them…. The soul ranks as a performer and the flesh as a harp which produces sound according to the performer’s direction. If the tune is discordant, the fault is with the performer, not with the instrument.

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

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