Romans 7:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 7:16, NIV: And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.

Romans 7:16, ESV: Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.

Romans 7:16, KJV: If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

Romans 7:16, NASB: However, if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, that the Law is good.

Romans 7:16, NLT: But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good.

Romans 7:16, CSB: Now if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good.

What does Romans 7:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Bible scholars disagree about Paul's exact perspective in Romans 7:15–25. Is he describing himself before he became a Christian or after? Paul's choice of Greek words here strongly suggests that this is a personal, literal description of his current experience. His phrasing in this section contrasts with other parts of Romans in the use of first-person, singular, present-tense construction. In either case, he seems to be saying that his desire to do good, even if he doesn't actually do it, shows that he agrees that God's law is good.

In other words, the fact that any person—Christian or not—wants to "do right," instead of "do wrong," is itself evidence that God's law is "beautiful, noble, upright," which is what the Greek word for "good" means here. Put another way, wanting to do good shows that we humans know that God is right in the commands He has given to us in His law, even if we do not keep them.