It’s wintertime, and where I live that means things freeze—a lot! Although the below-freezing temperatures that we commonly experience cause my southern friends to shiver and shake, often shutting down most of their activities, for us it is just another day. Those who live in warmer climates find it hard to wrap their minds around life in frigid areas, but here we live by the saying that “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” Nevertheless, as prepared as we might be for the cold, ice on walkways and roads poses a constant hazard.
This morning I was walking to my shop to get my pickup truck when I stepped on a patch of ice and instantly felt my foot begin to slip out from underneath me. To anyone watching, I would have looked like John Travolta doing a disco dance as I waved my arms and gathered my footing. Fortunately, I didn’t end up on my hindquarters like a break dancer spinning on the ground on my back.
Reflecting on the hazards of ice, especially ice on hills, I realized there is a parallel between walking on ice and sin. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that sin in the life of the believer is a very serious matter. The Bible demonstrates that God takes sin seriously, and the Church must, too. Unfortunately, as powerful as the gift of holy spirit is in each of us, it does not have the power to stop us from sinning. Every person was a sinner before conversion, and they remain one afterward. But with the help of the holy spirit in us to resist sin, we can overcome temptation and live a life that is pleasing to God.
God has given us the greatest gift possible—the gift of holy spirit—and He expects us to live and conform ourselves to its holy nature. The problem with sin is that when we deliberately sin—habitually and intentionally—then it is as if we are stepping on a very slippery, icy slope that, if not interrupted, can lead to hardheartedness and unbelief.
One of the primary obstacles that prevented people from staying faithful to the Old Covenant was sin. Thankfully, a great part of the New Covenant we live under now is that sin has been permanently atoned for because through the perfect sacrifice of Christ, we are completely forgiven of our sins. Yes, we still sin, just as the people of the Old Covenant did, but unlike them, we don’t need to carry those sins until we can make a sacrifice at the Temple. As members of the New Covenant, we now have direct access to a Mediator, Christ Jesus, who makes it available for us to continually access the throne of God, seeking without delay forgiveness for our sins any time, any day. Forgiveness and repentance are what get us off the slippery slope of sin, and back on stable ground.