An Exegesis of Romans 7:7-25
Romans 7:7-25 is one of the most challenging exegetical and theological enigmas in the New Testament. The primary questions pertain to the identification of the “I”, whether the “I” is regenerate, and how its meaning contributes to the Christian life. Until an exegetical examination of the text occurs, a crucial aspect of Pauline theology may either be misinterpreted or remain a mystery. Upon examination, Paul’s autobiographical account in Romans 7:7-25 emphasized that Christian’s live in a battle with sin. The following research summarizes the historical-cultural and literary context of the text, identifies the “I” in the passage, and analyzes its salvific state within the framework of an exegetical study that concludes with an application to a contemporary audience.
The historical-cultural background of a passage addresses issues that pertain to the biblical author and the original audience to assist in interpretation. Romans 1:1 claims that Paul is the author, and according to Leon Morris, no serious objection to authorship exists. Morris, along with most commentators, asserts that at the time of Paul’s writing, the church at Rome would have included both a large Gentile component and, due to the numerous references to the Old Testament, a significant Jewish element as well. The identification of the dual Gentile and Jewish audience plays particular importance in understanding the passage under study. Douglas Moo identifies the genre of Romans as a letter, but recognizes that the primary impetus of Paul’s effort is the development of key theological arguments. In addition to the historical-cultural context, proper interpretation requires addressing the literary context of the passage as well.
Literary context places the passage within the broader perspective of the author’s overall thought process. Paul’s letter to the Romans begins by focusing on man’s sinfulness and the necessity of justification in 1:1-4:25. Moo asserts that the theme of the letter is the gospel – God bringing sinners to himself through “nothing more than what we call justification by faith,” but the content of Paul’s letter is far-reaching. Moo succinctly suggests that chapters 5 through 8 provide hope and freedom to Christians living in Christ, 9 through 11 demonstrate the purpose of Israel, and 12 through 15 point toward Christian obedience.
Locating the role of chapter 7 within the diverse content of Romans is at the heart of literary context and critical to exegetical study. Accordingly, the passages immediately preceding and following the passage under study are particularly important. In chapter 6, Paul identifies the Christian as one who has “died to sin” (v. 2) and been “set free from sin” (v. 18), yet simultaneously battles sin, by stating, “Let not sin therefore reign in your body, to make you obey its passions” (v. 12).  The tension established in chapter 6 between the Christian who is already freed, yet still in a battle, is crucial for a proper interpretation and application of Romans 7. The tension continues into the first few verses of chapter 7 where Paul highlights the “sinful
passions” in the flesh (v. 5) against the “new way of the Spirit” (v. 6). James Dunn recognizes the discontinuance of the old age from the new age at the beginning of the chapter, which sets the stage for the remainder of chapter 7 to explore the interplay between the two epochs. Due to the tension between the flesh and the Spirit, Grant Osborne correctly identifies chapter 7 as central to “Paul’s doctrine of sanctification.” Finally, the optimism of chapter 8, that so eloquently portrays the Christian life in the Spirit, bookends chapter 7 by stating, “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2). Important to an understanding of chapter 7, chapter 8 resolves the tension built between the two epochs by promising ultimate victory in Christ to the Christian who battles sin. Thus, the literary context of the Christian’s freedom from and simultaneous struggle with sin in chapter 6, followed by the continued tensions between the two epochs in Romans 7:1-6, and the final resolution of the Christian’s victory in Christ in chapter 8 encapsulate the literary context of Romans 7:7-25 and provide strong support for Paul’s message – Christian’s live in a battle with sin. Finally, the study utilizes cross references to highlight Scripture relevant to the passage’s literary context.
The Sin and the Law (7:7-13)
What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
The Law is Not Sin (vv. 7-9)
It is within the literary context of Paul’s letter to the Romans that an exegetical analysis may commence. An important observation is Paul’s use of rhetorical questions to begin verse 7a, which ask, “What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means!” An absence of literary
context would render Paul’s questions impossible to understand. However, in light of verses such as Romans 5:20, which states, “Now the law came in to increase the trespass” (cf. 6:14; 7:5), Thomas Schreiner explains that Paul’s questions prepare the reader for a defense of his “gospel from the charge that it contradicts Torah and is inferior to OT revelation.” Paul highlights the relationship between the law and sin in verse 7b to prove that the law is not sin by stating, “If it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin.” In other words, one purpose of the law is to assist in recognizing sin, thus it does not follow that the law actually is sin. Paul then turns to the specific example of coveting as a sin made known by the law. It appears Dunn is correct that Paul’s reference to the tenth commandment of the Decalogue (cf. 13:9) supports the argument that Paul’s use of the law in these early verses of Romans 7 refers to the Torah. Accordingly, unless otherwise noted, it is presumed the law refers to the Torah for the remainder of the exegetical study.
