Paul confessed "I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin" (Ro 7:14 NASB). "I am carnal, sold under sin" (:14 NKJV). "I am unspiritual, sold as a slave under sin" (:14 NIV). Some Corinthians were in the same predicament. He told them "I could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh" (1Co 3:1). That is not a good prognosis because "the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so" (Ro 8:7). You would think that carnality and spirituality were mutually exclusive. In the first case, Paul told the Colossians that "you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds" (Col 1:21). But in the second he reminded the Corinthians that "you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you" (Ro 8:9). "If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him" (:9). "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come" (2Co 5:17).
Paul said "the Law is spiritual; but I am of flesh" (Ro 7:14) whereas the NIV translates "I am unspiritual" (:14). But he says "you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit" (8:9). Is this a contradiction in terms? He says "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my flesh" (7:18) whereas the NIV calls it the "sinful nature" (:18). Is everything the natural man does unspiritual? Consider "when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law . . . they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness" (2:14). People are born with a conscience so aren't necessarily fleshly and sinful all the time. A major commandment is to "'love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind'" (Lk 10:27). You are composed of "spirit and soul and body" (1Th 5:23). The body and soul are individual components because God "'is able to destroy both soul and body in hell'" (Mt 10:28). The spirit and soul are separate because there is a "division of soul and spirit" (Heb 4:12). Also the soul and heart are individual parts because they "were of one heart and soul" (Ac 4:32). Paul explains there is "the law of God in the inner man" (Ro 7:22). Then he sees "a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members" (:23). If the body wars against the mind (thinking etc.) how can this be so if the head is part of the body? It's because the reference is to the "law of the mind" (:23) whereby "with my mind [I] am serving the law of God" (:25) which is "the law of the Spirit of life" (8:2). But he describes a problem that "I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out" (7:18 NIV). It is because the "sin living in me does it" (:18 NIV). The reason that "I practice the very evil that I do not wish" (:19) is due to "the principle that evil is present in me" (:21). This is not easy to understand. God had originally said, "'From the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die'" (Ge 2:17). Paul asked, "Who will set me free from the body of this death?" (Ro 7:24). He responds, "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (:25).