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Verse 22

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.

This is said to be the verse, beyond all others, which shows that Paul was speaking of Christians in this passage; but a glance at Romans 2:17-20 reveals that the legal Jew is still the exclusive subject. The language: here is nearly identical with that, where it is said that the man "rested upon the law, gloried in God, knew his will, approved the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law," etc. In fact, Paul's description of the legal Jew in that passage is even more flattering than his description here, where a relatively mild "I delight in the law of God" is used. Since the meaning in Romans 2:17-20 is most certainly the legal Jew, it is mandatory to assume that exactly the same person is in view here.

Again we have recourse to the exegesis of the inimitable Adam Clarke, whose words on this verse are not merely good exegesis, but are also a refutation of the prejudice which affirms, quite inaccurately, that "all of the greats since Luther have construed this passage as a description of Christian experience." Clarke said:

Every Jew and every unregenerated man, who receives the Old Testament as a revelation from God, must acknowledge the great purity, excellence, and utility of its maxims; and without the mercy of God can never be redeemed from the curse entailed upon him for his past transgressions.[26]

The inward man ... does not mean regenerated man, or the regenerated portion of a man, since it is of unregenerates that Paul here spoke. This usage of the expression was followed by Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:16 and Ephesians 3:16, according to Clarke. He further stated:

"The inward man" as used here means the mind, without regard to the state, whether unregenerated or renewed. To say that the inward man means the regenerate part of the soul is supportable by no argument.[27]

[26] Ibid., p. 89.

[27] Ibid.

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