For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
Up to this point, Paul has been describing a past experience in his life – his deep conviction of sin through the Law’s ministry. Now he changes to the present tense to describe an experience he had since he was born again – the conflict between the two natures and the impossibility of finding deliverance from the power of indwelling sin through his own strength. Paul acknowledged that the Law is spiritual, that is, it is holy in itself and adapted to man’s spiritual benefit. But he realized that he was carnal because he was not experiencing victory over the power of indwelling sin in his life. He was sold under sin and felt as if he was sold as a slave, with sin as his master.