Paul was nearing the end of his life when he wrote these words: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst" (1 Timothy 1:15). We realize that our sins as Christians, though perhaps not as outwardly gross as before, are more heinous in the sight of God because they are sins against knowledge and against grace. We know better and we know His love, and yet we sin willfully. And then we go back to the cross and realize that Jesus bore even those willful sins in His body on the tree, and the realization of that infinite love compels us to deal with those very sins and to put them to death. Both the fear of God and the love of God motivate us to obedience, and that obedience proves they are authentic in our lives.
--from The Practice of Godliness, by Jerry Bridges