Now, here is a fine illustration of the principle of the Gospel. You surrender yourself unto Christ to be crucified with Him, and to have all your old life pass out, and henceforth to live as one born from heaven and animated by Him alone. Suddenly, some of your old traits of evil reappear, old thoughts, evil tendencies assert themselves and say loudly and clamorously, "We are not dead." Now if you recognize these things, fear them and obey them, you are sure to give them life and they will control you and drag you back into your former state. But if you refuse to recognize them, and say, "These are Satan's lies, I am dead indeed unto sin; these do not belong unto me, but are the children of the devil, I therefore repudiate them and rise above them," God will detach you from them and make them utterly dead. You will find they were no part of you, but simply temptations which Satan tried to throw over you, and to weave around you that which seemed part of yourself.
This is the true remedy for all the workings of temptation and sin. It is an awful fact that when one counts himself wicked he will become wicked. Let that pure girl be but made to believe that she is degraded and lost to virtue and she will have no heart to be pure, and she will recklessly sink to all the depths of sin! Let the child of God but begin to doubt his acceptance and expect to look upon his Father's face with a frown, and he will have no heart to be holy, he will sink into disobedience, discouragement and sin.
There is a strange story written by a gifted mind, describing a man who was two men alternately. When he believed himself to be a noble character, he was noble and true, and lived accordingly; but when the other ideal took possession of him and made him feel degraded, he went down accordingly. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Our reckonings reflect themselves in our realities; therefore, God has made this principle of faith to be the mainspring of personal righteousness and holiness, and the subtle, yet sublime, power that can lead men out of themselves into the very life of God.
-from The Self Life and the Christ Life by A.B. Simpson