Luk 18:9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:
Luk 18:10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
Luk 18:11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
Luk 18:12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.'
Luk 18:13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'
Luk 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
....me lately I like to look at what Paul said about his sin -
1Ti 1:12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,
1Ti 1:13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,
1Ti 1:14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
1Ti 1:15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.
1Ti 1:16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.....
See Paul, even though a man filled with the love of Christ ....knew that his sins were the same as any other mans....in verse 15 he says : I am the foremost - meaning I am the chief of sinners....
He hoped that others would see that regardless of his past as a great sinner and persecutor of Christians that others would see that if God could forgive him....that he could YOU too! - Paul had hoped that people could see that even though the best of us sin still - that it does not change what Christ did for us, that it does not change the message given by a man ( for even the best will still sin) - Christ died on the cross to free us of our sins...not give a license to sin continually, but to know we are still of the flesh, we still sin at times when we know better, or may not even want to do what we do. Paul says in Romans -
Rom 7:15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
Rom 7:16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.
Rom 7:17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out
Paul says I AM A SINNER! - I am only saved through the MERCY of Christ - I cannot do what I desire for I cannot do it alone - I can only do things with the Lord giving me the strength to do so - Paul says in 2 Corinthians -
2Co 12:8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.
2Co 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
We are only free from these sins through the Grace, Love and Mercy of Jesus Christ.
Joh 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Joh 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.