The Old and New Man (Romans 7:17)

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Romans 7:17, "So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells in me."

When I hate evil and agree with the law that it is good, the innermost desire of the heart, my will, is in harmony with the law.  When I love what is good there is another force that causes me to do evil.  This, the apostle says, is "sin which dwells within me."  He differentiates between himself and indwelling sin.  He declares that one who loves the good is different from the one who does evil.  The one who does evil is "the old man" -- in his sin and depravity.  The "new man" he identifies as himself, the real person whom he recognizes and acknowledges.

This difference indicates that the verse now given attention cannot apply to the unregenerate.  It does apply to the person given new birth, the regenerated and
 holy "I."  It is this new person who is separated from sin.  He who loves God's law and wills to do what is good is now a new spiritual person.  There is still that indwelling enemy causing distress and grief, "sin which dwells within."  This is not an excuse for sin, but it is needful knowledge concerning  a difference between painful experiences of believers when they fail to live as they want to live and the intentional and willful sins of unregenerate persons.  Believers who hate sin and judge themselves do not excuse their sins.  They recognize that it is in themselves that sin dwells, works, and breaks forth.  Not for excuse, but for a comforting insight the believer claims these words, "So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me."

Source:  C.O. Rosenius