(Watch out Tom Wright. Here I come.)
So, apparently Paul's words in Romans chapter 7 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do...” are chronically misinterpreted. Most will take this section of scripture as words of solace/permission for sin in their lives.
However my professor and a commentator I have to read for the class both argue that these words are a “Diatribal Speech in Character.” This means that these words are spoken in the persona of another to illustrate a point. In this particular case Paul's character is one who adheres to the Law (which shows sin) as opposed to the one who is under the law of the Spirit (which is characterized by “no condemnation”). This means that in Paul's experience, “Life through the Spirit” does not include compulsive sin that overrides the will of the believer.
This is cool, because things like Jesus' speech to the seven churches in Revelation (and the other general directives of the N.T.) is not a calling beyond our reach. Provided we are living according to what Paul describes in chapter 8.
Lastly, it is also worth noting that despite the frequency of the word “do” in chapter seven, Paul never ends up accidentally committing the classic “do-do” joke.
Life through the Spirit and not getting caught in do-do; great stuff.