I see what you are saying Ken and agree for the most part. But I also believe that Paul was including himself, he too had to at one time or another hear the law (our age of accountability) and have it's burden upon his life also. I believe that the more he found out about the law and the more he tried to meet the requirements of the law the more frustrated he became in that the law revealed sin with no way to defeat it. The thankfulness that he felt for God providing Jesus Christ and the results rendered in chap.8 v:1 belong to Paul because v:2 says it made me (Paul) free. The message of chapter 7 is a reflection of Paul's life before Christ just as it reflects mine.
THIS 7TH CHAPTER IS NOT A PERSONAL EVALUATION OF PAULS OWN SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE. I.E. THAT HE WAS SINFUL AND CARNAL.
VS.1 TELLS US HE IS SPEAKING TO JEWISH CHRISTIANS.
THIS WHOLE CHAPTER IS RELATED TO THE JEWS AS A NATION BEFORE THE LAW WAS GIVEN AND AFTER THE LAW WAS GIVEN. SHOWING US THE REVEALING OF SIN TO BE SIN. AND THE DEATH (SPIRITUAL) THAT FOLLOWS.NOT PAULS OWN PRESENT RELIGIOUS CONDITION.
VS.9 TELL ME WHEN WAS PAUL EVER ALIVE "WITHOUT" THE LAW? THE JEWISH NATION WAS THOUGH. HE WAS BORN UNDER THE DISPENSATION OF LAW.
VS.9 WHEN DID PAUL "DIE". THE JEWISH NATION DIED (SPIRITUALLY) AFTER MT. SINAI. FOR THE COMMANDMENTS CAME TO SHOW SIN TO BE SIN.(VS.7)
IF THE TOTALLY CONSECRATED CHRISTIAN STILL HAS AN UNCLEAN HEART AND IS ALWAYS SINNING THEN WHY IN 6:6 DOES PAUL SAY THAT THE SIN NATURE IS CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST AND THE BODY OF SIN DESTROYED? DID CHRIST TRULY DIE? OF COURSE. HE STOPPED BREATHING. MOVING. SPEAKING. LIVING.
DOES DESTROYED REALLY MEAN DESTROYED? IN THE GREEK IT MEANS TO "RENDER ENTIRELY IDLE" "USELESS" "CEASE, ABOLISH, DO AWAY,BRING TO NAUGHT" AND THE BEST ONE "TO VANISH AWAY!!!"
TELL ME, HOW CAN A PURE HEART (FOR OUR HEARTS ARE TO BE PURE AND IT IS A PRESENT POSSESSION AVAILABLE TO THE CHRISTIAN, ELSE JESUS WOULD NEVER HAVE SAID BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART IF THERE WERE NONE WHO WEREN'T)SO THEN TELL ME HOW A PURE HEART THAT HAS SEEN THE OLD MAN CRUCIFIED (AS CRUCIFIED AS JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED) AND THE BODY OF SIN DESTROYED I.E. VANISHED AWAY, STILL BE IMPURE, WICKED, SINFUL, CARNAL,AND REBELLIOUS??
IS THAT PURITY?? OF COURSE IT ISN'T!!
PAUL IS NOT REFERRING TO HIS EXPERIENCE HERE IN THIS CHAPTER. READ IT AS IT IS MENT TO BE READ AND IN PLACE OF "I" PUT "THE ISRAELITE NATION" VS.1. THEN YOU WILL GET THE GIST OF WHAT PAUL IS TRYING TO CONVEY TO HIS FELLOW JEWISH BELIEVERS RESIDING IN ROME.
THEN READ THE GLORIOUS VICTORY PAUL TELLS THEM IS THEIR'S IN CHAPTER 8.
GAL. 5:16-24. THERE IS FREEDOM FRON SIN. BOTH OUTWARD AND INWARD.