From some recent reading in Exchanged Life Counseling by Richard Hall.
People function in three major areas of life: the spiritual, the psychological, and the physical. These are each distinct and different. The nature of a person must be considered in both a primary and secondary way. The primary nature is the basic essence of who a person is and is spiritual. The secondary nature of a Christian is the way he normally thinks, feels, and chooses to act and is psychological functioning. Therefore, within the nonphysical the distinction between the spiritual and psychological must be maintained. The spiritual is the real essence of who people are. The psychological (i.e. soulical) is an important part of a person and is to express the life of the spirit. The physical is the vehicle for the expression of this life in a physical world.
– Richard Hall
The cause of the problems that we face is traced back to Genesis 3, which is where sin entered the world. Hall goes on to point out that many well meaning people seek to put the blame on the “old man.” The “old man” by definition means the unregenerate spirit. Verses like Romans 6:6; Colossians 3:9 and others inform us that the old man died, was taken out and replaced by the new man at salvation. Therefore the “old man” cannot be the problem.
The problems we face ultimately come from indwelling sin, and the “flesh,” which is distinct from the “old man.”
Indwelling sin is, according to Hall, an inner temptation to sin which tempts us to think, feel, choose, and act sinfully. Paul talked about it in Romans 7:14-25.
The flesh is defined by Hall as, “the personality of an individual that is focused on self-centeredness.” It is further clarified as, “the condition of a person living life out of his or her own resources with or without seeking God’s help to do so.