... Paul bemoans that the good he desired, he did not do ... stressing the object of an act), but the evil he did not desire was what he practiced..., emphasizing the means by which an act is accomplished). 7:23 Paul further develops the concept of conflict between his new nature, in which he “rejoices with” ... the law of God, and his old nature, by which he is captivated .... (emphasis mine).
That was Spiros Zodhiates' comment on Romans 7:17-19, 23. Such a sinister view of Paul, as a Christian, destroys the fact that Christians can live holy and above sin (1 Pet. 1:15,16; 1 Thess. 2:10) and must live holy to enter God’s kingdom after death (Mt. 5:8; Heb. 12:14; Rev. 20:6; Rev. 22:11). Christians can resist the devil and he will flee (James 4:7). Christians can obey. They can follow Jesus now:
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 John 2:3,4)
You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.
They were not hypocrites, as some imply was the case here in Rom. 7. All hypocrites will be damned (Mt. 24:51). Such people are not righteous, but wicked. Spiros Zodhiates also mangles Luke 8:13 to try to protect his false grace and counterfeit gospel built around the heresy of eternal security. Regarding Luke 8:13, he wrote:
... It should not be confused as the exercise of true faith in Jesus Christ which transforms a person’s life. This “belief” is merely an intellectual assent .... (ibid., p. 222, emphasis mine).
Luke 8:13 is clear and destructive to eternal security heresy. That verse reads:
... They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. (Luke 8:13)
The people referred to who fell away were believers at one point. There was a real plant produced from the seed of God's word (Lk. 8:6). There was life there once, but it died when the persecution came (Mt. 13:21). Jesus taught in Luke 8:13 that a believer can become a non-believer! That is the point of falling away, according to him. True or false conversion is not the big issue. (Please consult The Believer's Conditional Security, pp. 266-271 for a detailed look at the Parable of the Sower.)
We believe that we are saved by grace (Eph. 2:8,9) but we can fall from grace (Gal. 5:2-4). We are justified by faith (Rom. 5:1) but our faith can become shipwrecked (1 Tim. 1:19,20) and cease to exist (Lk. 8:13; Rom. 11:19-23). We are not under the law (Rom. 6:14,15) but if you live according to the sinful nature you will die (Rom. 8:13). Paul taught against legalism (Gal. 5:3,4) but he also taught that no immoral, impure or greedy person has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God (Eph. 5:5-7). We are not saved by works (Eph. 2:8,9) but to reap eternal life and not destruction you must sow to please the Spirit and not the sinful nature (Gal. 6:8,9). God is faithful to us (1 Jn. 1:9; 1 Cor. 10:13) but we must be faithful to him to the very end of our lives to escape the lake of fire or second death (Rev. 2:10,11). God surely loves us (Jn. 3:16; Mk. 10:21; Rom. 8:35-39) but those who inherit the kingdom of God love God (Jam 2:5; 1 Cor. 2:9) and to love God means to obey his commands (Jn. 14:15; 1 Jn. 5:3). We have freedom in Christ (Gal. 5:1) but this freedom is not to indulge the sinful nature (Gal. 5:13; 1 Pet 2:16).Spiros Zodhiates taught some truth, but also spread DEADLY false doctrines, as he distorted the image of a Christian and especially distorted Paul's holy character.