Another meaningful observation appears as Paul transitions into verse 8 by using personification to emphasize sin’s force against humanity. A key term in verse 8 is ἀφορμἠν, which is part of a word group connoting opportunistic military movements in the historical-cultural context of extra-biblical literature and whose lemma occurs six times in the New Testament, four of which refer to the oppressive nature of sin (cf. Rom. 7:8, 11; Gal. 5:13; 1 Tim. 5:14). Accordingly, the militant opportunism of sin attacks man by paradoxically using the tenth commandment (ἐντολῆς) that prohibits coveting to produce more coveting. C. K. Barrett succinctly explains the paradox, “To prohibit some course of action is to awaken desire to pursue it.” Thus, the commandment, which by nature is good, became the vehicle of sin. Alternatively, if the commandment did not exist, sin would have no opportunity to use it to attack, and in this case, “sin lies dead” (7:8b).
An important linguistic feature now emerges as problematic. Paul begins verse 7 using a second person plural verb (ἐροῦμεν), but then introduces the verb “to know” (ἔγνων) using the first person singular, which dominates the remainder of the chapter. The issue at hand is the highly controversial identification of “I”. Four primary options exist when identifying the “I” in the passage: (1) the Adamic view, (2) the Israeli view, (3) the existential view, and (4) the autobiographical view. Ernst Käsemann represents the Adamic view by asserting that the “I” refers exclusively to Adam because verse 9, “I was once alive apart from the law,” is only true of Adam before the divine commandment resulted in Adam’s death in the garden. However, Paul is referring to the Decalogue in verse 7, which was given to Moses at a specific time after Adam, thus the exclusivity of Adam is not determinative (cf. 5:13-14). Second, Moo represents the Israeli view by asserting that the “I” that was “once alive apart from the law” (v. 9a) is Israel prior to Mount Sinai, but “when the commandment came” (v. 9b) at Sinai, the power of sin came alive, which brought a theological death, not the intended life. However, if a theological death occurred after Israel received the law at Sinai, then it is nearly impossible to explain how Israel had a theological life “apart from the law” prior to Sinai (v. 9a). Third, Moo references the influential study of W. G. Kümmel, who represents the existential view and maintains that the “I” is a rhetorical device representing everyone’s experience. However, Michael Middendorf analyzes each use of ἐγώ in Paul’s corpus noting that, unless indicated otherwise by context, Paul “always has a specific referent in mind.” Finally, John Stott represents the autobiographical view believing that Paul’s writing is simply too authentic to be an impersonation. The challenge facing this view is, once again, the meaning of “once alive apart from the law” (v. 9a). Schreiner suggests the passage reflects Paul’s pre-conversion reality prior to either receiving the law as a child or prior to the law “impinging on his consciousness.”
Based on the arguments presented, to suggest that Paul does not have Adam, Israel, and even, at times, humanity in mind when writing the passage likely goes beyond the evidence. However, in light of Paul’s life before the law as a child, the authentically personal language of the entire passage, and the fact that Paul could have explicitly stated the identity of the “I” if he thought it critical to his readers’ comprehension, the arguments appear to support a pre-converted autobiographical “I” in verses 7-13. Accordingly, for the remainder of the study, the “I” is considered autobiographical. Paul now continues with verse 9, which states, “when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.” In light of the literary context of verse 7 and 13, Paul appears to be reiterating that when the commandment came, sin was made known, and the result of sin was death.
The Law is Used by Sin (vv. 10-11)
Paul continues the theme of death into verse 10 by concluding that the “commandment that promised life proved to be death.” Paul again exonerates the law from any wrongdoing without specifically explaining how the law promised life. However, the literary context of Romans 10:5 suggests that law’s promise of life may have been self-evident to a Jewish audience who knew that Moses taught that those who “practice the righteousness which is based on the law shall live.” Regardless, the ultimate result of the law was not life, but death.
