“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.”
This is the current memory verse for the Bible study group I’m a part of on Monday nights. Some days, it’s easy to agree with this verse without reservation. Other times, I get into a little self-debate about the “nothing good dwells in me” part. [I’ll remind the reader that I have NO training in exposition or anything like it. These are untrained thoughts.] I feel like Paul is writing this with the understanding that he means in me apart from God. When submitted to God, I don’t think this is true any longer. But submission to God, as I am acutely aware, is not an automatic state even after conversion.
Warren Wiersbe BE Bible series commentary:
The legalist says, “Obey the law and you will do good and live a good life.” But the law only reveals and arouses sin, showing how sinful it is! It is impossible for me to obey the law because I have a sinful nature that rebels against the law. Even if I think I have done good, I know that evil is present. The law is good, but by nature, I am bad! So the legalist is wrong: The law cannot enable us to do good.