The lie of our culture is we are victims; we have a victimization mentality. No one wants to admit they think of themselves as a victim, but think about how people in our culture describe their struggles:
“I was born this way.”
“This is who I am.”
“I have a predisposition.”
“I need to manage my alcoholism.”
“I need to learn to deal with it.”
“That’s how I’m wired, I can’t change.”
People have believed the lie and get stuck managing sin, then people make excuses or develop an entitlement attitude.
What about the Gospel?
Jesus has given the Christian a new identity. But Christians live out of a behavior modification mentality as if a Christian is a Christian based on what they do, rather than based on the blood of Jesus and His grace, which gives us a new identity and therefore a new relationship to God the Father.
Think of it this way: from the point you are justified (saved by belief in the cross of Christ) to the point you die and go to heaven, is your sanctification based on trying to behave better? Or is your sanctification based on being reminded of the cross and living out of your new identity given to you because of the cross?
We have competing worldviews in our culture, which ultimately leads to confusion for the Christian and which results in feelings of being defeated by sin. The story our culture tells us is you need to modify your behavior or that your behavior is not bad. The story God tells us is we are sinners redeemed by the grace of God and that we have been given all the tools to defeat sin and temptation through faith in Christ. I don’t think the sanctification process is a behavioral continuum (that’s our culture’s story – how’s it working out for America?) God does expect Christians to pursue holiness (sanctification), but holiness is achieved by being reminded of the grace of the cross of Christ resulting in a heart’s desire to live for the glory of God.