Pastor Todd Wilken speaking on Issues, Etc., the January 31 comment line segment:
We understand that we are both saint and sinner. We are 100% both. The saint, the new man, that is Christ in us, he keeps the Law, perfectly, from a pure heart, always. After all, it is Christ in us, this new man. The old Adam, the old man, the sinner in us, and again, we are 100% both, the old man in us never keeps the Law, not once, not even a little. He is a rebel. He is a sworn enemy of God. And yet you are both at the same time, that new man and that old man – the old Adam and Christ in you. And it is not so much a struggle between the two as it is putting the old man to death. Does that mean we ever cease to sin? No. Does that mean, and you’re quite right to say, you know, do we ever keep the Law? The answer to that question is, no, we don’t – never perfectly as the Law demands. Because I am both old man and new man, do I desire to keep the Law? Absolutely. The new man desires nothing but to keep the Law. Does the old man desire to keep the Law? No, never, and he cannot be reformed. So when we talk about never being able to keep the Law, that is a, that’s an implicit acknowledgement of the fact that on this side of the resurrection we remain at the same time both saint and sinner. And we don’t worry about moral progress. We simply do not worry about it because the only standard is the perfect standard of the Ten Commandments and you never progress toward perfection. We rely entirely on the perfect obedience of another – Jesus Christ and His Law keeping for us, all the way to an obedient death on the cross.