Another important observation now emerges as Paul uses repetition from verse 8a to reinforce the causal force behind the death, which is the militant attack of opportunistic sin using the law to deceive and kill. However, the question remains as to exactly how sin used the law to deceive and kill. Moo suggests that sin used the law to deceive Israel into thinking “it could attain life through it” when it was an impossibility.  Dunn suggests that the word sin in verse 11 is synonymous with the Serpent in the garden “using the commandment to provoke disobedience to that command.” Moo’s assertion is possible and Dunn’s paradoxical logic is sound, but Paul’s absence of a clear reference to either Israel or Adam appears to narrow the interpretive path beyond the author’s intention. More likely, as Middendorf suggests, the literary context of Romans supports the conclusion that sin’s deceptive use of the commandment “occurs whenever any ‘I’ imagines that he could secure the final verdict of ‘Righteous’ from God by his own works of the Law in spite of his own sin” (cf. 2:17-24; 3:20, 28; 4; 8:3; 9:30-10:4). Middendorf’s important observation not only fits the literary context of Romans, but the entire Pauline corpus. Paul now recognizes that the pessimistic language in verse 11 could be construed as undermining the goodness of the law, so he quickly turns to remedying any potential confusion.
The Law is Holy (vv. 12-13)
Paul’s focus on the role of the law has now made the paradox of the law discernible – the law is both a vehicle of sin that results in death, and simultaneously, the law is “holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good” (Rom. 7:12). At this point, Middendorf recognizes that, although Paul originally used ἐντολή to reference the tenth commandment, Paul now uses the word to typify the whole law as he commingles the holiness of νόμος and ἐντολή. Accordingly, the whole law is both a vehicle of sin resulting in death, and simultaneously holy, righteous, and good. The question remains as to exactly how this dual role occurs. Dunn exposes the paradox by noting that the law can have both positive and negative functions, “Negative because it is the glue which binds sin to death; positive because it leaves the sinner no alternative to death other than the death of Christ.” At this point, it appears that Paul recognizes the density of his own words, and accordingly, moves toward recapitulation.
Paul summarizes the three points of verses 7-12 in verse 13 by reiterating that the law is holy, the law makes sin known, and that sin is the culprit. However, Paul goes one step further by explaining the purpose of sin using the law to bring death. Unfortunately, the ESV misses the impact of the ἵνα clauses that denote purpose. Accordingly, an alternative translation may assist, “But it was sin, in order that (ἵνα) it might be recognized as sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that (ἵνα) the sin might become to an extraordinary degree sinful through the commandment” (Rom. 13b, my translation). Moo recognizes the two primary purposes of sin’s nefarious use of the law, which the ἵνα clauses highlight: (1) sin uses the law to make sin recognizable (cf. v. 7b) and (2) sin uses the law to make sin more sinful by either provoking the rebellious desire to pursue that which is prohibited (cf. v. 8a) or deceiving individuals into believing they can secure a righteous verdict by fulfilling the law through self-effort (cf. v. 11). In other words, sin opportunistically uses the law to provoke and deceive to make sin even worse than before. The observation of repetition again shows up in verse 13 as Paul’s rhetorical question mirrors the question in verse 7. However, in this case, repetition may be less involved in emphasis, and, per Richard Longenecker, more involved in highlighting the fact that Paul has not completed his response, which provides the impetus for verses 14-25.
The Believer and the Law (7:14-25)
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 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. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
The Flesh and the Believer (vv. 14-16)
Before continuing a verse-by-verse analysis, another significant interpretive conundrum needs addressed. The analysis of verses 7-13 concluded that the “I” referred autobiographically to Paul’s pre-converted self. However, the interpretive question that remains is whether the “I” in verses 14-25 is regenerate or unregenerate. Morris provides four primary arguments supporting the regenerate view: (1) the verbs move from aorist tense in 7-12 to the present tense in 14-25, (2) the overall context of chapters 5-8 is not of an unbeliever, (3) the language of desiring good (v. 18), hating evil (vv. 15, 19), and thanking “God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (v. 25) indicates a believer, (4) and the Christian life is victorious, but not without conflict (cf. 1 Cor. 9:27; 1 Tim. 1:15; Gal. 5:16-17).
