This morning I was reading Romans 7, and when I read verse 18b, I immediately connected the two infinitives (θέλειν and κατεργάζεσθαι) with the two infinitives in Philippians 2:13 (θέλειν and ἐνεργεῖν). I had not made this connection before, so I quickly double-checked about ten prominent commentaries on Romans and didn’t see the connection made there either (though I’m sure many others have already thought of this). It appears to be a significant connection, regardless of your view of the “I” in Rom 7:7-25. See what you think.
- τὸ γὰρ θέλειν παράκειταί μοι, τὸ δὲ κατεργάζεσθαι τὸ καλὸν οὔ
- NASB for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
- KJV for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
- ESV For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
- HCSB For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it.
- RSV, NRSV I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.
- NIV For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
- NET For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it.
- NLT I want to do what is right, but I can’t.
- Message I can will it, but I can’t do it.
- θεὸς γάρ ἐστιν ὁ ἐνεργῶν ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ τὸ θέλειν καὶ τὸ ἐνεργεῖν ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐδοκίας.
- NASB for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
- KJV For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
- ESV for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
- HCSB For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to will and to act for His good purpose.
- NRSV for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
- NIV for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
- NET for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort–for the sake of his good pleasure–is God.
- NLT For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
- Message That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.