Knowledge of good and evil = wretched man [romans7]
What has happened to this man Paul, that he discovers his own will is worthless and inoperable? Why is it that the performing of good is impossible for him to do?
What is inside him that is sabotaging his ability to provide a good outcome?
I wish someone else would explain it because I am likely to be stumbling around a bit with this. (so what’s new you say?).
Is it that because the more he knows, the more he realises that the good his will proposes to do, is the very opposite of that mental pathway that is set up because he knows he is inherently “not good”?
That he is himself, by his own judgement, guilty of producing sin, and so therefore is condemned to a poor outcome, because the input thought to his mental process is already in conflict with the proposed outcome?
It is as if, being self-condemned, he must not allow a clear passage of this thought streaming to go unchallenged, and in fact, brings it to a premature death, just as he believes he himself deserves. It is certainly a psychological process, which may well be understood in medical terms already.
In other words, the knowledge of good, having made him aware of the knowledge of bad, has brought judgement down on his integrity, thus destroying his inherent integral thought processes, in order to maintain the truth of the judgement he perceives that has been brought down on him, by himself, and God..
Adam only knew the good, until he brought in the opposite which was bad. And it was by the knowledge of the “new player” that he became conscious of the bad, because it was in contrast to his previous good..
Is it (and it has to be) related to “the fall” of Adam, where he was “in the clear” so to speak, “until the commandment came”, following which he was conflicted, guilty, and disenfranchised from his former position, removed from the place of truth and therefore true rationality, and so became irrational.
And from within this irrationality, he was unable to return to a rational place. (his lost innocence was irretrievable). And, in this state, he was unfit to retain the status of “eternal life”, and having lost it, could not “of himself” regain it. (The strength of this irrationality may be seen in the subsequent behaviour of his son Cain).
It is as if it were some spiritual law* that cannot be circumvented, is unavoidable, because it is TRUTH. Now, we might say, there are two truths. The one is the real truth, the truth of life, while the other is the imposter, the “truth” of the LIE.
When the truth comes into contact with the lie, that clash causes CONFLICT.
Paul, who is a seeker of truth, of righteousness, even though it is a “poor man’s righteousness”, being that of the law, (which nonetheless came with “glory”, being of God, and being “spiritual”), has his conscience engaged regarding truth and justice, and it is this which comes into conflict with the inherent LIE which has become an entity “in his flesh”, to the extent of being said to “be his flesh”. [italics not meant as scriptural quotes but for literary explanatory purposes].
It is this overwhelming conflict, which is driven by guilt and judgement and its inherent fear of death, which “disengages his moral drive” and leaves him floundering in no man’s land. And no man’s land provides the opportunity for the inhabitation of evil.
So there can be no good outcome, since the production of good comes from “….a sound mind….” [Timothy?]
And since there is no good outcome, there can only be a bad one. Given that there is something still left of his will that has not been completely frozen into submission, though unable to produce good, still has enough “inertia” to promote strife and trouble once it enters the conflict zone. * And this “law” that is in operation may be “the law of sin and death”.
So Paul, “of himself” is a dead man. WRETCHED. It is only when he is no longer “of himself”, being “of Christ”, that power returns to his moral drive. He is released from judgement and condemnation, and his conscience is free to proceed with moral judgement that is in line with the gift he now has internally, the Spirit of God. [Paul’s conflict here is mind law flesh, whereas Galatians is Spirit flesh]
This position of Paul results in the typical defensive position of people forced to hide behind their sin, because of their sin.[later edit. Paul is under wrath][2020 edit – “Law brings wrath”]