Alternatively, Morris provides three primary arguments supporting the unregenerate view: (1) the Holy Spirit is not mentioned, (2) the language of “nothing good lives in me” (v. 18), “wretched man” (v. 24), and “slave to sin” (v. 14) does not represent a Christian, and (3) the “now” in 8:1 is Paul’s transition to referencing believers. Both perspectives provide reasonable arguments. However, grammatically moving from aorist to present tense, the literary context of the Christian’s victory in Christ in chapter 8 (cf. Rom. 8:2), as well as the anthropological reality of battling sin, which is accentuated throughout the Pauline corpus (cf. Gal. 5:16-17; Eph. 6:13, 16; Phil. 3:12), appear to support a regenerate view of the individual. Accordingly, the remainder of the study assumes the “I” as a regenerate individual, namely Paul, struggling with sin.
Paul continues in verse 14 by providing his strongest defense of the law’s goodness by stating, “For we know that the law is spiritual.” Cranfield explains that the adjective, πνευματικός, speaks of the law’s divine origin, authority, and inability to be practiced absent from its Source. Also in verse 14, the reader first encounters the present tense verb shift (είμι) that supports a regenerate “I”. The reader also encounters another important observation where Paul uses contrast to juxtapose the spiritual law against the non-spiritual self by stating, “But I am of flesh, sold under sin.” Regarding the first phrase, “but I am of flesh,” Longenecker points out that flesh (σάρκινός) is a substantival adjective and is better translated, “I am fleshly.” Morris correctly aligns with the literary context when asserting that fleshly connotes a weakness of mankind that allows sin to occur when attacked by its opportunistic power (cf. vv. 8, 10).
Regarding the second phrase, “sold under sin,” many commentators assume this undermines the argument for a regenerate “I”. However, Dunn rightly suggests that Paul is introducing an “eschatological tension” where a “now and not yet” anthropology exists – redemption has certainly “now” begun, but is “not yet” complete.” Dunn’s integration of inaugurated eschatology will soon come to full fruition in verse 17. For now, it is sufficient to recognize that due to the “I” having a “not yet” reality, the believer continues to have the potential to be controlled by sin like a slave sold under a master’s control, which also fits nicely with the tension-filled literary context of chapter 6. Paul now pens the famous words of verse 15, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” Morris notes that “for” (γὰρ) connects the slavery language of verse 14 to verse 15, highlighting that sin still has the potential to control the action of the “I”. Paul then continues, “Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good” (v. 16). In other words, the fact Paul willfully desires to do good, suggests that Paul finds the law is beautiful (καλός). Paul now, once again, turns to identifying the culprit behind the angst.
The Sin of the Believer (vv. 17-20)
Paul again personifies sin by stating in verse 17, “So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” It is here that the discontinuance of the two epochs, old way and new way, within the literary context of 7:1-6 sets the stage for Paul highlighting their continuance. Dunn points out that Paul is not suggesting a dualistic “I” where the “I” could somehow relinquish responsibility for abhorrent acts, but instead, the “I” is split in the sense that it is “divided between my belonging to Christ and my belonging to this age.” In other words, the “I” has an anthropological reality “now” in Christ (the “I” in Christ), but the “I” also has a “not yet” fleshly or non-spiritual reality (the fleshly “I”) that is doing wrong because of the influence of the militant external force of sin. Accordingly, Paul can say in verse 18, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh.” In other words, nothing good dwells in the non-spiritual “I”. For the remainder of verse 18 through 20, the reader encounters another important observation where Paul uses repetition to reinforce the content of verses 14-17 prior to addressing the issue of how sin specifically deceives the flesh.
The Mind of the Believer (vv. 21-25)
Before focusing on Paul’s conclusion, the five uses of the word “law” in verses 21-23 need addressed. The word νόμος in chapter 7 and throughout much of the Pauline corpus pertains to the Mosaic law. However, Longenecker recognizes that the historical-cultural context of the letter addresses Gentiles in Rome who would be familiar with the common use of νόμος as a “rule” or “principle” of society. Accordingly, Paul acknowledges in verses 21-22 a basic
principle of life – that evil “lies close at hand,” and although he “delights in the law of God” in his “inner” being (the “I” in Christ), another war rages. In contrast with the inner being, Everett Harrison and Donald Hagner refer to the fleshly “I” as the “outward man,” which is the location of the militant operation of sin. In verse 23, Paul identifies the proximity of the war that makes him captive to the law of sin – “the law of my mind.” Mounce explains the “law of my mind” refers to the principle of rational thought, which is attacked by the alien power of sin that, at times, takes Paul captive to the law of sin that is at work in his fleshly “I”. Accordingly, the method sin uses to deceive is to attack the mind in order to negatively influence the fleshly “I”.
