Understanding The Two-Fold Nature Of Man
From humanity's creation, we have all had a two-fold nature. The body is physical; its life is spirit. "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Gen.2:7.
Man's body is hand-made of dirt like a clay doll. Man's spirit (life) was breathed into his body by the very living breath God, and the finished man, Adam, became a living soul. Thus, we began as a lifeless body into which God breathed a spirit (life).
"... That was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual." 1 Cor.15:46
Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." John 3:6.
So man's two-fold nature has a physical birth, with a God breathed, human life/spirit in it, which all humans have and will live forever... somewhere. But because the human blood line, which originated with Adam, and "the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Lev.17:11), physical life was cut short by Adam and Eve's sin and all humanity inherited the consequences with a sin inclined two-fold nature. We have an inner man (Eph.3:6), our spirit/life, and an outer man, our fleshly body. When the body dies, the spirit/life departs, but because it was breathed of God, lives on forever ... somewhere. I won't follow that track because it is another subject.
Some people are more attracted to the upright knight in shining armor hero while others are equally attracted to the bandit, drug culture, and loose living anti-hero. The baser lusts of human nature have always been more curious about the bad boy and bad girl than about their descent, clean living opposites. The most evil men and women in history have had this devilish magnetism to draw followers to their evil causes. Historically, the meanest of men have risen to positions of power on the shoulders of their admirers. Two brothers grow up in the same home, treated equally, loved by their parents equally, with equal opportunity. One becomes a cop and the other a drug pushing pimp. Each is loved by female opposites. Why did so many Germans give their loyalty to Hitler? Why did the Russians fall in line for Stalin? Why did that motley little band of lost souls adore Charles Manson and kill for him? Jim Jones had it too, with a religious dimension. Why do the North Korean military leaders and millions of citizens put up with the likes of Kim Jong Un? And why do Democrats vote for and exalt, as their leader, people like Nancy Pilosi, Barack Obama,Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders? It would be a mystery to me, if I didn't have the Bible to explain the two fold nature of the human creature.
With our "image and likeness", of our Creator, He gave us a free will to choose between good and evil. That was how He identified the forbidden fruit tree in the Garden of Eden. He said of it, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it....." Gen.2:17. They had a choice ... to obey or disobey. To remain sinless or to become sinners. They did not yet have sin, but they did have a God-given choice. If God had not given them a free will to choose, they wouldn't have sinned and we, their descendants, would all be predestined pegs on God's game board. If God had not given us a free will choice to obey him, or not, to worship him, or not, we would not give Him any satisfaction, as our Father, when we willfully obey and willfully love Him. We would bring Him no glory if we had no choice in the matter.
Jesus, Himself had a two fold nature. The Holy Spirit of God put the holy sperm, or life seed of God, in Mary's human, fleshly womb and "Jesus", his human side, with the Holy Spirit living in Him, His God side, was born. He was fully human and fully God. His human side, Jesus, hungered, thirsted, tired, and was even tempted, or tried, by Satan as all humans are tempted. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Heb.4:15. (Also see Luke 4:2). So Jesus Christ's human side was tempted, but the Holy Spirit of Christ, which was His spirit side, overcame the fleshly temptations all humans face.
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." Rom.8:1-2.
When Jesus was praying in the garden about what was about to happen to him, he knew he would be arrested, drug through the streets, tried, condemned, beaten and crucified, he prayed, in Matt.36:29, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me...." It was His human fleshly body and mind praying which would have to endure all of that, plus having the sins of the world put upon Him. As 2 Cor.5:21 declares, that God "... made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, (him) who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
The thought of having all the corruption, evil and sin of all humanity, not only put upon him, but being "made sin" when He had never sinned, and enduring the judgment of God upon that sin... upon himself, was horrendous. That was Jesus, the flesh and blood man, crying out to God for relief, but he didn't stop there. If He had, God would have heard his prayer and delivered him. But Jesus yielded to the Spirit of Christ in Him and continued with the prayer ... "... nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." His human will surrendered to His Spirit of Christ side and the will of God who sent Him for this purpose.
Then when Jesus was on the cross and cried out to God, in Mark 15:34, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me", it was his human, fleshly body which was suffering and dying and which cried out the question "why". The Holy Spirit of Christ, living in Jesus body, would not have asked the question , "why hast thou forsaken me?" He was God and knew full well "why", and that God was forsaking the sins of the world, and judging the sins of the world ... of which Jesus had become the "scape goat" and the "sacrificial lamb" fulfilling all those Old Testament animal, blood sacrifices.
The Apostle Paul also had a two fold nature and confessed it to the Corinthians and to the rest of us, knowing that all honest human beings would come to the knowledge of the truth of it by their own experience. That truth is, that there are two sides of every person, the body and the spirit. The devil tempting and appealing to the lust of the flesh to gain control of the mind .... while the Holy Spirit is convicting, motivating and inspiring the spirit to gain control of the mind. Like an old preacher once said, "There's two dogs in a fight for control of your mind and soul, one is pure white and the other black and dirty. The one who wins control is the one you say sic um to.
Paul wrote Roman 7 to let everyone, especially Christians, know that when he said or did something which was un-Christlike, that he had let his flesh get temporary control of his mind, and his spirit, which was the part of him that was born again, regretted it, suffered because of it and repented of it. We think of Paul as some super human but he was no different from us. He was a flesh and blood human being who had been "spiritually" born again, .... not "physically" born again. All of our fleshly bodies are inclined to the sins of the flesh while our born again spirits feel the conviction and rebuke of the Holy Spirit of God who lives in us motivating our spirits to resist the lusts of the flesh, body and mind.
Here is how Apostle Paul put it to the Corinthians in the last half of Romans 7.
For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. ("I" being his body).