If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us (1 John 1:10).
Not only have we sinned, but we also continue to sin. Because of the weakness of our corrupt, sinful nature, which we will have as long as we have these bodies, there is an ongoing battle between the sinful nature and the Spirit. Paul talks about this: “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out” (Romans 7:18).
Certainly it’s not just the immoral sexual desire of a man toward a woman or a woman toward a man that is sin. In the legends of the saints, there are also many sins that take on the form and appearance of holiness and are passed off as good conduct. For the church fathers usually looked at outward sins and not at inner ones—such as envy, jealousy, a hostile heart, and slippage from faith and hope. We still have sin that bites and entices us, but it doesn’t rule over us. The sin within us is like a person who is tied up and being led away to his death. The weapons that person might use to harm others have all been taken away. But that person isn’t dead yet. Similarly, the sin in our bodies surges up, rages and rants, and doesn’t let up.
For we always love what is ours and depend on our own strength. We don’t put our trust in the Word and don’t believe God. Our sinful nature doesn’t want it any other way. But the best remedy against the pull of this nature is meditating diligently on God’s Word.
Adapted from Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional by Martin Luther