Several texts point to the fact that God sanctifies his people once and for all, through the work of Christ on the cross. Other texts link sanctification with conversion or baptism into Christ, highlighting the work of the Holy Spirit through the gospel, consecrating believers to God as his holy people under the New Covenant. (David Peterson, Possessed by God: A New Testament Theology of Sanctification and Holiness (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), p. 13.)
Yes Mike I know that I struggle and I believe that we as Christians all struggle with this. Powerful scripture that is a reminder of this is 2 Corinthians 12. I am paraphrasing here, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. This is were the term "die to self" is important. By prayer and the conviction of the Holy Spirit we keep close to God's word and purpose for us. The gift of the Holy Spirit is HUGE in all these circumstances. He is our Great Counselor!
We all struggle with this.. it's the sanctification process. Part of the process is identifying that there is a sin nature to deal with in the first place. You are in a good place to identify that there is a problem in the first place.
This may be a bit off topic...but stay with me for a moment:
I'm a mother of two boys...one of them has significant anger temper issues. I'm in the process of teaching him that anger itself is not a sin...there are things in this life that we are supposed to be angry at. For instance, we're supposed to be angry at injustice...but not a self focused selfish harmful anger, a righteous anger that leads to justice for others, putting others first who are at risk to be harmed by injustice. And even then, the anger is God given to lead us to a heart for serving those 'others' who are victims of injustice...anger properly focused and functional, leading us to action... can be righteous and good and helpful. We are to be angry at our own sin.. We are to be so angry at it that we are to hate it.
Sometimes I have a hard time remembering that the process of learning and growth is slow. Think of shaving for example... You know that when you shave, your facial hair grows back, but you can't see it growing until late in the evening. My husband is surprised by his own beard growth...it's occurring but it is so slow that he can't see it. This is the same with our new nature. Sometimes the process is so slow we may get discouraged and/or begin to doubt that anything at all is actually changing. However, if you think back to when you first began, you will realize there has been significant growth. The process has been slow....but it's not a quick fix. It's a process that will last because 'root' foundational issues have been dealt with. God is so patient with us... He's far more patient with us than we are with ourselves. I think it's because He understands us far better than we understand ourselves.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 [a]fixing our eyes on Jesus, the [b]author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary [c]and lose heart.