Everything that is in us naturally stands in direct opposition to the cross of Christ. Even after we believe, there is a remnant of sin that remains inside us that will never really be defeated until we die or until the Lord comes back to take us. This indwelling sin may have been weakened inside but it’s still there lying dormant. And just when we feel confident that we are free from it, it suddenly comes back to life and sabotages our relationship with God.
The Apostle Paul recognized this when he wrote in Romans 7:21: “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.” Whenever we want to do the right thing, our indwelling sin fights us left and right. It opposes us at every turn and drags us down so our spirit could not commune with God. There is not a single fiber of our being that is not infected with indwelling sin. Everything about us is contaminated.
This can be observed in our own thought patterns and actions. Every single thing that you wish to do to cultivate your relationship with God is foiled either by your feelings (you don’t feel like doing it), your thoughts (Candy Crush seems more interesting than prayer), or your physical laziness (it’s really hard to keep up a daily Bible reading habit). Many people feel guilty that they are just not hardworking enough to keep their spiritual fires burning. What they fail to realize is that indwelling sin is actually pulling them down like gravity and no human being has the power to overcome that pull all by himself.
This is the reason why Jesus came. He came to put the dagger of the cross at the heart of our indwelling sin and drain it of its life-blood until it withers away. He knew that the only way to make us alive in God is by killing the one thing that stands in open rebellion against Him. But like a loathsome villain in a movie, our indwelling sin couldn’t be completely killed while we are still bound to this earthly body. The reason why we constantly look to Christ every single day is because we want the dagger of the cross to stay buried at the heart of our sinful nature to keep it desiccated and neutralized and to keep it from wrecking havoc in our new lives in Christ.