Paul now describes the anguish of being controlled by sin in the fleshly “I” and cries out in verse 24, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” The plain meaning of “wretched” describes Paul’s despair in his fleshly “I”, but according to Dunn, the historical-cultural context of extra-biblical material suggests that “wretched” can also “describe the state of a man pulled in two directions” (see Epictetus 1.3.5). By now, the two directions are obvious – the effect of sin on the fleshly “I” seeking death pitted against the freedom associated with the “I” in Christ. The tension between the two leads Paul to ask, “Who will deliver me free from this body of death?” (v. 24). Paul then answers his own question by exclaiming, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (v. 25). Barrett correctly comments that the deliverance must only come through a new creation status in Christ, not the law (cf. Gal. 3:21; 6:15; 2 Cor. 5:17). Paul then concludes verse 25 by stating, “So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” Cranfield highlights the continued battle with sin by asserting that verse 25, “Sums up with clear-sighted honesty” the tension between real hopefulness and the anguish of sin “in which the Christian never ceases to be involved so long as he is living this present life.”
The potential applications of Romans 7 are vast, but from a pastoral counseling and discipleship ministry perspective, the impact of the theological principle of identity formation in Christ is difficult to ignore. Paul addresses the issue in verse 17, “So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” Paul’s language assists in anthropologically comprehending an identity that is both free of condemnation (the “I” in Christ) (cf. Rom. 8:1) and, simultaneously, fully engaged in a battle with sin (the fleshly “I”). Dunn clarifies the split-self stating, “Sin cannot touch me in my belongingness to Christ, but sin still holds sway over the world to which ‘I’ still belong as a man of flesh.” In fact, not only can sin not touch the “I” in Christ, it is this “I” that empowers victory over sin in the fleshly “I”. For example, believers often attempt to find their identity in the world of job performance, other people’s opinions, and even ministry success. Accordingly, when job, people, or ministry falters, the emotional and spiritual life will necessarily collapse under the weight of a crushed identity that equates self with the faltering objects, which then often leads to sin (e.g. substance abuse) to mask the pain. Alternatively, if, through the renewal of the mind (cf. Rom. 12:2), one acknowledges that the “I” in Christ is an anthropological reality, the identity crisis is averted. When the objects of identity falter, the self is not crushed because the self is not attached to the objects. Instead, the self is attached to an identity in Christ, thus averts sin and moves toward emotional and spiritual health. Dunn observes the risk of ignoring the anthropological reality of the “I” in Christ by explaining that anyone who lives “in terms of their attachment to and dependence on this world, the more certain they can be that they are living on sin’s terms.” Accordingly, a detachment of identity from the world, and an attachment to an identity in Christ, through the illumination of the Spirit, frees the believer from the power of sin. Finally, it is important to note that the application fits well the literary context of chapter 6, where the tension between the “now” and “not yet” is introduced, the beginning of chapter 7, where Paul highlights the discontinuance from the present age, as well chapter 8, which proclaims victory in Christ.
Paul’s words in Romans 7 have vexed scholars for centuries. The research presented a brief overview of the context of Rom. 7:7-25 followed by an exegetical study of the passage. Within the study, the research furnished various scholarly arguments attempting to identify the “I” as well as the salvific state of the “I”. It has been determined that Paul’s upbringing, personal language, and absence of specific reference to alternative views support an autobiographical “I”. Furthermore, the shift in tenses, literary context, and anthropological reality of a continued battle with sin, support a regenerate state of the “I” in verses 14-25. Based on the evidence provided, it appears that Romans 7:7-25 is an autobiographical account emphasizing that Christian’s live in a battle with sin. Finally, a relevant application of the passage to the Christian life pertains to recognizing that the “I” in Christ empowers victory over sin. A fascinating area for further study may include an inter-disciplinary exploration of the relationship between the identity of “I” in Christ, its battle with sin, and the renewing of the mind and recent research in cognitive psychology, especially addictions counseling.
