We are told in Galatians 5 that we, as Christians, have the Holy Spirit, as well as our sinful nature, residing in us, and they are in conflict.
I believe that with our physical bodies, we inherit our sinful nature, it’s a package deal, you can’t have one without the other. So as long as we are trapped in our current physical vessel, we will always have the sinful nature.
I also believe that the Holy Spirit inhabits our soul (at the time of our acceptance of Christ). The Holy Spirit becomes our guide in our walk with Christ.
The Holy Spirit and our sinful nature, can not work together, they will be in conflict until either we die, or Christ returns and evicts the sinful nature.
We, as flawed creatures, trapped in cursed bodies, must decide, every minute of every day who we are going to listen too. And just like anything we do in life, either way we choose, it becomes easier the more we do it. If we choose the sinful nature on a regular basis, that way becomes easier, if we choose to listen to the Holy Spirit, that way becomes easier. This battle will go on.
Now, how do you feeling knowing that you will have to fight this battle your whole earthly existence? Kind of a bummer isn’t it?
Now for some good news.
This battle is already won. We know the ultimate outcome. You see, the soul is forever, but the body is temporary. Yes, you will have your sinful nature until the end of your earthly experience, but eventually we get a new body, one that has had a complete overhaul, and most importantly, no curse, no sinful nature.
Knowing the ultimate outcome of a war makes the battle a much less stressful situation. We know what will ultimately happen. Therefore we need not worry to much about the actually fighting.
So relax, enjoy this life as much as is possible. You are going to lose a lot of skirmishes to your sinful nature, and you will pay the earthly price. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we will never be eternally punished for our sins (we will not be separated from God), but you will “reap what you sow” in this current earthly existence, this is a fact of life.
If a child is given a rule, what is typically the first thing he or she will do? They will proceed to break that rule, just to see what happens. We are all like this.
God gave us the law (a giant list of rules) with the full knowledge that we would never be able to follow them. He gave us the law so that we would know them. You can not have an organized, healthy society if no one knows the rules. You must know the rules and understand that you can never follow them perfectly. You must know that you need help.
Christ is that help. Actually Christ is way more than “help”. Christ did it for you, he fulfilled the law. He is the only person to ever live a perfect life.
In conclusion, stop worrying so much about your sin. You’re going to sin, get over it. The people you love are going to sin. Your kids are going to sin. Your pastor is going to sin. We are all in the same boat. Stop the guilt and shaming of yourself and especially stop telling others they need to work harder to be better for God, you can’t, it’s not possible. Tell others about the great forgiveness found on Christ. Let the Holy Spirit change you and others. Our job is to just tell the good news of Christ crucified and Christ risen. Spread this light to the world. Don’t spread the darkness of trying to make yourself better to please God. And remember, God is not mad at you, or your sinful neighbor.