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16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.


16 If [and it is true], then, I do what I will not to do [do not want to do],

There is an import to the struggle between the old Adam in us and the newness of life in Christ. If the “I” does not do what it wants, then it agrees that the law of God is good. There is a tragic irony in that we can agree with God’s standards but at the same time violate them.

The “if” states a fact in the Greek. It is a fact that Paul did not want to do what he did. There was something in him that did not want to do battle with the law. Paul violated his best intentions.

I agree [concur] with the law that it is good [noble, excellent].

The law moved Paul’s conscience in agreeing that sin is sinful. He concurred with the standards of the law completely and approved that the law was right in judging what he did. If the law were not good, then he would have had no conviction about his sin. His highest intention was to agree with the law that it was good. The idea that Paul did what he did not want to do shows that he did not fundamentally oppose the law. He viewed the law as “noble,” as something essentially good.


The Christian must be faithful to God’s Word no matter how much he might be tempted to justify his actions.


Christians must acknowledge sin to be their own and not rationalize it. If we are not honest with ourselves, we cannot be honest with God. To cast blame on God’s Word to justify sinful actions is a strategic mistake in Christian living. Ownership of guilt is basic to dealing with the sin issue. If we modify the nature of sin, we can justify our aberrance with God. That is to operate on an experience-oriented basis of fellowship with God. However, true spirituality rests on revelation, not experience. We need to say the same thing as God says about our sin. We need to confess sin as the first step in spirituality.

1 Jn 1:9, If we confess [acknowledge] our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The point of 1 John 1:9 is that God has released the believer from condemnation, or previously forgiven him. This forgiveness means that we do not pay for our guilt but that Jesus paid for it. That is why God is faithful to forgive us.