Realistically, many of our readers have been afflicted by the ravages and suffering brought on by sin. Sins of commission, sins of omission, missing the mark perhaps countless times, violating our consciences-the sheer weight of these multifaceted transgressions is just too great to bear!
The only answer to the problem of sin is, of course, Jesus Christ. He came to earth not only to make possible complete forgiveness of the past, but to help us conquer the strongholds of sin that have become deeply entrenched habits that are enormously difficult to dislodge from our lives. He is our merciful High Priest in heaven, always interceding with God the Father on our behalf, ever ready to help us gain the victory over sin.
"If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9, New Revised Standard Version). The apostle John, while acknowledging our human weaknesses, encourages us not to give in to sin. "I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:1-2, NRSV).This gives us every reason to be greatly encouraged in our daily struggle against sin. After all, Jesus Christ has been there and fully understands our plight. "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:15-16, NRSV).