Barrett, C. K. The Epistle to the Romans. Black’s New Testament Commentary. Rev. ed. London: Continuum, 1991.
Cranfield, C. E. B. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. International Critical Commentary. London: T&T Clark International, 2004.
Dunn, James D. G. Romans 1-8. Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 38A. Dallas: Word, 1998.
Harrison, Everett F., and Donald A. Hagner. “Romans.” In The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, edited by Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland. Rev. ed. Vol. 11. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008.
Käsemann, Ernst. Commentary on Romans. Translated and edited by Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1980.
Kittel, Gerhard, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, eds. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Vol. 5. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964.
Longenecker, Richard N. The Epistle to the Romans: A Commentary on the Greek Text. Edited by Howard Marshall and Donald A. Hagner. New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2016.
Middendorf, Michael P. The “I” in the Storm. Saint Louis: Concordia Academic, 1997.
Moo, Douglass J. The Epistle to the Romans. The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1996.
Morris, Leon. The Epistle to the Romans. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans, 1988.
Mounce, Robert. Romans. The New American Commentary, vol. 27. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1995.
Osborne, Grant R. “The Flesh without the Spirit: Romans 7 and Christian Experience.” In Perspectives on Our Struggle with Sin: 3 Views of Romans 7, edited by Terry L. Wilder. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2011.
Schreiner, Thomas. Romans. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, vol. 6. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998.
Stott, John R. W. The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2001.
 Leon Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans, 1988), 2.
 Ibid., 5.
 Douglass J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1996), 14.
 Ibid., 29.
 Ibid., 28–29.
 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
 James D. G. Dunn, Romans 1-8, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 38A (Dallas: Word, 1998), 406.
 Grant R. Osborne, “The Flesh without the Spirit: Romans 7 and Christian Experience,” in Perspectives on Our Struggle with Sin: 3 Views of Romans 7, ed. Terry L. Wilder (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2011), 7.
 Thomas Schreiner, Romans, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, vol. 6 (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998), 359.
 Dunn, Romans 1-8, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 38A, 379.
 Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, eds., Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964), 5:468.
 C. K. Barrett, The Epistle to the Romans, Black’s New Testament Commentary, rev. ed. (London: Continuum, 1991), 134.
 Ernst Käsemann, Commentary on Romans, ed. and trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1980), 196.
 Schreiner, Romans, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, vol. 6, 361.
 Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, 426–31.
 Schreiner, Romans, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, vol. 6, 362–63.
 Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, 426–27.
 Michael P. Middendorf, The “I” in the Storm (Saint Louis: Concordia Academic, 1997), 153.
 John R. W. Stott, The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2001), 199.
 Schreiner, Romans, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, vol. 6, 364.
 Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, 440.
 Dunn, Romans 1-8, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 38A, 385.
 Middendorf, The “I” in the Storm, 83.
 Ibid., 85.
 Dunn, Romans 1-8, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 38A, 401.
 Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, 452–53.
 Richard N. Longenecker, The Epistle to the Romans: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary, ed. Howard Marshall and Donald A. Hagner (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2016), 643.
 Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, The Pillar New Testament Commentary, 285–86.
 Ibid., 286–87.
 C. E. B. Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, International Critical Commentary (London: T&T Clark International, 2004), 355–56.
 Longenecker, The Epistle to the Romans: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary, 662.
 Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, The Pillar New Testament Commentary, 290–91.
 Dunn, Romans 1-8, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 38A, 406.
 Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, The Pillar New Testament Commentary, 291–92.
 Dunn, Romans 1-8, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 38A, 408.
 Longenecker, The Epistle to the Romans: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary, 666.
 Everett F. Harrison and Donald A. Hagner, “Romans,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, ed. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008), 11:123.
 Robert Mounce, Romans, The New American Commentary, vol. 27 (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1995), 170.
 Dunn, Romans 1-8, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 38A, 396.
 Barrett, The Epistle to the Romans, Black’s New Testament Commentary, rev. ed., 142.
 Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, 369.
 Dunn, Romans 1-8, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 38A, 408.
 Ibid., 409.