For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. Romans 7:18
This text is quite interesting for a number of reasons. There are many people who would consider themselves good, not because they always do what is good, but because they desire to. We learn here that the basic desire to do what is good does not make the person good. We also learn that the desire to do what is good is not actually considered part of me. Paul says that he has a desire to do that which is good, but that nothing good dwells, or lives in himself. Me equals my flesh, do you see that? Non-physical desire for good is not Paul himself, but something or someone else dwelling in him. Paul has no ability to obey this desire that dwells in himself. Why? Because he is a slave of sin (Romans 7:14), and been sold into it’s power from his first parents Adam and Eve.
Who or what is the good desire that dwells inside Paul? It is the truth that he learned through the law of God, or the commandments (Romans 7:7-25). This truth came from outside if Paul and not from the inside. He tells us that nothing good dwells in him, but the good that he desires to do came from God though his word.
“The Lord saw that man’s wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every scheme his mind thought of was nothing but evil all the time,”
This is a statement describing mankind’s state of affairs after the fall. This is the same condition that we find ourselves in from birth. Nothing whatsoever inside of us is good. Do you know this? I mean, really, and truly know this? Paul begins in verse 18 stating “for I KNOW that nothing good lives in me.” Do you know this same thing?
Can you sing like Ronnie Freeman that the only thing that’s good in you is Jesus?